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How to Draw Realistic Men's Hair

Drawing uses as little as two materials: a pencil and paper.

Drawing portraits is something that takes skill and practice. Not everyone can successfully complete a portrait, not because it's too challenging but because many people give up when they realize how difficult it can be. The two main components of drawing a man's head are the face and the hair. The face is usually easier for most people because it is simple shading techniques and correct use of proportions. Hair, however, can be more problematic. With a little help, you can learn how to draw men's hair realistically.

Start the hair after you have completed the face if you are drawing a portrait. If you are only drawing hair, then sketch a quick oval to act as a face. You will need this shape to draw more-realistic hair.

Begin with light, quick strokes away from the top of the face. As you draw these strokes, make them lighter at the top than the bottom. The light areas will later be used for highlights (where light is hitting the hair).

Continue drawing these quick strokes all around the head where there will be hair. Do not draw on the chin, for example, unless the man has a beard. Do not ever turn your pencil on its side and move it back and forth, closing all the gaps in the strands of hair and creating a sold color. This takes away the texture of the hair, and makes it look flat. As you draw, leave small spaces between the strokes, creating the look of individual strands.

Start drawing more hairs past the lighter area (between the top of your paper and the highlights you left. Draw these toward the highlights, but make sure to make the end closest to the highlight thinner. As you continue around the head create a general direction for the hair to go. If the hair is sticking straight up, draw the hairs upward. If the hair is falling downward and lying flat, sketch hairs that start toward the head, and then curve over, creating an arc.

Use your eraser and brush in over your paper in small spaces to give more highlights. This technique works well on hair that is graying. Brush the eraser in the same direction as the hair grows and use this sparingly.

About the Author

Sarah Streitwieser has been writing professionally since 2009, with many articles appearing on various websites. Streitwieser is seeking her Bachelor of Arts in industrial design with a double major in English from Purdue University.