In this lesson, I will show you how to draw a basic braid using a single rectangle and a few simple tips. You will learn how to create this simple pattern in just a few basic steps. Learning how to create adorable cartoon braids can be quite useful if you are looking to draw cute hairstyles for your characters. Braids are more complex to illustrate because they usually follow a very geometrical pattern. Let's see how we can come up with a simple solution that can help you draw this part of the body in no time.
First, you need to create a small rectangle with accurate proportions. I recommend keeping a ratio of 2 to 1. The closer you are to this basic ratio, the easier it will be to illustrate this braid in just a few minutes. Otherwise, some parts of the drawing won't connect properly and the illustration might look awkward.
Turn the triangle in a 45 degrees angle. Then, use this one to create a pattern similar to the one shown below. See how all pieces are connected together. You can see near the green line why the ratio displayed earlier is important. Indeed, both yellow shapes need to be aligned properly to make this technique successful.
Now that we have a template to work with, it's time to illustrate this braid properly using several long curved lines. You can choose to work with shapes drawn with round corners or go with something a little bit sharper.
Below you can see how things should look right now once all these shapes are added on the basic rectangles. Now that this step is done, you can erase the rectangles and change the color of all lines for something darker.
For this simple step, you can add plain colors inside all shapes. For now, you can apply a simple brown color. You are doing great! Let's proceed to the next step now so that we can start adding some cool digital effects.
Gradient colors are an easy way to create a little bit of depth inside an illustration. All you need to do is add a second color inside each shape as shown below. To make this effect more realistic, make sure that the bottom part of the shapes are darker and the top brighter.
Since braids are made from hair, it can be a good idea to create a little bit of texture using simple lines. Inside each shape, draw lines that are darker on both ends and brighter lines near the middle.
Finally, you can add a simple shadow on the bottom of each shape using a dark shape that is partially transparent near the top. This final addition is relevant if you want to end up with something visually appealing and realistic.
I hope you had fun learning how to draw a braid mostly made from rectangles and long curved lines. Below you can see all steps required to draw this cute illustration. More body parts can be found here. Have fun drawing and don't forget to practice as often as possible.