Felix (blumchen) wrote in art_tutorials,

Drawing, Inking, and Colouring curls!

Welcome to Blu's curly hair tutorial. Here's a method I use to draw beautiful ringlets. I wrote this tutorial for my friends, and decided to share it with the rest of the world. I can only hope people enjoy it as much as the digital inking tutorial. This tutorial covers drawing curly hair, inking it, and cging it using Photoshop CS2. Mostly this is just something I wrote up as a walk-thru, to show people how I (sorta) work. this isn't exactly how things go when I'm seriously drawing curly hair, this is just the best way to describe it. If I've helped one person draw better ringlets, then my job is done!

I've done my best to make this tutorial clear, thorough, and easy to understand, but I might've missed something, or you might have an obstacle that you need help with. If you need any help, please contact me through a comment here, and I will try my best to help you.

Curly Hair Tutorial/Walk-through
Part one: Drawing the curls

Step one: This is the biggest step in my opinion, but for the sake of this walkthrough, I'm going to assume you already know how to draw people. If not, too bad, because I'm not going to teach you. So draw yourself a person. Maybe a pretty girl. A princess. A hunky swordsman. Whatever you want. I've drawn myself a princess, but because I'm used to drawing the hair BEFORE I start on the body and the clothing, she didn't come out as well as I'd hoped. But she'll have to do. Notice how I've outlined her scalp. The hair should've raise much further than the scalp line, because then things begin to look unruly, or she'll look like she's got a weirdly shaped head. And that's not fun.

Step two: Draw yourself some basic hair outlines. This is to just give you a feel for what the hair is going to look like, how it is going to fall around your subject, just to let you detirmine how the rings will flow around. This doesn't take a whole lot of work, just some fluid lines around her head. Take note how in my example, the hair is close to her scalp, to retain the shape of her skull.

Step three: Here's where things start to vary from my real method, and a method that is easier to describe.

Using a spiral like motion, draw a spiral is larger on the top and grows narrower as it reaches it's end, so that it resembles a tornado. Draw only a few at a time, to keep the curls seperate, rather than turning them into one huge mess.

Step four: After you've drawn a few little "tornados", you'll want to make them look more like curls and less like little scribbly lines. The trick is to make them look like they're twisting around each other, like a Narwhal's tusk, or you can even twist some kleenex to use as a guide if need be. Once you've drawn a few, the rest are really easy; just make sure to keep the lines going downward in a diagonal direction, and irregularily spaced, to make them look more natural. Remember to draw them one at a time to get them seperate.

Repeat as necessary until you have a full head of hair!

If my example drawings weren't clear enough for you, here's a close up so that you can really see what I'm doing.

Curly Hair Tutorial/Walk-through
Part two: Inking the curls

There's not really a whole lot I need to saw about this area here, just a couple of notes.

2. Ink each curl individually.
3. After inking a curl completely, online the outside of it with a thicker line, to give it more individuality.
4. Ink the hair BEFORE the rest of the head. If any hair is blowing on the face/neck/shoulders, it should be the dominant foreground. In other words, always on top.

Here is an example of how the curls can look when inked, using a different drawing I did recently. I use a different image because this one shows the hair with better detail.

Curly Hair Tutorial/Walk-through
Part three: colouring the curls

For this part, IF YOU ARE CGING WITH PHOTOSHOP, you'll need to be familiar with the blend modes and opacity settings with your brush, and with your dodge/burn tool. Since I know at least a few people reading this aren't going to have the foggiest idea what that means, here's some screenshots. If you're using another program or colouring with traditional methods, you can just skip this completely.

these are the brush settings for all standard tools.

these are the brush settings for the burn and dodge tool.

This is where the burn and dodge tools are located on the toolbar. Whichever one is default currently, you should be able to just click on or right click on to get to the other.

As for layers, please see me "Digital Inking" tutorial, since the layers settings will be the same.

Step one: Everyone's method of colouring is different, what I'm using here is Photoshop CS, with the lineart being a second layer overtop a white background, set to "Multiply" so that any colouring done on the background layer shows through to the top. Prep your lineart for colouring. Erasing the graphite so that it doesn't mix with your markers/coloured pencils/paints, or clean up your scan so that it's free of grey marks and little dots.

Step two: Choose a colour for your curls. I find brown really works well with curly hair as opposed to other colours. I'm not sure why that is. If you're using the same method as me, just colour on the background layer and it'll show through to the top, like this.

Step three: This part is easy, the shading. Since I'm lazy, and the lines in the hair hide the flaws this tool leaves behind, I'm going to use the burn tool (for range, use midtones, not shadows). Use a blurry larger brush with the burn tool exposure set to something low, like 14%, and go around the outside of the curl, making the edges darker.. Then, change to a smaller brush, and increase the burn ratio to say, 25% and go around the edges, and those little spaces between the twists. Use a zig-zag motion rather than a straight line.

Step four: Next, switch to a dodge tool (for range, use highlights), and highlight the middle inbetween the edges where you darkened with the same sized larger blurry brush the you used the first time. The exposure ratio should be something low like 14%, and then switch up to a 25% ratio, using a smaller brush again, to give the hair some shine. Use a zig-zag motion rather than a straight line.

Step five: Using the eyedropper tool, select the lightest colour of the curl that you have so far. Go to the paintbrush, and set the blend mode to "Linear Dodge". You'll want a largeish blurry brush again, and make sure the opacity of the brush is set to 15% or lower. The Linear Dodge filter is rather strong, so be careful with it. After you're done adding more highlights, select a small, stronger brush and increase the opacity to say, 25%-30%. draw a little bright line on each segment of curl, to give it a real shine.

Step six: Using the eyedropper again, select that bright shiny colour, and set your brush blend mode to normal, but keep the opacity low. Just brush around that shiny spot so it blends better into the rest of the curl. You could use the smudge tool, but this way looks better.

Adjust highlighting to suit your picture (colours, light sources, etc), and you're done!

Click for full coloured version 

Please comment if you found this tutorial useful. If you use it, feel free to link to your completed works so I can see! And maybe link back here, pretty please? ^^;

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WOW this is so cool!! I'm a photoshop beginner, Like just got it today. & I'm excited to use this tutorial & see your other tutotirals!! (^_^) Thanks!

I have more tutorials for photoshop at ps7_tutorials. Enjoy :)
ooh thanks. I use photoshop CS is everything the same.
pretty much... I use CS2 now, and everything translates fine.
Great tutorial ^^
I had loads of trouble with drawing curls before I ran into this :)
this is really amazing! if only for the curls bit. it can be applied to paper/utensil drawing AND manga studio debut 3.0.