How to Draw Ponytails


The trick to drawing hairstyles successfully is in rendering the round shape of the head and hair. Even ponytails need volume; they're not flat on the head. For success in drawing, work from a model or even from a photograph until you build up the skills to sketch from your head. Practice drawing ponytails from a range of angles, including head-on, profile and in-between angles. The hairstyle looks different from all these angles, giving you a new sketching challenge.

  • Draw the face first. Start with a basic oval for a face, with two neck lines beneath the oval. For help getting an even drawing, create guide lines down the center of the head vertically and horizontally so you can gauge where to put the facial features.

  • Draw ears next since they'll help you position the hair. The ears should fall around the horizontal guide line, if you're using one. Make narrow ovals for ears.

  • Create bangs, if you want them, by making curved lines along the top section of the head. Make the bangs as long or short as you wish. If you're drawing from real life, observe how the hair falls across the model's face and imitate it. Draw the bangs in a style that matches your sketch style, from realistic to anime.

  • Determine how you want to angle the ponytail. It could be high or low, slightly off-center or loose, with wisps of hair falling around the face. Again, if you're drawing from real life, observe what you see before you. Once you know where you want the ponytail, lightly pencil a narrow oval so you know where to anchor it.

  • Sketch in the ponytail by drawing a tube of hair to get the width. Texture the end of the tube since the individual hairs will hang at slightly different lengths in the ponytail.

  • Shade the hair once you've got the basic shape down to make your drawing come to life. Look at how the light falls across the model or imagine light falling across your sketch. Some parts of the ponytail will catch the light. Use your pencil, charcoal or other implement to give hue to the hair, darkening parts that might be in shadow and bringing gold or white tones to lighter areas.

  • Finish the look by adding in unique features. Think about the structure of a human head and the look and feel of the hair on the head. Draw in curls or loose hairs to capture the look.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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