Realistic hair is an essential attribute of a natural looking portrait. Hair and facial hair are not only a key indicator of how skilled an artist is as a realist, but they are also one of the most expressive parts of a person's body. Perhaps because it's so adaptable and so prominent in our appearance, the way we wear our hair and beards can reveal a lot about our character whether we like it or not. So if you really want to capture the essence of a person in a portrait, start with this easy 3-step facial hair drawing guide with additional tips for drawing hair.
At first glance, facial hair, with its subtle layers, textures, and colors, appears to be one of the most difficult parts of the human figure to draw. But if you learn to see it not as an infinite collection of individual hairs, but as a whole made up of a series of shapes, it will become much easier for you. Here's a 3-step demo on how to draw facial hair like a mustache or beard, along with tips on how to draw a believable mane of hair.
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Draw the curve of the cheeks, chin and nose. hair drawing
Drawing Faces: A Beginner's Guide Avoid 5 mistakes when drawing portraits
Draw facial hair in 3 steps
1. Create a line drawing
Use the hatch method and a mechanical pencil to create a line drawing of the nose, mouth, and mustache.
2. Create and combine dark tones
Once you are sure of your accuracy, carefully remove the grid lines with a kneaded eraser. Apply the darker shades with a pencil.
The mustache is created with short pencil lines in the direction of hair growth. Blend the entire area in a gray tone with a tortillon, then draw more pencil lines over it.
3. Deepen, blend and enhance tones
Go deeper into the tones and blend the design for a soft look. Once the darkening of the mustache is achieved, use a kneading gum to highlight some light hairs. This will help make it look full and dimensional.
Drawing Facial Hair - More Tips
+If you get a chance to draw facial hair, remember that it's not much different from other hair. However, it is usually a bit thicker and sparse, and you have to be very careful to blend the edges. As before, avoid hard edges except in rare cases.
+When drawing a man's mouth, you may find facial hair such as mustache and beard. Although it may seem difficult, it is very similar to drawing on animal skins. As with skin, facial hair is drawn with pencil strokes that reflect the length of the hair. It is built in several layers.
Find out more atDrawing hair in graphite and colored pencils.— a free article available on ArtistsNetwork.
Drawing Hair - More Tips
#1 Do not chase the cables
A single hair is thinner than the narrowest pencil line you can draw. To create the illusion of drawing each hair individually, ignore all those thousands of individual hairs and focus on the main shapes of the body of the hair. Look at the hair in this simplified way and then you can draw it like this.
A good start is to close one eye and squint while looking at your model's head. Do you see? Is it a clear contour that contains a uniform mass distribution? Or is it one big shape that many smaller shapes come out of? Or is it an approximately consistent series of waves?
Take into account not only the positive ways, but also the negative ones. Are there significant gaps in the hair? where are the big shadows? By answering these questions up front, you can skip all the superfluous details and jump straight to what's most useful to you as an artist.
#2 Capture the details
Once you've identified the shapes that define the hair you want to draw, go ahead and use them to start drawing. Lightly draw these shapes in the correct relationship to the head so you have some context to work with, but don't expect these borders to be permanent.
Experiment a bit with the design and proportion of the hair, and remember that sometimes even the most realistic results don't turn out quite as you expect, so experiment with your marking.
#3 Always keep light and dark in mind
As with almost all themes, creating effective contrasts between light and dark is one of the most important aspects of hair design, and the best strategy for achieving this contrast is to identify the darkest areas and shade them first.
To some extent, the lightest areas are already in the white area of your paper, so it's best to work around them. After working on the darker areas, gradually shade the lighter areas even more, this is the best way to keep the light and dark areas consistent.
When working in black and white, the lightness or darkness of the hair depends only on how strongly and evenly you shade it. However, strong light can sometimes shine on the hair, and dark hair in this situation can be indicated by a greater contrast between these areas and those not exposed to direct light.
#4 Use directional shots
To add a sense of texture to your shading, use directional strokes, which indicate how straight or curly the hair is and give the appearance of individual strands. For most hairstyles, your strokes should be fairly consistent, as hair often falls in the same direction, and even the slightest deviation can be enough to give your hair a tousled or natural look.
