2 February 2001



YouCanDraw.com's Insider Communiqué


In this issue 

1) Hair as a shape 
2) Lot's of links


Good day all,

Today, a quick excursion in to hair - big hair, small hair, no hair at all - it's all a part of who we are. And it's a significant contributor to the overall picture when you're drawing a face, a caricature, or a portrait. So, we'll be looking at number one today. (I say  because some day I'll actually get around to doing a full chapter on the subject.) I've included four small illustrations and a gang of links to help demonstrate the point today.

Shape of hair

The first thing to notice about hair is that it's a shape. I think it's easy to see hair as a three dimensional object and then reduce it to the paper's two dimensions - probably more so than other parts of the face. Why? Well, it's usually a fairly large shape and it's usually not quite as complicated as say the lips. The mind can grasp and accept a rough shape for hair easier than it can say the details of a person's eyes. Unless you're making it a point to look at another person's hair when you meet them, your attention is on their face first and foremost. 


Of course, if you're talking about Fabio, (big blonde lion's mane of hair), or Glen Plake's super-spiked Mohawk, or the blue doo belonging to the Punk Rocker down the street - then hair makes a difference. But take the hair off anybody you're used to seeing with hair, and it's a shock. (I remember being in basic training in 1977 - one minute darn near an Afro full of hair, the next - nada! And seeing the same happen to 50 other guys at the same time, well that was pretty comical). 

There's a lot more to hair than shape - like color, texture, thickness, etc. We won't worry about that today. Shape and shadows that's out focus for the moment. 

Picture 1

Pull up picture 1 (hair-pic_1.gif). It's Margaret Thatcher. You'll see pointers emphasizing shadows. Shadows add a great deal of subtle influence to the overall shape of hair - it adds roundness. Notice the hair and shadowing is darkest along the border between hair and scalp. Putting in extra lines and layers of whatever media you're using (ink, pencil, chalk), at this juncture adds to the realness of the picture.


Picture 2

In picture 2 (hair-pic_2.gif), I've isolated the hair from Ms. Thatcher's head. Well actually, I erased her face (I know, sounds painful but Photoshop is pretty amazing and I didn't hear one peep from her during the whole process). 

Squint when you look picture 2. Do you see the overall shape of the hair more clearly? Notice how that little flip of hair that crosses her forehead on the top left (her right), comes out more than the rest of the hair? It's the lack of shadow that that causes that illusion.



Picture 3

In picture 3 (hair-pic_3.gif), I've colored it. Really makes it full doesn't it? Squint again. Now the three dimensional shape starts coming alive. At least it does for me. Beautiful shade of orange too I think. -)  

Picture 4

In picture 4, I've taken all the color out, collapsed all the shadows and highlights so now we're left with just a 2  dimensional shape. Hardly looks like the original doo, does it? Squint as you look between picture 3 and 4 - you'll see that it's exactly the same shape. Also look at the shape around the hair - the negative space - and you'll see again that THAT shape is exactly the same as the  original hair. (Great practice to always look at the shape AROUND the object you're drawing. It's shape allows you to see the original shape by default.) 



See the Lesson on  - I think it's Lesson four or five...I know I should know which it is. 


Your Assignment 

Your assignment Go to the links below and look at the different pictures of hair. Look for just two things today the area of shadowing around the face - sometimes very subtle - and the overall shape of the hair - and there's some  wild ones ! 


Next Communiqué we'll worry more about patterns within the hair, texture etc. So I'll cut you loose on some fun links - though a magazine might be easier. Still, check out the first link (sent courtesy of Floyd Stockwell) - it has a nice illustration of hair shapes and styles, as does the Chia Head; link at the bottom. 


Until then, keep on drawing and have fun!


Jeff K.



More hair - a really good contourized view of a good full head piece:



Anyone remember Sly and the Family Stone?:



A kind of tongue in cheek afro site:



The long hair site:


Men's long hair site:



Men's long hair styles:



One guy's list page full of bad hair doo's (I don't know 
this person, just found him on the net)



World of hair: (some really gorgeous hair-doos):


Check out some of these wigs:<br>



And you can't forget about the American Hair loss council:

http://www.ahlc.org/" eudora="autourl">http://www.ahlc.org/<br>


For Dread Locks See Bob Marley:




From the bad fads museum: bouffants!


How about a mohawk?


For front, side and rear views of a Mohawk:



Extreme skier Glen Plake:


A most patriotic bald guy:<br>


And last but not least, the Chia head (with a great 6-picture illustration):



Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Executive Director



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