Many find lighter marks of hair-such as gray, blond, and white-hard to draw in a portrait because, no matter how hard we try, a dark line, in and if itself, cannot convey a light strand of hair.
There are some steps that you should understand to create realistic light-colored hair. Let’s explore the secrets before.
Drawing blond hair adds dimension, value, and depth around the hair, leaving a contradictory space to represent the ‘lighter hair.’
Create a base:
Even when drawing blond hair, I still use my 2B pencil because we will use the additional lead to distribute the hair’s lighter areas with our brush. However, because you’re using one of the darker pencils, you will need to adjust your pressure to ensure that your value, or lines, can be removed if required.
If you’re new to drawing hair, I start with my 2B pencil to lay an initial foundation and then use my camel-hair brush to blend the additional lead onto the paper to create the base.
Follow the three rules of light.
This is how your brain interprets light-anything that is lighter will come forward, anything that is darker will fall farther back, and anything the same value will be flat. In essence, we’ll create a ‘negative’ and allow the light areas to draw the strands of hair and the darker recesses to describe the hair’s shaded and depth areas.
Your mind will do miraculous things in translating what it sees if we create some of the necessary ingredients to maintain its interpretation.
Create a negative
When you have the hair well on its way in its development, maintaining the texture you have developed with your sharp pencil leaving the spacing (random gaps) instead of continuous gradations, you are then ready for the next step.
Remember that you cannot favorably go past something that doesn’t have a clean line or edge. Then you choose, in principle, two lines running laterally and bridge that gap by combining value between those two lines. You will have created darker recessed spacing, and what will be left will be the lighter areas representing the blond hair.
You’re utilizing contrast, which will create dimension along with the clean edges to your darker values. When you use the rules of how light works and prepare to see some representation of curve and contour, you now have the necessary structure and ingredients for lighter hair. In essence, you have created a negative.
Not in reality, but in the way that dark pencil lines would typically look on a piece of paper. Remember, we’re more involved in perception, and if needed, delusions to help our minds see what it expects to see.