How to draw curly hair. With step by step examples.

In this guide, I will show you a step by step approach to show you how to draw curly Hair. I will go over different Hairstyles and the best ways to shade every Hairstyle. So let´s start with the tools!

What Tools do you need for this guide?

I used a 6b graphite pen and a kneadable eraser. But you can use any pen, from HB to 8B, that you want. It doesn´t realy matter all that much. If you dont have a kneadable eraser you can also use a regular one, I just recomend a kneadable one, becorse it is a lot cleaner than a regular one.

As for paper, a regular drawing paper of any size, you are comfortable with, will do the trick. Just don´t use regular printing paper, it is not strong enough for drawing.

Now let´s have a look at how to draw curly hair step by step

The first easy Step!

We will start with drawing the general shape of the hair. Keep it very loose and don´t draw theese lines to strong. They are only meant as guidelines and they will be erased later on. Don´t think to much about the details here just focus on the general shape.

How to draw curly Hair step one

And the second simple step!

Next up we will refine the guide lines with some stronger lines and we will slightly lighten the guidelines up with our kneadable eraser.

How to draw curly hair step 2

The third step!

Let´s start shading! When you are shading hair you have three rules, that will help you to make the shading convincing.

First rule:
Make it clear, which string of hair is going which way. And use lines while shading to indicate that.

Second rule:
Don’t shade everything. leave some areas, where the highlights are, blank.

Third rule:
Think of where your light is coming from and which parts will be hit by the light and which parts will be in shadow.

How to draw curly hair step 3

Here is an example on a single string of hair, how each string is shaded in this first drawing.

In the last picture, you can see, that I added some fine lines in the geral direction of the hairs to add some convincing detail.

Now, let´s shade the second hair style with the bun.

As in the example from above we will shade the Hair in the same way. Only now we will keep in mind, that the Hair going up in the direction of the bun will be a little bit straighter becorse they are litteraly pulled in that direction. Every loose hairs however will be very curly.

Exactly like before, we will ad some loose shading and refine it as we go, following the three rules. Just this time, the Hair is a lot wilder and curlyier than before.

And the Last Hairstyle with short curly hair.

With this Hairstyle we will go wild. First we will let the chaos take over and just draw a lot of curly and curvy lines all over the place. Don´t overdo it though.

Then we will add some shadows in the areas, where the hair is closer to the head and the light won´t reach. This will create a sense of depth. Here are some pictures, that will show this approach step by step.

Drawing hair is a balance act between the right amount of texture, shadow and light. It takes time to learn how to draw and I myself haven´t mastered it yet. And I think I won´t master it in a long time but that is the beauty of it. So whatever you do, dont give up and keep on drawing!