Hey there. Welcome to a small tutorial on curls. Now, I'm assuming you know the basics of how to draw hair and faces here. If not, I highly suggest you go learn that before reading further. OK now thats out the way, lets get started. Shown here are 3 different types of curls. Very lose (wavy), loose (ringlets), and tight (barrel curls).
For those who got a bit confused about the ringlets and barrels, heres a tip. Think of it in the most basic shapes you can. This is the best way to draw anything. So just draw diagonal rectangles (gradually shrinking). Then join opposite corners with two lines (like in the second diagram).
Lets try putting these into practice. Draw out the basic shape for a head. We're doing two here, one with waves, and one with a small mixture of ringlets and waves.
Draw out the face. Give them eyes, a nose and a mouth. Ive decided i want them looking over their shoulders here, so I've added the neck and shoulder.
Give them a simple fringe. If you added the hairline, itll help you know where to draw it. Because curls are pretty detailed, a very complicated fringe can look over done.
Lets draw in the sides of the hair. you can see here which girl has which type of hair. The girl on the right has the ringlets that i showed you how to do earlier. Draw the basic outline of the hair and decide where you want to place it.
Add some detail. Draw small lines to show the direction of the hair. Add as many or as few as you feel you need.
Now do the back of the hair in the same way you did the bits at the side. Its best to do this before doing the main body of it, because it sets your parameters. Note that the hair is laying quite a way back from the scalp, because natural curls start at the roots, so it wouldn't lay flat against the skull. The left girls hair curls around at the ends. This is optional, it depends on tastes.
Now, much like the back, do the middle. With the ringletts, just keep adding them till theres not many gaps. Its ok to have some, of course. See how the curls start properly a bit further down? Thats because gravity is pulling the top of the hair straight.
Now do the top of the head. remember that the hair sits away from the skull, but not as far at the top as the back (due to gravity, once again). Add in some more detail for hair direction. Now you can stop here, or colour.
Now im just showing colouring process here. Im not going to go into detail, but im just adding the steps as an extra. 1) put base colours on. 2) Add basic shadows. In the ringletts, notice how Ive only shaded the sides of each ring. 3) highlights. Add a lighter colour on each 'rise' of the hair. with the waves, its the top of each bump, on the rings, its the center of each curl. 4) use whatever blending method you like, and add any more shadows. There. All done! I hope this helped.