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Uploaded: October 5, 2010
Artist: Loren
Difficulty: Intermediate  Intermediate Skill Level
Steps: 7
Updated: October 5, 2010
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Tutorial for long wavy and curly hair. This useful tutorial shows techniques for drawing wavy and curly hair. These techniques can be used for many styles of drawing, including realistic and manga/anime styles, depending on how you use the techniques.

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how to draw wavy, curly hair

How to Draw Wavy, Curly Hair

how to draw wavy, curly hair step 1

STEP 1.

Start by drawing in the part, then the fringe. The top back of the hair is quite round. These guidelines show how to draw the shape of curly and wavy hair. They are like rectangles but with a flick on the end. Draw these quite long and getting shorter as you get to the ends of the hair. They show the bounce of the hair and the shape of the waves and curls. Also add in some flicks of hair where you want them. The more flicks, the curlier the hair will look.
 
how to draw wavy, curly hair step 2

STEP 2.

This step is where you add in the shadows of the hair. The hair is most shadowed at the part and where the hair would be behind her shoulder and behind her face. It is also shadowed under sections of hair and under anywhere there is a curl or wave. You can draw the shadows with a zigzag edge, this is because it is hair and the light reflects off of hair along the length of the strands.
 
how to draw wavy, curly hair step 3

STEP 3.

This is where you work out where the lighter parts of the hair will be. They will be along the hair showing the direction of the hair flow, and this step shows where the waves in the hair will be. Putting them in the middle of a curl will add volume. Then fill in the rest of the hair with your middle shade. This might be hard to do with pencil but you can use an eraser to fix up where the highlights will be. Remember this is more a technique tutorial to show you the shapes and where the light and shadow should be to make hair look curly. ALSO If you can do this step neatly it will work well as a more manga/anime style hair.
 
how to draw wavy, curly hair step 4

STEP 4.

This is the step where you blend it to make it look more realistic. There is a diagram on the picture showing how this is done with each base colour having its own lighter colour highlight. You can draw flowing lines like this, to build up realistic looking strands of hair. Hair doesn't always need lots of lines, but I find that this is a nice way to blend. The hair should be properly blended by going over and drawing lines with the base colours, showing nice flow from highlighted areas to shadows.
 
how to draw wavy, curly hair step 5

STEP 5.

Now you can add the highlights, these are a lot lighter than the rest of the hair, and they are usually in lines showing where the light reflects off the hair. They give the hair more shape and 3D look and just make the whole drawing look nicer. The more highlight you have, the more bouncy and curly the hair will look.
 
how to draw wavy, curly hair step 6

STEP 6.

To make the hair look more curly, just add more flicks and curves. And the more highlighted they are, the curlier it will look. Make sure you add some flicks in the opposite direction to give the hair real movement. Also bring hair through continuing strands from the top to the bottom, using waves not straight lines, which you can see an example of if you compare this image to the previous one of wavy hair.
 
how to draw wavy, curly hair step 7

STEP 7.

With these techniques hopefully you can learn how to draw long hair that is as wavy or as curly as you want it, and also as simple or detailed as will fit your style of drawing. :)