Learn How to Draw Hair in Procreate 2023
Have you been struggling with drawing hair? Like maybe giving your girl characters some hay hair? Or maybe giving guys the classic Fido Dido hair?
We hate to be splitting hairs, but that doesn’t really look good, does it? Well, we promise you’re not alone! We’ve all been there. And if you want to do something about it, just keep on reading, and let your hair down! Because in this Procreate Hair Tutorial you’re going to learn more about:
- Sketching out hair.
- Adding flat colors.
- Highlighting hair.
- Adding shine to the hair.
- Randomizing hair strands.
And you need not worry! You will be able to use these tips to be able to draw just about any hairstyle!
1. Look At a Reference.
If you don’t have any hairstyles on your mind, You can always go online and search for references for what you would like to draw as an inspiration. At this point, you don’t even have to search for anything digital. Just any drawings or pictures of hairstyles. If you don’t know where to start, you can head over to Pinterest.
2. Sketch/ Map out the outline.
Use 6B pencil or Derwent in the procreate brush library’s sketching brush set to sketch the outline of the hair you would like to draw.
Don’t worry about making your strokes look neat or flowy, We would hide this layer later!
3. Add hair locks and detail strokes.
Using the same brush, you’re going to add details to the outline you created in the previous step. And yeah, those triangular or square hair ends! NO! Just don’t do that. At least for today’s tutorial since we want to draw realistic hair. Rather, you would want to draw multiple hair strokes gathered together creating a hair lock!
Last, but not least, make sure you know which hair locks are in the front and which are in the back. This will come in handy when doing the shading. We’ll get to that later…
4. Color Your Sketch! (Flat Coloring)
No line art? Huh? Yup, you will not need to add line art because when drawing realistic hair you don’t need strict lines and borders. This would make the hair look flat, cartoonish, and non-realistic. Which is OKAY, if that’s the look you’re going for! (like this one below).
To COLOR your sketch, add a new layer by pressing layers then the plus sign on the top right corner
And drag the new layer to make it below your sketch layer.
Select the sketch layer and press the “N” and lower its opacity to about 30% in order to better see the lines you create on the new layer and how they appear in relation to the first sketch layer.
What this does is, let you color the hair while still seeing the lines. Now, select the technical pen found within the inking brush set that comes with procreate.
Now outline the hair, following the sketch that YOU just drew! And make sure you don’t leave out any gaps or spaces because we will use the autofill tool, you don’t want the drawing to end up looking like a total black mess! Yikes!
So, just make sure your lines are connected! Piece of cake, right?
Autofill the hair with the hair color using this color circle. You’re going to drag the color and drop it where you want the color to land.
By now you should have something that looks like this. And that is what we call a flat color. For now it is not realistic yet, and doesn’t really have much of a dimension to it.
5. Adding Hair Highlights
When looking at pictures for realistic hairstyles, you’ll notice that there will be high points and low points.
So, when drawing realistic hair we would want to indicate these high and low points through highlighting and shading.
The light hits the high points and the low points don’t get much light so they are darker. So, highlight the high points and shade the low points. Easy, right?
Add a new layer on top of the flat hair color layer and below the sketch layer. Then Select the membrane brush from the abstract brush set that comes with procreate.
What we like about this brush is that it is made of strokes already! Yay! And this is how it looks.
That’s why we didn’t do line art! The highlighting and shading strokes will define our hair locks. For the hair we’re drawing here, I’m using blackish hair color, So I’ll use white for highlights. Now, bring the brush opacity down to about 20%. And start adding highlight strokes to the high points of the hair.
Remember! You still have the sketch layer showing, it will guide your highlighting and shading since it defines the high and low points of the hair.
You want to make sure you follow the hair strokes you drew in the sketch layer and make sure hair strokes are in a parallel direction. Trust us, You don’t want them to cross!
And that’s how it should look like. Do you notice how the sketch layer blends with the highlight hair strokes? We’ll soon not even need it.
6. Shading Hair
Create a new layer on top of the flat color layer, click on the layer and choose clipping mask.
What this does is make us able to shade the hair without the shading strokes actually getting outside the hair. It will now allow us to shade within the limits of hair color only.
