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Author Topic: Hints for drawing curly hair?  (Read 3493 times)


  • Tuftear
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Hints for drawing curly hair?
« on: April 11, 2011, 03:42:04 PM »

One of the things I would really like to get better at is drawing curly/wavy hair, but I just can't seem to come up with a good method. Would anybody mind sharing some tips?


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  • Tuftear
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Re: Hints for drawing curly hair?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 04:28:24 PM »

This tutorial (the second part) is a pretty good summary of my approach: http://liiga.deviantart.com/art/Hair-Tutorial-46922701

Depends if you want to do it with inks or colors, of course, but the loose idea is that shading with curly hair happens in horizontal "chunks" (light area above dark area above light area) whereas straight hair has shading in vertical chunks (light next to dark next to light, etc...excluding the horizontal "right" of highlight around the crown).  

If you have these three basic things :

1) shading is in horizontal sections
2) outline is wiggly
3) there are a few individual hairs drawn on top of it all that are in some sort of an S-curve

...then your hair will look wavy/curly. Obviously loose waves won't look the same as ringlets or corkscrews.  The tighter the curl, the smaller and more chaotic the light vs. dark areas will be. WIth really loose waves these "zones" are almost like horizontal stripes!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 11:20:11 AM by Foxeye »


  • Wolf
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Re: Hints for drawing curly hair?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011, 11:07:13 AM »

Jeb, congrats on wanting to tackle such an interesting subject as curly hair! I think it really adds interest and character to a drawing when the subject has waves and curls instead of the usual broomstick-straight stuff.
The sorrow of the elves is that
The things they love must die...
(The Tree of swords and jewels waits for me)
Time withers all about them,
Yet the elves it passes by...
(When shall I hang my own upon the Tree?)


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  • Tuftear
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Re: Hints for drawing curly hair?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 03:46:16 PM »

If you're interested in tighter curls/ringlets, then this walkthough helped me a lot when I wanted to learn it ^___^


Curls are pretty tough though (at least they were for me) until you get the feel of how they're supposed to fall and the way the curve of the curl looks in real life. It's round, not flat, which is still giving me a headache from time to time xD It's all practice *sigh*


  • Zwoot
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Re: Hints for drawing curly hair?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 01:52:34 PM »

I've never mastered drawing "realism" or anything like that. But for me, curly hair the way I do it is actually sometimes easier than straight or wavy hair. I really only draw the ENDS of the curls, and layer those ends in rough half-circles next to and interlacing with each other like you would do with bird feathers. If I figure out how to post an image into a message on the forum, I'll post an example (hobbit) with curly, curly hair I drew. Falcon has curly hair in my Wayfarer's album, but it's not as extreme an example, a bit more subtle.
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