Drawing and Painting Hair...
I'm often asked how I do the hair of my characters. That made me want to make a FARP article about it. Maedhros had to do as a guineapig for he has long, smooth but slightly wavy hair - probably the most complicated version of hair and therefore good for training.
The first thing to do is of course to make a sketch of our victim. Roughly plan the outline of the hair and take care that the head doesn't get too short. I often see people with much too short heads and also pretty short foreheads. So have an eye on that.
Now we design the strands of hair. Wavy hair tends to fall in regular strands. Begin at the hairline and draw a wavy line from there to the end of the strand. Keep in mind to imagine how the head's three-dimensinal form is. The wavy line has to go along the round form of the head, building a bow from the parting until it goes straight down from the broadest part of the head. Then it can fall down in a straight line, but it seldom has the chance, for it meets the shoulders and back first, following its outline again.
Now we begin shading the strands. The 'hills' where the strand stands out are lighter of course and the valleys darker. Use a soft pencil but sharpen it often. Hair is fine and if the pencil gets too blunt your shadowing might become a too massive mess. Draw the lines along the waves as if you would draw every single hair and let the line run out when you reach the highlights. Two wavy lines close together but not absolutely parallel give a twisting strand. Here a detail of the picture, I hope you can see from it how the shadowing works.
Now you know the essentials of how it is done. Go on like this, working on every 'hill' and 'valley'. Keep an eye on the logic. Every strand starts at the scalp and goes down to the tips. Even if a strand is covered by another one it is still there and can show up a little downwards. Don't draw lonely 'hills' without the adjoining neighbours. They have to follow one beside the other in a reagular rhythm along a strand.
That is no point most viewers will look for intentionally, but it is one of those things which make a picture 'right'. In some pictures you will have the feeling it is 'wrong' somehow but can't tell why exactly. Maybe the artist drew a horde of hills onto the head of his elf or human without keeping the strands in mind. That won't happen to you now anymore :-) I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and it helped you! If you like you can go further and learn how to draw braids and paint hair in watercolour.
Back to the FARP main page.
The collection of art and writing tutorials in the Elfwood Fantasy Art Resource (F.A.R.P.) is a part of Elfwood.
The FARP logo was created by Miguel Krippahl (The muscular guy in the FARP-logo) and Thomas F Abrahamsson (The text and general graphic design). Those sections written by volunteers are copyrighted to Thomas Abrahamsson and the respective writer. Elfwood is a project once founded by Thomas Abrahamsson.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized Reproduction of the graphics, writings, and materials on these pages is absolutely prohibited! You may consider all material on these pages protected and copyrighted, unless otherwise noted. You may NOT use the images found at the FARP or Elfwood pages on your home pages! All of these images are copyright protected! Everything you see here represent the collaborative effort of the Elfwood community and Thomas Abrahamsson. Please read the Legal Disclaimer for more info on warranties/etc for these pages!