One of the most common hairstyles is the classic ponytail. Learning how to sketch hair close to the skull may be the most challenging part of drawing a ponytail. Mastering this technique can help you build a foundation to learn other styles that require drawing hair close to the head.
Select a ponytail photo to use as a guide when drawing your image. Sketch the rough outline of a head. Draw a circle with facial guidelines (a cross in the center of the circle), a chin and a neck. Sketch an 'X' where you want the base of the ponytail to be and draw a line across the forehead where the hair line will start.
Sketch a line from the center of the front hairline and curve it over the top of the head so that it flows toward the 'X' and stops when it reaches that point. Repeat this over and over along the drawn hair line to create individual strands of hair gathering at the base of the ponytail. Make sure the lines follow the curve of the head.
Erase the 'X' and the ends of the lines that have gathered there. Draw a few flat ovals together like a sandwich. Make sure they curve with the roundness of the head. This will be the hair elastic. Following the lines of hair that flow into the elastic, begin sketching lines that come out the other side of the elastic.
Follow your reference to check that your hair is flowing out of the elastic effectively. Let the the hair at the top area of the elastic flow into a small hump before it hangs down loosely. Draw strands of hair coming from the bottom area of the elastic following the bump in the ponytail before hanging down. Sketch the hair in the middle of the elastic so it follows the shape of the ponytail.
Erase some of the pencil marks on the highest curved parts of the hair to create highlights. Shade in the lower curved parts of the hair to make shadows. Add curls to your hairstyle and strands of stray hair sticking out here and there. Finish off your ponytail by shading the elastic.
Tips & Warnings
- Use broad, long strokes when drawing hair.
- Observe different types of ponytails to see how the hair flows in and out of the elastic.
- Do not use short, sketchy lines when drawing hair or it will end up looking messy.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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