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Hair Drawing Tutorial, How to Draw Realistic Hair

Drawing realistic hair is a struggle for alot of beginners. I have been asked quite a few times how I go about drawing hair so I decided to make this tutorial to teach you how to draw hair.

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A common misconception that many beginners make is that a line represents a strand of hair. I've seen alot of instances where hair was drawn with lines and it always looks flat and lifeless. In reality, strands of hair are defined by darker areas around them. In this tutorial you will see that I didn't try to draw every single strand of hair but rather drew tones to suggest the texture and form of the hair.

Step 1- I identified the darkest areas in the section of hair and drew them in with a 3B pencil. Try to look for details inside the darks, alot of the time there will be lighter hairs passing through the dark areas so draw around those.
tutorial drawing

Step 2- I located more dark areas and drew them in, again using a 3B but with slightly less pressure. I also drew light guide lines to show where some of the highlights and midtones were to go.
tutorial drawing

Step 3- I began shading the midtone area that I located in step 2 with a B pencil.
tutorial drawing

Step 4- I began fading my midtones into the highlight area that I located in step 2. Again using a B pencil but with less pressure than I used for the midtone area.
tutorial drawing

Step 5- I started fading the dark tones towards the top of her head into the highlight area with a B pencil. Then I shaded lightly over the highlight area with an H pencil. Smooth, fluent shading is key here.
tutorial drawing

Step 6- Since I was drawing blonde hair, a dark background gives a nice contrast. I continued shading the background and bringing it over to the point I was at with the hair. I added a couple fly-away hairs with a sharpened eraser. Then I did some touch ups and added more details to this section of hair. I compared tones with other areas of the drawing and adjusted some. Then it was time to move on to the next section of hair.
tutorial drawing

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful and I hope you understand how to draw hair a little more. I know hair can be intimidating. Just take it slow and work section by section. Maybe then it won't be so overwelming. :)


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