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Braiding Tutorial Reference

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The Braiding Reference by Tim Von Rueden (vonn): www.facebook.com/vonn.art
This week I've been working with learning the different techniques artists use to create the braided pattern, as I found out there were many. Rather than only choosing one, three examples of the process were included in this Braided Reference resource that was created to help out with creating your own braids. As noted, the ones with the "X" above them aren't wrong, just inaccurate. In comics, manga, animation, or any media that relies on quick paced results, braids that are simplified are often used, hence why they are not wrong.

The different ways to create the braid are as follows

  1. Repeated Shape - Create that shape with three pointed corners and a smooth one, and repeat it down the line while mirroring the shape on the opposite side.
  2. Zig-Zag Pattern - First draw a tight zigzag going down the line you want the braid to fall on. Then create a curved line going upwards until you meet with the "stopping point"
  3. Curved Live - I would consider this one the most difficult but it's when you draw a curved line in sequence and then repeat it on the opposite side, not mirrored, but slightly higher or lower. Finish it off with the zigzag going down the center to connect the two!

Lastly, it's important to note that the braided pattern can be used for more than just hair. You can see the pattern in weaponry, armor, tiles, and within various other patterns. It's not just for girls either. If you look at even newer fantasy movies like the Hobbit, both the dwarves and elves are lavished with braids intermingled in their hair.

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Comments249
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Very helpful and detailed, thank you so much for sharing.

LounaEclipse22's avatar

Oh my I needed this! Thanks for uploading this it’a a great tutorial! Continue the great work

ThatLethalSoul's avatar

I love how you added the item examples as well to show the braid-pattern applied to flatter surfaces, and the coloring of the multiple levels is extremely helpful too! Thank you so much for making this! :D

Shadowgirlfan's avatar
cool, this should help!
hs11-art's avatar
How would a hair-braid look from the side? (assuming the example in tour tutorial is seen from the "front")
Cupric's avatar
I faved this already some time ago, but I have to repeat - I just heckin' love this tutorial, it's my go-to whenever I draw braids :happybounce:
LeviaStar237's avatar
Sweet! I've been looking for something like this! :D I love braids but I just don't know how to draw them. ^^;
Izzy1794's avatar
I tend to use the rightmost style in "not wrong, just inaccurate"
weeya1's avatar
Thank you so much! For the longest time, I’ve been using the inaccurate one. I knew it was the wrong way to draw, but that’s how I went with
KawaiiPrincess64's avatar
one thing that does consern me is what if the braid is curved or bending at an angle?
pokemonsonicgirl123's avatar
I usually just make a curved line of action and do the steps in this.
Ascoutnoonelikes's avatar
because of this, I shall make a new character with a braid. Or just give one of my already existing characters a braid.
Salab-Jibvoh's avatar
As someone who designed my own character with plaits (as we call them in Australia, pronounced "plats"), I must say, thank you for uploading this! I'm sure it'll come in handy someday. ;)

I personally use the repeated shape technique, though I think I might try the zig-zag pattern at some point, to better suit my cartoonish style.
LaffyTaffyTori's avatar
I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH
I HAVE HAD YEARS OF TROUBLE MAKING A BRAID AND ALL OTHER TEMPLATES I FOUND SHOWING HOW JUST CONFUSED ME AND???
THIS HELPS??
InsidePixelBox's avatar
Nice & easy. Hope this 'll be handy when needed. La la la la 
benltolte's avatar
Oh! This is amazing! Thank you very much. I've bookmarked this for further reference.
prickly-plant's avatar
this is very helpful
F3M1N15M's avatar
Helpful! Thanks!
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