Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tanna's Hair

Now that you have gotten Tanna's face to look like you want it to look, you are ready to start on drawing the hair. But, if you are like me, you have a problem. You rest your hand on the paper while you are drawing and if you do that, you run the huge risk of damaging the work that you have done so far. The good news is that there is a solution.

Take a clean white sheet of paper and lay it down on top of the area that you want to protect. Then you can lay your hand directly down on top of it. You still need to be aware of the area and be gentle with it, but you at least have a way to draw in comfort.


Ok, now to get to the hair. For years I have had people tell me that you do not draw hair, you simply draw shadows and lights to hint at hair. This is all fine and good. But it is my attempt to get as close to reality as I can. So, I actually draw each individual strand of hair. But don't worry, it goes faster than you might think.

In the last lesson I said to draw in the direction that the hair is going. For most of Tanna's hair you will be drawing from the top down. However, she has a cute little flip in the front that will have you drawing from the bottom up.

Here are tips to remember while drawing hair.

  • Always draw in the direction of the hair.
  • If you show where the hair meets the scalp you need to make sure that you "anchor" the hair to the scalp. The easiest way to do that is to make sure you are duplicating the shadows exactly as you see them.
  • Draw one strand at a time.
  • Layer the hair. Remember, hair is in layers, so it makes sense to layer your drawing. Draw light lines and build them up on top of each other.
  • If you need to make highlights in hair that you have already drawn, you can use a sharpened click eraser or an electric eraser.

Below are a couple of images that show my progression on creating the hair.



Finish up the rest of the hair on this image. In the next lesson we will discuss the background and likely finish the portrait.

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