Drawing Lion Mane
Drawing realistic hair is more of an understanding of what you are drawing than the technique. It’s such a huge help knowing what you are drawing rather than going with only what you know. I’m sure we can picture a lion’s mane in our heads, but do you actually know what it really looks like. That extra bit of information and detail is what will make your drawing much more realistic. In this tutorial we will look at the mane and will break it down and we will use my technique to draw it. If this is your first time on this site, i recommend you try this tutorial first to make it easier on what were gonna be doing. Let’s get started.
Take a look at the image above. Like I mentioned before most of us can picture what a mane looks like in our heads, but we don’t know what it actually looks like. We will look at three things before we actually start drawing. First we will look at the length of the hair. Second we will look at the flow of the hair. And lastly we will look at the texture and style of hair.
Animal hair is quite different on most animal species and when it comes to a lion’s mane, it’s quite unique. There are three things that i look at before i start drawing hair. I first look at the length of the hair. I compare the hair to the surrounding features to have an idea of how long the indentations will be. Second, i look at the flow of hair. It’s the direction of hair growth. This tells me what direction i will be indenting. Lastly, i look at the texture, the style of hair. This can be wavy hair, short hair, frizzy hair, straight hair, etc. Depending on the style i will be using a different indenting technique. Looking at the lion mane, we can see that the hair is long, grows in a downward direction and is wavy. Ok, before we start drawing, here are the materials you will need.
We will begin by adding an outline. This outline will serve as a guide once we start indenting. Don’t worry if yours doesn’t look like mine, as long as you have a rough idea of the shape you’re good to go. I also suggest adding flow lines. These lines help you in showing which direction you will be indenting as this will be the direction of hair growth.
We will begin indenting from the bottom up. I don’t mean from the bottom of paper, but from bottom layer. If you look at the reference image you will notice that the most lowest layer is the dark hair at the bottom. This area is below all the other hair. The reason we start indenting from the bottom layer is because as we indent the next layer above, it gives the illusion of layered hair. That top layer will overlap the bottom layer. If you do it the other way around, where you start indenting from the top down, the layers will be reversed. Ok, since this section has lots of dark hair and is already under shadow,we will indent but not as much. For this section we will be using the needle stylus. This will give us the fine hair that we are looking for. We will indent only the left side and will only add a few indentations on the dark side to give the illusion that some of that shadowed hair is being hit by light. It’s a nice touch that will look nice when we are done. Remember to keep the indentations random and to keep them wavy. The image below shows what pattern you are going for. Overlap them and most importantly, make sure they are not straight!!
The best way to see what you are indenting is to have a light pointed perpendicular to the paper. This will allow you to see the indentations and you will be able to see if you are following those flow lines. We are trying to imitate the hairs on the reference image. This technique takes some practice but once you get the feel for it you will get some great results. After you have finished indenting you should be left with something like the image below. It’s hard to see, so i increased the contrast to make it more visible. With this technique, its best to first add all the indentations and then start adding pencil. I know it feels like you’re working blind but over time it will come naturally.
We will then move on to the next section which is a layer above the one we just finished. The section we will be working on i have highlighted below.
This section will be overlapping the hair below, so we will make sure that the indentations go over the bottom indentations. I know i keep repeating that but its important to always keep in mind which layer is below and which is above. For this section we will be indenting from the left to the right. Again, for the same reason, as we move to the right, the next layer will overlap the previous layer of hair. I know this is a lot of explanation and we haven’t even started adding pencil, but its important to understand what is going on. I have mentioned in previous tutorials that there are many ways of drawing hair, but this is my method. It has worked for me and hopefully it works for you. If it doesn’t then at least you learned a new technique that you may use for something else.
The image below shows which layers you will be indenting. You will start with the red layer starting from the bottom and moving to the top. Then you start indenting the blue layer, which will overlap the red layer, again, starting from the bottom and moving to the top and finally the green, which will overlap the blue layer. If you want to go an even further step, you can add some longer hairs that overlap from green layer to the red layer. From this point on, it’s about getting creative and adding single hairs that you think will give the illusion of layers. Make These single hairs random and make them go in all directions. Keep the indentations tight, in order to give the illusion of lots of hair.
Hopefully this is making more sense to you, if not, leave a comment below! Here is some pencil to show you the pattern that you are going for with the needle stylus.
The light source should make it easier to see what you are indenting. Make sure to slightly curve the indentations, so they look more natural. Following the layer pattern that was stated above, you should end up with something like the image below. Once we start adding pencil, you will begin to see the result of all this planning. The reveal will be like magic.
We will now move on to the final section which is the top most layer. This layer is what will bring everything together. This is where you can get the most creative. This hair can overlap all the other previous layers and you can now combine the needle stylus with the thicker stylus(pen with no ink). Following the reference, you can see that the hair curves down. We will follow the same method as the previous section, starting from the bottom layer and moving up, which is left to right. Using colors, we will do red first and then blue layer like the image below. Lets indent!
This technique is probably different from anything else you have tried before, but i want you to remember that this only a technique and it’s not the only way to draw hair. Have fun with it. You can check out all my pencil drawings by going here. Ok Lets move on. Again, its important that you keep the indentations random. Hair, is never straight. Hair overlaps,curls,some strands are shorter, some are longer,etc. Keep all these things in mind when you’re doing the indentations and remember to work in layers. After you are finished you should be left with something like the image below.
During this part you can start adding individual fine hairs that will overlapping the hair below. You can make these hairs thicker using the pen with no ink. Again, just imagine these hairs out-of-place because of the wind, movement, etc. Adding these will give your drawing so much depth and they will stand out once you start adding pencil.
At this point we are going to erase the pencil outlines and will start building up the values. You should now have something like this. I know its hard to see but once we start adding pencil we will begin to see the results. I increased the contrast again so you could more of what it should look like.[Part 2]
I hope this tutorial was helpful in improving your artwork. If it was, be sure to show support by sharing it with social media below. It would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for the amazing response!!