How to Draw Curly Hair

Mastering the Curl: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing Luscious Locks

Capturing the intricate and dynamic nature of curly hair can be a challenging task for artists, but with the right techniques, it’s possible to create truly stunning and realistic renditions. How to draw curly hair?This comprehensive guide explores the fundamental steps to drawing curly hair, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to bring your artistic visions to life.

Understand the Structure of Curly Hair

How to draw curly hair?The first step in drawing curly hair is to understand its underlying structure. Curly hair is characterized by a spiral or coiled pattern, with each strand following a unique and irregular path. This shape is determined by the follicle, which grows the hair in a curved or twisted manner.

Observe how the curls form along the length of the hair, with the tighter coils typically starting at the root and gradually loosening towards the ends. Pay attention to the variations in curl pattern, as some strands may be tighter or looser than others, creating a dynamic and textured appearance.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of curly hair, from loose waves to tight, springy coils, as this will help you accurately depict the desired hairstyle in your drawings.

How to Draw Curly Hair

Establish the Basic Hair Structure

Begin your drawing by establishing the basic structure of the hair, starting with the overall shape and volume. Sketch out the general silhouette of the hairstyle, taking into account the direction and flow of the curls.

Consider the placement of the part, if applicable, and the distribution of the hair around the face. Observe how the curls interact with the facial features, framing and accentuating the contours of the head and neck.

Once the basic structure is in place, start to build up the individual strands of hair, paying close attention to the direction and curvature of the curls. Use light, fluid strokes to capture the organic, flowing nature of the hair.

Incorporate Depth and Volume

How to draw curly hair?Curly hair is inherently voluminous, with strands overlapping and intertwining to create a three-dimensional, textured appearance. To achieve this effect in your drawing, incorporate shading and highlights to suggest the depth and layers within the hairstyle.

Use a range of values, from deep shadows to bright highlights, to convey the light and shadow play within the curls. Pay close attention to the highlights along the raised edges of the curls, as well as the softer, more diffused lighting in the valleys between the strands.

Additionally, consider the overall direction of the light source and how it affects the rendering of the hair. Adjust the shading and highlights accordingly to create a cohesive and believable representation of the curly locks.

How to Draw Curly Hair

Refine the Curl Pattern

How to draw curly hair?The key to drawing realistic curly hair lies in the accurate rendering of the curl pattern. Observe the varied shapes and rhythms of the curls, and strive to capture this intricate detail in your drawing.

Use a combination of curved and twisting lines to depict the individual strands, ensuring that each curl follows a unique and organic path. Vary the thickness and density of the lines to suggest the different thicknesses and textures of the hair.

As you refine the curl pattern, pay attention to the transitions between the tighter coils at the roots and the looser waves towards the ends. Smooth out any abrupt or jagged edges, and allow the curls to flow naturally and seamlessly.

Add Textural Details

Curly hair is often characterized by a distinct, fluffy texture that sets it apart from straight or wavy locks. To capture this textural quality, incorporate small, wispy strokes and flyaway hairs throughout the hairstyle.

Use a light, feathery touch to suggest the individual fibers and strands that make up the curls. Avoid drawing each hair strand with the same level of detail, as this can result in an overly uniform and artificial appearance.

Additionally, consider adding subtle variations in the shading and highlights to suggest the different thicknesses and reflective properties of the hair. This will help to create a more realistic and dynamic representation of the curly tresses.

How to Draw Curly Hair

Experiment with Different Mediums

While pencil or ink can be effective for drawing curly hair, experimenting with various mediums can introduce new and exciting possibilities.

Consider using colored pencils or soft pastels to capture the rich, vibrant hues and soft, velvety texture of curly hair. The blendable nature of these mediums allows you to seamlessly transition between colors and create a sense of depth and dimension.

Alternatively, try working with watercolor paints to achieve a more fluid and ethereal representation of curly hair. The natural movement and unpredictability of the medium can mirror the organic flow of the curls, resulting in a unique and expressive artistic style.

Regardless of the medium you choose, the key is to remain adaptable and open to experimentation. Explore different techniques and materials to find the approach that best suits your artistic vision and the specific characteristics of the curly hair you’re depicting.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Mastering the art of drawing curly hair requires consistent practice and observation. Continuously study reference images, paying close attention to the nuances of curl patterns, textures, and lighting.

Experiment with various hairstyles and curl types, from tight coils to loose waves, to broaden your understanding and skills. Practice sketching curly hair in different poses and perspectives, as well as within different contexts, such as portraiture or character design.

As you progress, be patient with yourself and embrace the learning process. Curly hair can be a challenging subject, but with dedication and persistence, you’ll gradually develop the techniques and instincts to capture its intricate beauty with confidence and precision.

How to Draw Curly Hair


Drawing curly hair requires a keen eye for detail, an understanding of hair structure, and a willingness to experiment. By mastering the fundamental techniques outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning and realistic representations of curly locks.

Remember to continually observe, practice, and adapt your approach to the unique characteristics of each curly hairstyle. With time and dedication, you’ll develop the skills to bring your artistic visions to life, capturing the elegance and dynamism of curly hair in your drawings.

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