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If you draw portraits or human figures you might face the problem when the hair of a person looks different than what you wanted. In fact, it seems like a piece of cake, but not everyone can accomplish such a challenge. Braids continue resembling ornaments rather than realistic hair with pieces sticking out. Here are detailed and step by step instructions which will show you how to tame this difficult hair and how to draw braids.

What Items Do You Need to Draw Braided Hair?

Drawing braids is similar to drawing other parts of human body, so you’ll require just the regular set of tools: HB pencil, a piece of paper, and an eraser - so there is nothing too special about it. However, it becomes much trickier than it seems. If you want to give vividness and glow to strands by shading or enlightening them, you should take a look at the… - this article definitely will help you find the best solution and draw braided hair with pencil very easy.

Step 1: Draw Vertical Lines

Let’s imagine the head from the back; thus, for beginners there is a simple start - you should draw two parallel vertical lines. If you are not sure, you can add one more line in the center - this will help you divide it into both sides, or as an alternative you can draw a zigzag line, but don’t forget to narrow all of them down. They will be borders within which you’ll draw other details in order to create the popular hair style on head.

How To Braid (step 1) by YuliyaSkryp

Step 2: Add First Strands of Hair

This step implies giving a more precise look to the strands. In fact, you should depict curves which braids usually have. Thanks to the middle line or zigzag (depends on what you’ve drawn), thus it would be much easier to depict equally divided strands and make them the same size.

How To Braid (step 2) by YuliyaSkryp

Step 3: Segments Should Overlap Each Other

Don’t forget that each strand lays down on another strand, and this pattern creates the pattern which determines a realistic braid. So the inner curve line will be shorter than the outer since it should be hidden under the upper strand.

How To Braid (step 3) by YuliyaSkryp

Step 4: Keep This Pattern Till End

This pattern should be repeated till the end. Don’t forget that real hairstyle has natural narrow end, thus each segment of curved strand should be smaller than the previous one. However, don’t be so obsessed with this since if you’ve drawn border lines which are narrowing down, all you need to do is just not to cross the borders.

How To Braid (step 4) by YuliyaSkryp

Step 5: Make Braids Realistic Using Hatching

Hatches with a light touch inside the borders depicting volume and various direction of hairs might help to make the braids more realistic. If you remember, natural hair is not so obedient as it is usually depicted on the paper. Distinguish some hairs with thicker hatches while the whole segment is full of lighter hatches meaning thinner hairs.

How To Braid (step 5) by YuliyaSkryp

Step 6: Finish Your Braided Hair Drawing

Finishing drawing braided hair seems very easy, but unfortunately, it’s not. Many artists have difficulties when it comes to the end of the braid, and they do forget that elastic band usually narrows the braid almost by twice - they draw quite a wide place instead. As an alternative, this place can also be decorated with attractive hair clips as a cherry on top, and in this case don’t be bothered by drawing the correct size of this narrowing. Keep drawing a beautiful ending instead. First of all, create a diamond shape which will be the frame for ending, then give hairs more precise look, don’t forget to make them vivid.

How To Braid (step 6) by YuliyaSkryp

Tips to Follow

Here are some tips which will help you avoid unpleasant erasing marks on the paper:

  1. Remember that it’s not necessary for the braid to be straight like a line from behind all the time. Give some vividness by curving and twisting it. For some inspiration and ideas of how it can look, you can look at real girls’ braids.

  2. Keep the particular pattern of hair direction when the braid has twists as it can be crucial if you strive to deliver a realistic drawing.

  3. Another common mistake which usually appears is almost squeezing the significant part of the ending. Avoid sudden transitions from one width to another, as it looks quite artificial.

In fact, cutting teeth on drawing such elements will make you produce good quality art, and, you’ll definitely avoid lots of common mistakes in the future.

This tutorial is specially designed for those who are at the beginning of their path to achieving visually more realistic elements. Hopefully, these instructions are quite comprehensive and describe the full procedure of producing a desirable effect. At least, they can reveal some secrets which were probably hidden from your sight. Here’s one more valuable tip: keep going and never give up if you can’t do something; repeated actions always lead to insight. You can also learn how to draw other elements and find a review of instruments which are often used by artists and designers by just following WoWPencils.

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Submitted on
January 29