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Post Reply drawing tutorials Types of Hairstyles
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08 , edited 7/23/08
Depending on the style, anime hair can be very complex. However, if you break it down into its basic components, the process of drawing anime hair becomes a little simpler.

Like real hair, anime hair is composed of many strands. However, rather than drawing each individual strand, the hair is often drawn in various sized/shaped clumps, as shown here. These are some of the simplest forms of each hair style. Notice that in most cases, the outline is more curvy on the bottom of the hair clump. This is especially apparent on the top leftmost example; the lower line is curvier than the top line, giving the hair more depth and more of that anime-ish look. Sometimes this is highly exaggerated, and other times it is hardly noticable, but for most anime hair styles, each individual strand of hair will have this basic shape.
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
Once you know how to draw each strand/clump of hair, you can start putting them together to form more something that more resembles anime hair. Look at each example here (well, exept maybe for that one on the lower left; I'm not sure why I left that in), and notice how the basic strands from the first step are used. The same similar shapes generally persist throughout many different hairstyles. Making one line curve out more than the other on each strand can really help to flesh it out.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can make the hair as detailed as you like; just keep adding more strands. I'll go over this more shortly. ^_^
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
Now, we are getting into some slightly more complex shapes. Notice how varying the size and shape of each strand gives the hair different character; the strands can be long and thin, thick and curvy, or sharp and spiky. Again, notice that you can either make the hair very detailed, or very simple, depending on how many individual strands you draw.
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
Here are more examples of different basic shapes of hair. Take note of how the hair overlaps and is nested in itself when it bends or twists. You can make some really interesting hair by having it twist ^_^
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
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 reoccuring 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 you are it will fit and look natural. Well, as natural as anime hair can look.. :D
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
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).
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
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, esepcially 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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Posted 7/23/08 , edited 7/23/08
Here are a few more examples of different hair styles, this time focusing on hair that has been pulled back in ponytails. I don't have much to say about it; I just thought that I should put these in their own section since I had so many of them drawn up. Just remember that when the hair is pulled in a specific direction, the lines and strands of the hair are drawn in that direction, too.
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
Now, here is the tough part: putting your character's hair into motion. I'm going to start by going over some examples with long hair.

Anime hair is often drawn whipping about dramatically in the wind; it may look difficult to draw at first, but it isn't that bad. First, decide which direction you want the hair to be blowing. Do you want the hair to move to the sides, to be blown back behind the character, or pushed forward in front of the character? Once you decide, draw the hair (all the hair; bangs move along with the rest of the hair) moving in that direction. It is similar to drawing the hair falling straight down the character's back, except now you are curving it in a different direction. The lines of the hair and each individual strand will be pulled in the direction that the entire mass of hair is being drawn. Remember to use curved lines that follow the form of the hair, not straight lines that simply go from one end to the other.

For example, on the topmost right picture, the character's hair is being swept back behind him; thus, I drew the hair curving back behind him in nice, sweeping lines. For some really nice examples of similar hairstyles, find some CLAMP manga such as Rayearth or X/1999; they're loaded with characters with beautiful, sweeping hair. ^__^ All these examples were borrowed from CLAMP's RG Veda, by the way (I was working on this tutorial in the library, and RG Veda was the only manga I had on me... ^_^;).
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/23/08
Well, those examples are all well and good if you are drawing a character with really long hair, but what about shorter hair? Shorter hair can be easier, since there isn't as much of it to draw, but it can also be difficult because you sometimes have to pay more attention to each little strand. In these examples (again, borrowed from CLAMP :3 ), the characters all have shoulder-length hair, swooshing about in various directions.

Take particular notice of the top example; the movement on the hair is slight, and thus not all of the strands are bent in the same direction. You don't have to have all the hair jutting out in one direction in order to indicate motion. In the bottom example, notice how having the strands not all move in exactly the same direction gives the hair an interesting floaty feel.

If you were drawing really really short hair, then the only motion that you would need to portray would be the bangs, or any other part of the hair that would be long enough to move in the wind. Naturally, if the hair is trimmed extremely close to the scalp, it won't be fluttering in the breeze. ^_~

Thus concludes my hair tutorial. Hope it's been of help! If there are hair styles that weren't covered, just go out and find some pictures to use as reference and do some studying on your own. ^_^

And I know I didn't go over how to shade hair; you needn't remind me. Hopefully I'll be able to address that subject in the future, but I can't promise anything.
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/24/08
more hairstyle
Drawing hair can be one of the most complex area's to drawing anime/manga characters, and it can really change the look and personality of a character. With a little practice though, it can become second nature. This tutorial is a bit like a guide, since there are so many styles I could spend a year looking at the different types and styles!
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/24/08
When I draw hair, I start with the hair around the front of the face first. This can start to give the feel for the rest of the hair style, and is pretty important because it frames the face. There are all sorts of styles to go for, fringes or no fringes, flowing over the face or pulled back. Flow with hair is very important (as this is the way hair grows, it should be drawn the same direction), I almost always start from the roots and the top of the head and work my way down, ending at the bottom of the head at the back. To the left are a few basic variations, and from these you could create hundreds of hairstyles (men and women).
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Posted 7/24/08
I've decided to run with the first fringe for this step and go for a woman's hair style. After drawing the fringe, you can start to create the rest of the hair. You could basically do anything you like but I'll run with a hairstyle half pulled back and half loose at the bottom. I start by drawing the hair that's pulled back from behind the fringe line to the back of the head. Because its quite tight I used more lines to emphasise it. Then I move onto drawing the bulk part of the pony tail. I added in small details like shorter strands to make it more lively and show layering to the length of hair. Finally I add the hair that flows down, hanging over her shoulders. TIP: Remember, hair isn't heavy, but it's still effected by gravity
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31 / M / phoenix, az
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Posted 7/24/08
Guy's hair can really change their personality. Longer flowing hair might make him seem perhaps more feminine, emotional, or carefree. Whereas shorter cropped hair or very slicked back hair can make a guy seem more manly, serious, or perhaps irritable. Here is an example of middle length flowing hair. If you draw long or short hair it follows the same rules, start from the front and work with the way the roots grow. If you're having a hard time working out the flow of the hair, study your own, boyfriend/girlfriends, friends hair, or a magazine (no excuses, do your homework ^_^ )
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Posted 7/24/08
Forming other parts of hairstyles:
Now that you have the basic idea of how a hair style works, I'll show you in more detail how to form great looking hair!

1. This is wavy hair, and pretty common. Often people have very curly hair when it's short, but as it gets longer the weight of the hair tends to pull out some of the curl, and you end up with waves. Add little details on the inside of the waves to create more realistic hair!

2. Curly hair is possibly the hardest to get a grip on drawing due to the details. Forming ringlets like this might take a bit of practice but it's worth it. Add little curly flicks at the bottom for a cute yet realistic look :"3

3. Wavy but more wild, add strands flicking off in different directions to give a hair style a messy fashionable look.

4. Straight hair, very common for Asian people, but can be found in many cultures. The first strand is layered or "chipped" hair, which has a soft end to it, and straight hair that has been cut directly across. They work off the same principle but can both have very different looks.

5. These are clumps of shorter hair, combine this sort of thing together and get a wavy or spiky hair cut. There are also small curls for a short curly hair cut.
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