Draw Photorealistic Hair

March 23, 2019 Off By Gregory

Do you have any blending tools? It doesn’t matter if you don’t, you can get them later. But when you want hair to look photorealistic, you can’t draw each hair as an individual line. Your pencil is far too thick and you just won’t be able to get the different shades or the way the light plays on the hairs if you do it that way.

Instead what you need is to draw areas of lightness and darkness. You need a contrast in texture of the drawing, to highlight where hair is and how it’s behaving. And you can achieve this with blending tools.

Now for you as a beginner, you’ll probably like either stumps or a chamois (pronounced shammy) the best. Depends what kind of hair you’re drawing really. If there’s not much hair to draw, or you’re trying to fit small, tiny details in, than you’ll want a stump over a chamois.

The chamois is diffuclt to work in small details because it’s essentially just a piece of leather, whereas the stump would fit a beginner’s wants far better. At any rate, either of one of these will give a far better result than what you’ve already been trying. That’s what brought you here in the first place, right?

But really. Get one of these, doesn’t matter which. Whatever’s cheapest, whatever’s most comfortable for you to work with, get that. Then practice you’re blending, using these. Don’t bother trying to make any photorealistic hair drawings yet, just get used to the feeling of using these tools, and the effects they make on the paper.

Then try just drawing pieces of hair, add little effects like light shining on parts of it, or add in a curl here and there (if you can do a realistic curl so early on in your practice it’ll be super impressive)… and only once you’ve gotten confidence in using these, then you apply them to your main picture that you’re drawing.

And imagine, once you’ve mastered drawing photorealistic hair, or even just when you begin to get the hang of it, not only will you feel incredibly proud of yourself for doing so, but your friends and family will be rightly impressed by it too.

Maybe some don’t consider photorealism as art, but that’s entirely not the point, you and me both understand that. The point is in the skill and the patience. And this is what you’re developing here by spending time just practicing blending, using different, different techniques.