Use the same membrane brush we used for highlighting.
Remember when we said we’re going for blackish hair color? That’s because We used a super dark Brown grey shade that looks black. And reserving black for the shadows!
Using the same steps used in highlighting, we are going to shade the low hair points by adding the black strokes and making sure they slightly overlap with the highlights. Which gives off a realistic hair look with highlight strands shining through black strands.
Don’t forget to: darken the hair roots and the hair close to the face and neck.
Remember when we said to pay attention to which hair locks are in the front and which are in the back? The front hair locks will cast a shadow on the ones in the back so you need to shade them just a little bit by adding black strokes right next to the front hair lock and on the back hair lock.
Use the membrane brush to add baby hair and hair ends.
Pictures show the baby hair added gradually to the forehead. Make them natural and asymmetrical. You know when you say someone does not have a hair out of place? Well, we want to do exactly the opposite. Ironic, right?
Pictures show the addition of random hair ends.
Use the water pen from the calligraphy brush set in white And lower the opacity to 40%
Add glow and shine to the high points of the hair. Go over it lightly to create a subtle glow or press harder to get a heavy glow
use the technical pen to draw random individual strands of hair.
And that’s it for the wavy/straight hair tutorial
Now, Let’s get to drawing curly hair!
1. Start by drawing the outline for the curly hair.
Using the 6B pencil in the sketching brush set in “black”, just because we want our sketching to be visible on the kind of red hair we’re going for. Start adding curls, spirals and random hair ends and curls. Just make sure this time to draw the hair in a little upwards direction. You know curly hair defies gravity, right?
Well, now you know!
2. Color your sketch (Flat color).
Add a new layer below sketch layer and color it using the autofill tool we used before.
3. Adding Highlights.
Start by adding a new layer on top of the flat colors layer, use the membrane brush in the abstract brush set. Lower brush opacity to 30-40%.
And this time, we won’t use white to highlight. It doesn’t really suit red hair. So, we decided on a bright orange shade. Start adding highlight to the high points of the hair locks you drew. Not only that, this time we’ll add highlights to the rest of the hair randomly, since curly hair most of the time is really voluminous!
By now, we’re ready to remove the sketch layer! You’ll first need to shade the hair locks where there are low points, just right below the high points.
Like matching the highlights but using the black shade. And again, don’t forget to darken the roots!
Shading? All done
Next, we’re going to cheat just a little bit! shade the rest of the hair with a soft blend airbrush in the airbrushes brush set in black since hair locks are in front of the rest of the hair. Don’t forget to lower the opacity to about 30%.
you didn’t really think we were going to draw the curls in the back as well, did you?
They’re not even showing, because they would have shading from all the shadows the front curls are casting on them. So, we’ll just shade them
Right from the start!
And to finish it off, Go ahead and add some baby hair and random hair strands, and this time in super random directions. Use a fine hair brush from the touchups brush set. And for the very last, however, not least finishing touches, we’re going to use one of our favorite Fantasy Portrait brushes the X Real Hair brush, to make the hair locks look even more realistic!
What we love about this brush is that not only does it look like hair, but it is so opaque that you can clearly see the hair strands!
Also You can check out all our Procreate hair brushes HERE
Remember when we said no triangle hair ends? We’re going to show you how to fix those -not so cool- hair ends!
First off, add a new layer (on top of all previous layers). Then start making strokes in white, since we’re trying to create the look of individual hairs just hanging.
This time you want your strokes to be from bottom to top (look at hair ends), to get the brush strokes to faint at the end (considering that the brush is the most opaque at the beginning of the stroke that you create). Giving off a natural hair look!
You can also use it, to add the same look to the hair on the top of the head.
And here’s the finished look! Bye, bye triangle hair ends!
And we did the same things for the bangs! But this time make sure you select the skin color for the brush. This process sure takes a lot of practice. Make sure to experiment with different strokes directions until it looks right.
We hope you found this tutorial helpful!
And if you want to get your art to the next level, check out our collection of more than 50.000 brushes, palettes, and other assets. They helped thousands of artists become masters at drawing, and they will help you out too.