Drawing Hairstyles For Your Characters

There are so many hairstyles you can draw on your characters and their hair can really help show their personality too.
I think it’s best to simplify hair into simple forms instead of drawing one hair at a time. Think about the shape a group of hairs makes when clumped together.

Also make sure to keep in mind that egg-shaped roundness of the head when drawing hair. You’ll often see lots of s-shaped curves and see shaped curves and the reverse as well. So get used to drawing these long flowing shapes.

You’ll also see some bunching of the forms like they are here with really curly hair. You’ll still have those s-curves and c-curves. Only they’ll be smaller and there will be more of them.

Just remember think big shapes instead of single hairs and that will immediately simplify the process. Here are a few hair examples broken down into steps.

Usually I like to start off by drawing loose hairs around the face. Usually I’ll use 3 H pencil and I’ll work on the hair lightly until I’m sure of the direction. I’m going I work lightly as I draw because often I will put in a few strokes and I feel like it’s just not going the right direction for the character. So while I race and try again and working lightly, at first, it really helps me do this easily.

As always have fun an experiment with hair this is where the character starts to really come into their own. Always try to break complex things down into simple shapes to help simplify it in your mind and then also on the paper so I start
with a simple sketchy line for her part now.

I’m drawing loose clumps of hair to frame her face. I’m also indicating that egg like roundness of the head now. I’m flaring the hair out with a soft curve. Usually the hair will cling closer to the head of the ears and then flare away from the head as it comes down. For this hairstyle I’m rapping some pieces of hair around the head for the half-up, half-down look. I think this is a very pretty and feminine hairstyle and I think it fits my character.

You’ll notice that with clumps of hair. They’ll come from the same root area flare out in shape and then come back together. You can kind of think of them as thick ribbons now.

I’m just adding a couple more details to the shapes at the top bending my lines as the hair would softly bend around the sphere of the head.

Now I’m quickly toning the hair with my 3 H pencil like with the ears and all the other features really you can decide just how detail you want to get. This can be as simple or as detailed as you wish so you may choose to not even put a ton on with a tissue.

You can easily blend large areas of the piece rather than using the stump now with my kneaded eraser. I just clean up any extra fuzz and then I flipped my drawing upside down. Sometimes for me it’s just more comfortable to do certain strokes in a
certain direction. It just felt easier drawing these hairs upside down you may find this as you work to but draw whichever way works best for you. Even if that means flipping your drawing upside down every once in a while.

Use every weird trick in the book to get the drawing you want. Now I’m drawing in some darker lines using more pressure on my pencil to get that darker value. You’ll see I’m putting these darker values closer to where the hairs are coming together near the roots. I also shade back here to push this area back behind her and into the shade.

Now with my 4B I go in and add some darker accents this will make the character pop with contrast in this one. I keep the areas around the face dark. It will help catch the viewers eye and pull them into my focus which is her face you
for the next shadow.

I’ll typically draw a shape like this to help give some separation between the head and the neck I’ll also sometimes put a thin cast shadow from the hair onto the face. I like to finish off drawing my hairstyles with a few light curved flyaway hairs. I think this adds some fun and freeness to the sketch and keeps it from looking too forced at areas like the part.

You may also want to do a couple more detail hairs as well so start with simplified shapes then add detail and tone when you
become confident in the design. Then finish off the hairstyle by redefining and adding in some flyaway hairs now.

Let’s take a look at some three-quarter hairstyles. The ideas are all the same. Usually when I start drawing hair I just have a vague idea of where I’m going and it only truly comes about as I experiment and put down more lines and shapes.

So have fun and take some chances. You’ll probably come up with a really cool hairstyle when you do looking at references will be extremely helpful when it comes to drawing hair and really when it comes to drawing anything.

Sometimes I can draw out of my head because I’ve memorized some designs through study and practice but only because I studied from real-life subjects and from photos. If you want, photograph your friends with different hairstyles and work from those.

I plan out the shape slightly with my pencil and then as I become more confident in my design I add smaller details and  marker lines with hair try keeping some lines lighten them and others thick. And dark this will give your piece exciting variety
you’ll see sometimes that blend with my fingers your fingers can make for great blending tools. But just make sure they’re clean and dry. If they’re not you can smudge the lead and it can lead to ugly splotches just keep a towel next to as you work if you need to wipe off your hands.

Now with my 3H I’m just adding a little cast shadow on her face and you can see here I just decided this is too much and it’s just not working. So I redraw the hair design with a 0.9 2B pencil. To finish this hairstyle I just add some quick flyaway hairs with my light 3H.

As you can see drawing hair from your imagination can take a certain amount of trial and error. If you want a more straightforward process however using references will be the way to go.

Here’s a quick hair drawing tip a dirty stump can also help you add some nice value to these groups of hairs. It can give the hair a nice subtle tone. So feel free to use these hairstyles as references or follow along with any of these steps and modify as you see fit or you can search the internet to find some beautiful inspiring hairstyles to draw on your characters