Draw hair with colored pencils - a Stars Portraits tutorial

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Draw hair with colored pencils

by vividec

Draw hair with colored pencils

Author : vividec

Tutorial submitted on November 1, 2011

Vivi will help you draw realistic hair with colored pencils, on this step by step tutorial. Choosing the right color tone, sketching hairstripes, and many more advices!


Hello everybody!
I'm Vivi, my nickname on SP is vividec

First of all, let me tell you that I'm not trying to teach you anything! I'm just a self-tought artist and I want to share my own way of drawing with you. I don't know whether I'm using the right or wrong technique but I feel very comfortable with it and I hope you might find some hints and inspiration.

I'm using DERWENT COLOURSOFT pencils. Any other kind of pencils are ok,as long as they have a SOFT mine (or lead) and allow you to put several layers of color on top of each other. Just try them out on a piece of paper befor you buy them. (when I mention a color in my description it's refered to Derwent pencils)

I hardly ever use an eraser; if I make a mistake I prefer to start over again, 'cause I've learnt throughout the years that I'm never able to really correct the mistake! Your eyes will keep hitting that one “bad spot” and it'll make you feel uncomfortable! But I'm using a KNEATED ERASER or an ERASER PEN to create light stripes or single white hair.

I always use WHITE,SMOOTH BRISTOL PAPER, but any other kind of paper is fine as long as it is smooth and strong.(Anyway, it's up to you to find out whether you should use rough or smooth paper. It very depends on your personal way of drawing and on the effect you want to obtain)

Drawing is like cooking: if you don't take your time, you're going to waste it! So, first of all RELAX! Take your time to STUDY your foto befor you start drawing! Learn to see SHAPES,LIGHTS, COLORS and REFLECTIONS that others don't see! You'll soon get the vision of how your drawing should be. EXALT those details when you draw.

The hair doesn't necessarily have to look exatly like the foto!



Sketch the lightest hairstripes with LIGHT SAND (or pale yellow in another brand)
then, draw some with OCHRE and some with PALE BROWN.
You can decide yourself, where you want to EXALT the light, matching the shadows in the face, of course.



With MID TERRACOTTA (or burnt Siena,redbrown) draw some reflexes next to the light stripes here and there. Also draw OVER the light hair and notice how the color turns orange. (I'm sorry, if my scanner made the colors fade a little, but you can easily see the result on your own pic)



Now fill the spaces between the light stripes, drawing the direction of his hair with MID BROWN. Always start at the skull and draw to the outside. Crossing the lines we obtain small white spaces...



Now use BROWN EARTH (dark brown or umber) to fill those small spaces. Leave some white spots here and there.



With the same color draw again the direction of his hair like in Step 4, slightly drawing into the light hairstripes, so that it all “melts” together.



With BROWN BLACK( dark umber) pass over the hair, holding the pencil flat in your hand. Don't press too hard so you can still see the reflections shining through.



With BLACK draw between the single hair. It takes a lot of patience and you have to be really exact. Try to make very thin lines BETWEEN the single hair! Holding the pencil flat in your hand you can put some shadows here and there.


See the finished portrait | See Vividec's gallery

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