How to Draw Male Hair

Written by greg turin
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How to Draw Male Hair
Drawing men's hair is easier than you think. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Male hair can often be a challenge to draw. Some artists try to draw hair by drawing each individual strand and then become frustrated because the technique is time consuming and visually unsatisfying. Drawing visually captivating male hair is simply a matter of understanding a few basic principles and following a few easy steps. With a little practice, you can quickly learn to draw stunning male hair.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Artists' quality pencils
  • Eraser
  • Drawing paper

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  1. 1

    Draw the basic shape of the head lightly. Even if you intend to draw a bushy head of hair or long hair, it is important to have a sense of the basic skull shape of the head underneath. By drawing the skull shape under the hair you will better understand the placement of the hair. Later you can erase the lines drawn for the skull.

  2. 2

    Sketch lightly the shapes of the hair. Look at the hair not as strands, but as shapes formed by large clusters of strands. For example, one common style is hair pushed up in the front. This creates a kind of wave shape that can be drawn with a few expressive lines. If the hair is very short or uniform, find shapes formed by shadow and glare. Trying to draw every strand individually is often time consuming and visually awkward. Drawing the shapes in the hair is more sculptural, fast and expressive. When men use gel in their hair, men are thinking sculpturally. Think in these same terms while drawing it.

  3. 3

    Draw a few lines to indicate parts and individual hairs. For example, if the hair is curly, add a few key curly hairs around the forehead and outer perimeter to suggest a full head of curls. Notice where there are a few key hairs, for example, pushed behind the ears, above the forehead or by a part. Also add a few hairs as contour lines in the major shapes, such as the curving out of a part. Layering a few hairs onto the sculptural shapes is indicative of hair direction and adds texture.

    How to Draw Male Hair
    Notice how wavy or curly hair creates interesting shapes around the perimeter. (Stockbyte/Valueline/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Draw shadow and lighting effects. Notice where shadows and glare are perpendicular or parallel to the hair flow. Even if the hair you are drawing is very dark and looks like one solid shape, look for subtle variations in lightness and darkness to exaggerate in your drawing. This will add expressiveness and enable you to convey more interesting forms. Darken the shadowed areas and add subtler shapes until you are satisfied with the drawing.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with using different parts of the pencil to find the best texture. Try drawing with the side of the graphite, using the eraser or smudging with your finger.
  • Look at a model person or picture for reference. This will help you build your skills and understand the subtler aspects of hair.
  • Draw lightly at first so that you can move the basic shapes around until it feels that they are in the proper place.

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