Blocking Out Hair Shapes

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.6 instructor rating • 13 courses • 668,561 students

Lecture description

When it comes to drawing hair its best to think of it as simple shapes and forms. A good hair stylus understands that they must think of hair as shapes in volumes. In this lecture I will break down how to draw hair as shapes and volumes.

Learn more from the full course

The Ultimate Character Design School - Beginner to Advanced

Learn the concept industries number one job skill

23:57:12 of on-demand video • Updated December 2019

  • How to design unforgettable characters
  • How to draw character body and poses
  • How to draw different styles of characters
English [Auto] In this lecture, we're going to be talking about hair shape and form soon, the last lecture we kind of talked about the direction of hair, but really the most important part about drawing character hair is really getting a good form and good shape in there. Now, this might sound kind of weird, that hair is a shape, but that's really how you want to think about it. You don't want to think about it as individual strands. You want to think about it as a shape. And after you think about it as a shape, then you want to think about the direction of that hair. So let's go ahead and begin. So I'd like to kind of, I guess, relate hairstyles when you're drawing them to the way people cut them. So a good hair stylist understands that cutting hair and styling hair is all about the shape and the form. A bad hair stylist will understand this. So, for example, with me, I'm really picky about how I get my hair cut. So when I do get my hair cut, sometimes I I'm not super good at keeping on top of that. But when I do get my hair cut, it can look like this. So this is my head. Right, and what I'd like to do is even though my head kind of rounds up towards the top, I'd like to try to keep that hair going straight. So if I get a straight line like that, right. And then I'll usually do some sort of pompadour hairstyle or something like that, that might not be a perfect representation of my hair. That might just be what I wish it looked like. But the point I'm trying to make is that I really I'm really particular about this straight edge right here on my head when I get my haircut and when I've gone to bad stylist, what happens is they'll cut my hair. And what they'll do is they don't understand shape and form. They don't understand what they're doing exactly and what I'm after. And so they'll just kind of cut my hair and it'll just kind of round over my head like this. Right. And then maybe they'll kind of cut my hair and I'll have to style it over like that. Which even in itself is still a shape in a form, and there's nothing wrong with this hairstyle at all, it's just not what I'm after. I'm very particular about this shape right here at these two straight edges on the side of my head when I get my haircut. And as you can see here, it just rounds over like that. Sometimes I get a little bit of a straight edge right there. But this is bad. This is what I don't like. And so a good hairstylist will understand that somebody that wants a haircut a certain way, what they're really after is a really after a shape and a form thereafter, some volume in their hair. So what we're going to do is we're going to do some simple exercises where we're going to break down hairstyles into super simple shapes and super simple forms that then you could understand from the last lecture that you would take that figure out the direction would be and you could kind of organic it a little bit more. So let's go ahead and let's begin. So I have these had forms right here. And what you can do is if you want, you can go ahead and print this off or you can download it from the resources and bring it into Photoshop, whatever you work in. And you can use that. And if you don't want to do that, you can't print it off. You can just draw a whole bunch of your own head forms. It doesn't really matter what they look like. You could even just build these off circles. You don't have to draw the drawers and everything. So what we're going to do is let's go ahead and to grab a darker blue and we're going to start off by just sketching out some super, super simple shapes onto these heads. So, for example, for the first one, let's go ahead and let's do kind of a a line coming off like this. Right. So just like with our characters silhouettes for their bodies, their hair silhouette is also going to be incredibly important. And if you remember, I talked about how you want your character to have their thing. So whether it's a weapon or their costume, maybe some sort of symbol on their face, whatever it is, there's that thing about him that really distinguishes them from other characters. You can look at them and automatically tell Hodas you could look at their silhouette and not even see any detail on them and still tell who it is. Well, hairstyles are an amazing way to do this because hairstyles can be so exaggerated. They can be so simplified that if you just have a very iconic looking shape for their hairstyle, it can make it so. That character is very iconic and automatically recognizable. So in this case, let's try something very extreme. So we'll do two lines kind of coming straight off like that, and then we'll just kind of do a Kurd line going behind the neck like that. Right, and that kind of looks like a hairstyle already, what we could do is we could go ahead and add some bangs. So to draw a curved line coming across a front like this. Maybe add a little bit of volume to those bangs so they're not just stuck to her head. That and we could even go ahead and give her kind of a bond back there. Right. So you can see there that this is just incredibly simple, what we have here is basically half a circle, a bun up here, and then we have kind of this triangle shape. And if we were to really break this down into its super, absolute simple form, you'll see that's basically just one big triangle. Right. Super simple, so like I said, all hair sales can be broken down into these simple shapes. Let's try another one. So let's say, for example, that we wanted to give a hair style. There was a little bit more rigid, a little bit more square. This and there you go, that already looks kind of like an aerosol, what we could do is we could go ahead and just kind of give hairline. That but this is a good time to bring up the point that when you're drawing hair, sometimes you want it symmetrical. So like this right here, it's a very clean design and maybe you want that for your character. But in this case, over here, let's say that we don't want our character to look so symmetrical. We want them to look more asymmetrical because we know that that makes things look a little bit more dynamic, a little bit more interesting. Or what we can do is we can go ahead and kind of reshape some of this. So maybe we'll kind of curve this line like that. And for this