This is Mike Theuer's signature. Mike creates pencil portraits and watercolor portraits from your photographs

Mike Theuer - Watercolor & Pencil Portraits from Your Photos

How I draw hair

girl long hair pencil portrait
Before drawing . . .
    I imagine shading the entire subject without hair like shading a cantaloupe. (It might help to see my lesson on "shading.") Then I imagine placing hair on that cantaloupe in sections each section with it's own high-spot of sheen and low-spot of shadow like a separate wave, separate curl, or straight run. Once I have that sectional-cantaloupe-shaded in my mind . . .

I draw following four rules :

1.  Go with the flow   Regardless of hair length I figure out which way the hair grows and lies. Then I draw along that flow only. Otherwise the hair would look unnatural.

2.  Draw dark to light   I always start each line at a dark area. And I end nearby in a light area. If a light area isn't nearby as is often the case with a section of straight hair, I try to end my line all the way at the end of that hair section.

3.  Draw hard to soft   I press hard when I start in a dark area and gradually release pressure until the pencil stroke ends with just a whisper in a nearby light area.

4.  Forearm planted   I always keep my forearm planted on the desk with my hand comfortably in front of me. In this position I only have about a 45° range of motion in my wrist for drawing a line, but no matter. To keep my pencil line in the hair flow, I move my drawing board underneath my hand!

How I draw hair — 

by    ,