Drawing Realistic Male Hair
My work is primarily known for animals, but the same technique i use for my animal drawings can also be used to draw human hair. In this tutorial we will be working on drawing realistic male hair. Before we move forward, if this is your first time reading one of my tutorials, i recommend you read this tutorial first to have a better understanding of what were going to be doing today.
The biggest difference between animal hair and human hair is that human hair is more kept. It is maintained so hair looks more cleaner and is not as random as animal hair. Of course, if the person has curly hair the hair would look messy, but even then, it’s a styled messiness.
We will be using the image below as reference
Needle Stylus: This is basically a lead pencil with a needle instead of a lead. Be sure to grind the needle tip a bit so that it doesn’t rip through the paper.
Let’s first start by drawing an outline. We’re not too concerned on a perfect outline here because our whole focus on this tutorial will be on the technique.
Now, we will split the hair into sections to make it easier to work. We will divide the hair into clumps. These clumps are just single hairs that have come together to create a collection of hair strands. The image below shows the main clumps of hair that we will be focusing on.
Now that we have that, we will pick out the layers of hair furthest back. The reason we do this is because we will be indenting from the back to the front. The closest indentations will overlap the indentations at the back. The red area in the image below will be the first layer we will be indenting.
But, before we start there we will start indenting the sides of the head, since that hair is separate from the top hair. We will divide this section into layers as well. It’s important to always remember and recognize that hair grows in layers. It helps with using this technique and will give your drawing much more realism.
Look at the images below. Lets pretend that each piece of board is a layer of hair. Notice how each board overlaps the lower one. Now pretend that what you are looking at is someone who is facing sideways. On, the second picture its the same layer of boards but the angle has changed. Notice how the width of the boards has changed. This would be someone who has turned their head and is looking at you. It’s the same number of layers but because of the angle, the layers are much closer together so each layer overlaps more of the layer below.
Let’s indent!! Before we start, look at the reference image below. Notice the flow of hair and notice how hair is not a straight line. It curves and overlaps. Keep those things in mind and make the indentations random.
For this section we will be indenting using the needle stylus. We will not be putting too much pressure with the stylus because we want finer hair. Human hair is finer than animal hair so we don’t want the hair strands to look too thick. I have increased the contrast in order for you to see the indentations much more clear.
Doing the same of the other side you will be left with something like this.
We can now move on to the hair on top, starting with the layers highlighted above. Notice the direction and the flow of hair. The hair curves slightly and in the hair is same similar in length. What this means is that the indentations will be much longer from bottom to top, slightly overlapping curving on an angle. We will start on the left side and move our way to the right. For this drawing, the hair flow will usually follow the same direction and will not have as much hair overlapping, The indentations strokes will be longer in order to give the illusion of longer hair. By not putting too much pressure the indentations will be light and will represent finer hair. The image below shows what I have after indenting the layer at the back.
With that section done, we move forward to the hair in front. These clumps of hairs will show the longest hair. Therefore, the indentation strokes will be long, starting at the bottom and going to the top in one stroke. We will be following those guidelines that we added at the beginning in order to have a path to follow. Keep the pressure light in order to have finer hair, without much overlapping. The effect that we want is to have hair that is well-groomed. If we overlap too much, it will start to look too messy. Notice in the reference image how there are really dark shadows. These are areas where clumps of hair separate leaving a dark area where less light hits. For this area, you can add a few indentations to suggest that a bit of light reaches single hairs and highlights them, but the rest will be in shadows. Later, we can add individual hairs that can overlap the layers below. This will give the drawing a bit more realism. After doing that you should have this. [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!!