Drawing hair seems like an arduous task especially when you draw realistic portraits and figures. It may include the knowledge of different lengths, styles, texture, and lighting on the hair. Needless to say that it is time-consuming if you want to draw well.
Wait a second. Don’t freak out.
That’s why we invited Annelies Bae (@Annnelies) to break down her tips for drawing hair in graphite. She will show you her way on drawing a girl's in a bun. This step by step guide is foolproof, easy and simple to follow, even you’re just a beginner. What’s more, you can apply these techniques to different hairstyle no matter a male or female, short or long hair, curly or straight hair etc.
What do you need for drawing?
- Graphite pencils from light to dark (3H, H, HB, 2B, and 4B)
- Drawing paper (you can try grey tone or brown tone paper)
- Blending tool (art brushes or stumps)
- A small and pointy mechanical eraser pen
- Tissue paper (as a blocker to avoid any smudges while drawing)
- Mechanical graphite pencil (optional)
Before we jump into the step by step guide, there are some tips which you can apply to every drawing in graphite.
Use tissue paper while drawing
It is because our hands have natural oil when the natural oil is on the paper, it may affect the outcome of the drawing. Furthermore, the tissue paper helps you to block the graphite from the paper to your hands. It results that the residue graphite from your hands may transfer to clear areas. You should be aware of it especially when you draw a big size for drawing.
Use a blending tool
There are lots of blending tools you can choose from whether it’s an art brush or a stump or even just a q-tip. Everything helps you to blend the graphite into a nice velvety texture. Just choose the one you feel comfortable with.
Use a mechanical eraser pen
Why is a mechanical eraser pen rather than a regular eraser? A mechanical eraser pen usually comes in a small and long shape. Not only you can hold it nicely, but most importantly, you can take out some unwanted graphite precisely because there is only a small area touching on the paper. Therefore, it can create the highlight details beautifully.
Here we go NOW! YEAH!
1. Outline the hairstyle roughly
It is a start. You don’t need to outline the hair clearly. Just be careful of the proportion of the head and hair. Outline the hair to segment the parts of the hair.
2. Start shading
You can use the light graphite pencils like 3H and H to shade the shadow areas of the hair first but leave the highlight area blank.
In order to blend the graphite nicely and create even value on the paper, you can use an art brush to blend those areas where you were shading. Blending is the best way to create velvety and smooth texture as we mentioned before.
3. Add some darker value
Now you can move on shading some darker areas of the shadow by using darker graphite pencils like HB and B
Keep the blending and shading process on, until you get the texture and result you want.
4. Add more details
No matter what hairstyles you draw, there is always some frizzy hair comes out. You can use darker graphite pencils to add more details on the frizzy hair and the darkest areas on the shadow
Now here you go. I guess it must be beautiful of your drawing. You learn the technique of drawing hair nicely. When it comes to drawing hair, patience places a big part.
For the detailed video, you can check out our Youtube video here.
Leave your comment below and share your thoughts and your artwork with us our social media @loeilart. Cheer!