How to Create Hair Texture

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In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a realistic hair texture. Creating nice, organic hair is a simple challenge that can be accomplished quite easily. And to make things even simpler, I have included in each step two different images to help you figure out how I did it.

On the left, you will see the lines (on a white background) I have used for this particular step. On the right, you will see the results of this step and the previous ones combine together. Cool! Now let's draw!

Step 1

Hair texture 1

First, color your background in brown. Make sure to use a dark tone. It will be easier to see the changes as we draw this texture. Of course, in this step, I don't really need to show you two images! ;)

Step 2

Hair texture 1
Hair texture 1

OK! It's time to start drawing our texture by sketching some dark lines. Like you can see on the image on your right (with the dark background), the lines are slightly lighter than the background. Since most of the hair will be on the back, we won't use a light color for this step. Notice on the image on your left that I did draw lots of lines.

Step 3

Hair texture 1
Hair texture 1

You can now use a lighter tone to draw your lines. However, like you can see on the image on your left, I am already starting to draw fewer lines.

Step 4

Hair texture 1
Hair texture 1

Once again, in this step, I did draw only a couple of lines. However, I have used a tone that is darker than the one used in the last step. My goal is to hide a little bit the lighter lines to give a sense of depth to my texture.

Step 5

Hair texture 1
Hair texture 1

Before adding the final lines, I have drawn many many lines here using a very dark tone. In this step, you need to end up with a texture that is subtle. Since our texture is made of only one hair color (brown) only the light will affect the color of each hair.

Step 6

Hair texture 1
Hair texture 1

Finally, you can sketch a couple of lines using a light color to give more volume to the hair of your character. Very nice! Now you know how to create a simple hair texture using only a couple of lines. 

The secret is in the tone variation and in which order you must apply these different tones. I hope you had fun creating this simple texture and don't forget to practice over and over again!

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