Once you get to the outer edges of the hair, don't be afraid to let the hair fade all the way to the bottom. Rarely does a person's hair look coarse, and showing the viewer increasingly thinning and unkempt hair can be a great touch of realism.
#5 A bit of variety, but basically the same
While there seem to be many different types of hair in the world (almost as many as there are people), don't be intimidated by the idea. Styles can vary greatly, but in all but the most extreme and artificial cases, the basic characteristics of human hair don't change much. The most visible differences are in color and curl.
To draw curly hair, try using circular shading instead of the one-way or back-and-forth methods, and be sure to do it from the beginning. It's more tedious and often takes longer, but it's worth it if you want a naturally curly look.
For extremely frizzy hair, you can forego directional strokes entirely and stick to a variety of soft or very circular shades.
#6 Do not forget the head
During the process of drawing hair, never forget that there is a skull under it. This gives the hair the main shape, so pay attention to the shape of the head and how the hair falls naturally around it.
If you can remember this and focus on the hair as a whole instead of getting bogged down in each individual strand, you'll draw beautiful strands of hair no matter who the subject is.
More resources to draw faces and people
Draw the curve of the cheeks, chin and nose. hair drawing
Beginner's Guide to Drawing Faces Avoid these 5 mistakes when drawing portraits
Contributions by Jerry McClish and Lee Hammond
- Fold a felt sheet in half. Draw half of your beard shape. ...
- Next, using the left over felt, cut small strips for the mustache. Glue them to the upper lip area. ...
- To make the beard curls, cut strips of felt about a half inch thick. The lengths will vary. ...
- Repeat step 3 until the beard it covered.
1) Draw your moustache with an eyebrow pencil! Rub a small dab of facial moisturizer into your upper lip. This will help to make the makeup application smoother and any excess eyebrow liner easier to remove. Select an eyebrow pencil that matches the colour of your brows (or black)!How do you shape a mustache hair? ›
Comb your mustache upward so that the hairs extend just past the teeth of the comb. Then trim the excess hairs with either a pair of scissors or a trimmer. Try to trim only a small but when thinning your mustache. You can always trim more, but you can't ever go back.How to make a fake mustache at home? ›
Simply take a pipe cleaner and cut it 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) long. Twist the pipe cleaner into whatever mustache shape you want. You can use some cosmetic glue or craft glue to glue your fake mustache to your face. You can purchase pipe cleaners at a craft store or at Walmart.What is a pencil line moustache? ›
A pencil moustache is a thin moustache found adjacent to, or a little above the lip. The style is neatly clipped, so that the moustache takes the form of a thin line, as if it had been drawn using a pencil.How do you shape a pencil thin moustache? ›
Shave the contours downwards from the nose using its base as a reference point for a straight line. Shave in slight increments on each side to avoid taking off too much. Bite on the top lip to tighten the skin. Use a comb and scissors or trimmer edge to finish the straight line across the lip.Can you use eyebrow pencil for mustache? ›
You can even use an eyebrow pencil to add some realistic-looking definition. Your Hair Color: Roi points out that thin mustaches tend to work better on guys with darker hair, as a pencil-thin light-colored mustache won't show up as well and could even look confusing to the eye (is that sweat on your upper lip?).Where do I start when drawing hair? ›
Always draw your lines from the ends of that strand, going in (see arrow direction) so that your strokes end gradually in the widest area in the center. In other words, those pencil strokes are going towards the direction of the highlight in that strand of hair.What is the easiest way to pluck facial hair? ›
- Before you begin, wipe your face with a warm washcloth to soften the skin.
- Isolate the hairs you want to pluck.
- While holding your skin taut, pluck one hair at a time.
- Always pull or pluck in the direction of hair growth.
Sugaring. If you're looking for a technique that is less painful and gentler on the skin than waxing, you might want to consider sugaring. There are two types of sugaring: paste and gel. Both consist of natural ingredients like lemon juice, sugar, and water, and both leave you hair-free for up to six weeks.
Honey And Sugar
Sugar is a great way to exfoliate the dead skin cells and facial hair while honey helps in keeping the skin nourished. It works like a peel-off mask that easily lets you get rid of your facial hair.
Pulling out that hair excites the thin layer of tissue called epithelium that makes up the outer layer of your skin (epidermis). This process can cause some inflammation in the hair follicle, which is why people see redness and swelling after tweezing hairs.