How to Draw Hair (Part 2)

Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image
Next, I'm going to go over some different types of hair styles, but before I continue, I want to go over a few things regarding the placement of the hair on the head.

No matter what hairstyle you are going to draw, the hair always grows from the same region of the head, as shown by the example in the middle. It grows out from the entire back part of the scalp, from the forehead to the back of the neck (not just the base of the head, but down the back of the neck, too). It isn't just plopped onto the top of the head. You can generally get away with not paying attention to this fact, but if you are drawing hair that has been pulled back or hair that is trimmed really short, then it will be important that you know where exactly the hair is placed.

One recurring problem I've noticed with a variety of artists is that they do not take into account the fact that there is a skull underneath the hair. Sometimes artists draw the hair too small for the head, as in the example at the bottom. The bangs stick out, but there is no forehead beneath them; the hair curves down on the head far too low, cutting the head off and making the skull oddly shaped and flat. This is not a good thing. ^_~ If you need to, draw out the character's entire head before adding the hair, so that it will fit and look natural. Well, as natural as anime hair can look.. :D


Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image

Okay, now that I've gotten that taken care of, here are some examples of different anime hairstyles, all with short hair. Hopefully it might give you some ideas. Notice also that many of these can be used for either male or female hairstyles. I'm sorry these aren't as detailed as some of the previous examples, but you still get the basic idea and shape of each style (hopefully).

Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image

Here are some different examples of longer, flowing hair styles; again, some of these can be used for either male or female, so don't whine at me for only drawing hair for one gender.. ^_~

In contrast to the shorter hair styles, you'll note that a lot of these are composed of long, curving lines. When drawing longer hair, try to avoid making the lines perfectly straight; make sure that the hair follows the form of the head and the body, especially if it is sitting on or over the shoulders.

When drawing longer hair, you'll especially want to make sure the lines follow the shape and flow of the hair, rather than have it simply fall down in straight lines regardless of the hair's shape. It will give your character's hair much more depth and form if you make your lines work for you; make them show that the hair turns and twists, not that it just sits there on the character's head, or that the main outline of the hair is curvy but the interior strands are all straight.


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