Depending on your collection you might want to play with the skin color of your models. Drawing beautiful black girls can’t go without the skill of drawing a gorgeous afro hairstyle. In this step by step tutorial, you will learn how to draw afro hair and how to color it. Have fun and bring some diversity to your fashion sketches!
Step 1: Face base
Start by drawing the face just as outlines. The “How to draw a fashion face” tutorial will help you with this step in case you are struggling with drawing the facial features. For drawing the features of women of color you may want to check my online course on how to draw fashion faces of any ethnicity, including African-Americans here.
In order to make the features of your model appear like she is a girl of color you need to emphasize on the lips. Drawing the nostrils a little wider and the cheekbones more pronounced than usual also helps.
Step 2: Hair guidelines
Let’s mark the shape of the hair. Draw the hairline depending on the angle you are viewing the model. Front view hairline is entering the forehead at the top center and at the temples area.
Draw a circle around the face and make sure it is not too close – the further away it stays from the face- the more dramatic and interesting the hairstyle will look.
Step 3: Not that perfect
Draw a wavy silhouette line following the circle guideline. The silhouette line shouldn’t follow the guideline perfectly. Go in and out just remember to make the wave very tight.
Draw many hairs along the hairline. They are irregular in length and space between them. Notice the direction of the lines!
Step 4: Curls guidelines
Erase the unnecessary guidelines. Spread straight lines from the face out. The lines should look like sun rays with different sizes and starting points.
Step 5: Draw the afro hairs curls
Unlike the “How to draw curly hair” tutorial where you learned how to draw curls like if they were made with a curling iron, in this tutorial the curls will be achieved with simply two parallel wavy lines. Draw wavy lines following the guides. Connect some of them to the hairline making the curls look soft and natural.
Step 6: More tiny curls
Draw a second set of curls. This time they will be smaller and shorter. Place them between the previous ones following the same “sun rays” direction. Break the hair outline and let the curls’ ends go out a bit. Real hair isn’t perfectly round no matter the hairstyle. It should feel “alive”
Step 7: The rebels
Draw tiny rebel hair here and there. This will give a more natural look to your fashion sketch Depending on the face you’ve drawn and the effect you are looking for you may draw more or less of these small curls.
Step 8: Color
Usually, the afro hair is dark. However in order to leave the opportunity for shadows choose a base color different from black. Try very dark gray or dark brown. Just make sure the inside lines from the previous steps are still visible.
Of course if you are in the mood you can experiment with red or even blond hair color. Just make sure it looks good next to the model’s skin tone and goes well with your design.
Step 9: Bring the lights on
Bring light to every curl by coloring it in a lighter tone using colored pencils. Then darken the outside edge with a black pencil. Make sure you are gently blending the starting and the beginning of the shading.
Step 10: Add depth to the roots
Take a soft pastel in black color and shade the area closest to the face. This will allow the face of your model to pop up and will bring more realism to the hair. You might also want to lighten up the part of the hair that stands in the middle between the face and the outline. The highlight should be merely visible and very, very soft.
Hopefully this “How to draw African American hair” tutorial was helpful for you and has inspired you to create new and interesting fashion designs. You can implement braids in the afro hair to make it look unique. Use the “How to draw a braid” tutorial and style your muse the best way possible or get my complete “How To Draw Hair” online course for hundreds of hairstyle tutorials.