line over here, we'll just give a little bit more curve and volume to it. Like that. Right, and that just makes it more asymmetrical and a little bit more interesting, because if we draw that line down the center of the face, it's different on this side and it's different on that side. And that's kind of what we're looking for sometimes. All right. Let's have a look at another example. Let's see. Sometimes you have to really think about it, sometimes have to look at reference to really figure out what kind of hairstyle it is you want to draw. All right. Let's draw something like this. Just going to kind of do a line coming off like that. So do kind of a triangle here, and sometimes you can break the hairstyles up into more than just one shade. All right, so we kind of get a triangle for that sort of bulk of hair kind of hanging over the face. And then let's go ahead and kind of just do. Round shape like that and for this side, another straight line like that. This, too, will kind of just be a triangle. And basically, if I were to simplify this even further, I would just basically kind of be like. Straight-line coming down like that, right, it's a super simple, basically two triangles and two straight lines coming down. And so once you have these drawn, where you can do is you can go ahead and kind of detail it out further. So you wanted it to look more realistic. You could kind of maybe make the shapes not so intense, but it depends on what kind of style you're going for. But what you really want to do is you want to start thinking about the direction of the hairs on this case. For example, this hair is kind of flowing out in this direction. I would say the bangs are kind of coming down like this. The bun is kind of moving around like that. For this one would say the direction of the hair. It's kind of moving like this. Right. Over here, maybe it's moving in that direction. You can have that transition in direction if you wanted to, you can even kind of make this kind of its own overhang. Something like that. And then for this one. So you can kind of get a little bit more detail in there. And even still, these are pretty simple, we could kind of change the shape up a little bit. It's kind of like gestures where the final drawing isn't going to necessarily be as extreme. Who wanted to go ahead and shake these and a little bit? Maybe it be a little shadow right there, you can see by shooting this in, it's just kind of bringing the form of the hair out so we get a little bit better understanding. I'm just assuming that the light source is coming from above. And so it kind of the top surfaces of a lot of this hair is getting hit. All right, great. So those are pretty cool and so, like I said, you can kind of soften these shapes up, but you can see how basically every hairstyle is going to be based off of a shape. If you're doing more of a realistic character, their hair might not be this exaggerated. You know, their hair might not fit perfectly into the shape. There might be more scraggly coming off of their head, a little Haney's stuff like that. And you might kind of go more into detail with, like each individual hair and some of them might kind of come out like that. It's really up to you. Let's go ahead and let's do three more. Let's do some male characters. So let's see. There are a whole lot of male haircuts in the real world of hair fashion. So we can kind of just make some stuff up. I mean, an obvious one would be kind of like one that I drew before where you kind of have it straight on the sides. Another important thing is the hairline, so, for example, right here, I can go ahead and give kind of a widow's peak like that. And so when you're designing your hairstyles, you want to establish what the hairline looks like and how high or how low it is. All right, so if I just kind of make this. Kind of square on the sides and then kind of a round shape on top. But then from there, I can just kind of. Detail this out more. I can kind of make his hair kind of curl. Right. So that's kind of rough looking, but you get the idea of some other hairstyles, let's see, we could do something kind of like. A big square afro. Just do a square hairline that. And really, that's a simple that needs to be you don't really need to add a lot of detail to that, depending on how simplified you want your character to design to be. Let's think let's do a long hair for a male. So maybe for this guy. They will do like a man bun, so we'll establish that hairline. Give some volume so it'll come off his head a little bit. I have some direction. Over here, I should probably redo the direction that. It looks better. To be honest, I don't really like this first one I did, so let's try something else. I want to give you a better example than that, because that looks, in my opinion, I think it looks kind of bad. Let's try another shape. So we have kind of a square shape around shape. Let's try something a little bit more pointy. So let's see. We could kind of. Try all kinds of crazy things, right? We just got to figure out that direction. Something that looks kind of cool. All right, great. Let's go ahead and shade those on as well so they match the female hair forms. So, again, just assuming that the light is kind of coming from the top, we can kind of shine these undersides of the form. All right, great. Those are pretty cool. All right, so just remember that basically all hair can be broken down into very simple shapes and very simple forms. From there, you can kind of detail it out more. So just like, for example, how the pelvis and the chest can kind of be broken down into rectangular shapes or sphere type shapes. They're really not spheres and rectangles. In reality, it just kind of helps us understand the forms and the sort of silhouette of those forms. But after we have an understanding of those, after we have those blocked out, we can go ahead and take them out further, figure out the direction of the hair. And also kind of organa fired a little bit more. So we don't have to stay exactly with in the shape of our hairstyle. We can kind of change it up. And as we move through this course and you see me design some of the characters, you'll kind of see me do that a little bit more. All right. I want you to go ahead and draw your six different versions of hairstyles. You can do them all male, all female, or split them in half. I'm not going to make you do something you don't want to do. So choose whichever gender you want or both draw the six of them. And I want them to be your own hair cells, not the ones I've drawn here. I want you to look up pictures online. If you need to draw them, simplify them into the simplest shapes you can think of. Figure out what the direction of the hair is. Draw that in. And then I want you to take a picture that posted to the Q&A section of the course so I can see it because I love seeing your work. That brings it to the end of this lecture. Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next one.