Matthew Archambault: How To Draw Hair

Class artist Archambault puts his pencil to the test and tackles one of the hardest features in portraiture, hair. There are many different ways to draw hair, some prefer minimal fuss and less lines whilst others like to get right in there and seek out all the tonal values and shades which complete an extremely realistic look. You will not be let down by Matt and this relatively long tutorial will allow you to follow in your own time. Have fun with those pencils.

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    1. @Mithcoriel but that’s how you practice making new hair from scratch. You observe the way it moves in pictures and you practice. You can also have a model sit in front of you and try from there, but essentially is learning from references to make it from scratch. once you have an idea on how hair flows you’ll know how to put in on paper without having to use a reference. it’s all about observing, nothing comes out of nowhere without experience

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    2. @oceanlinda3 It’s true that copying is a good practice to start with. But I for one don’t need instructions on how to copy. Especially not if the instruction is “pay attention to the negative spaces”, and stuff which works only for copying and doesn’t tell you how hair actually flows, for later when you’re drawing them from scratch. Instructions on copying a model along the lines of “this is how the arms connect to the ribcage” are useful cause you can use this when drawing freely as well.

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    3. It’s true that copying is a good practice to start with. But I for one don’t need instructions on how to copy. Especially not if the instruction is “pay attention to the negative spaces”, and stuff which works only for copying and doesn’t tell you how hair actually flows, for later when you’re drawing them from scratch. Instructions on copying a model along the lines of “this is how the arms connect to the ribcage” are useful cause you can use this when drawing freely as well.

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    4. Well he states at the begining of the video this is part of a series on portraits, not imagination drawing. Still, the advice given here is easily translatable to imagination drawing. He say’s you should:1.- keep lose, soft gestural lines2.- Hair is composed of mostly soft edgesThose two points go a long way to draw hair better.And life drawing is essential for accurate imagination drawing, wich means and amateur artist will not know how hair behaves until they, god forbid, draw some hair.

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    5. Ok, but those are two pieces of advice. Do you really need 12 minutes for that?? Same thing with the progress he makes with the sample picture. Heck, even if I wanted a video on copying hair, this wouldn’t be useful cause the picture barely changes in those 12 minutes.Also, the video starts too late, when most of the hair is already in place. That’s no good, we need to know how that gets there too.

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    6. It’s simple, how that gets there. Either 1.- you use reference or 2.- you have drawn hair so much, that you can do it from imagination. You learn how hair behaves by drawing hair from life and reference, there’s no “Easy 3 steps”. It’s not the best video by itself I can agree with that. It is obviously a preview of whatever content this dude offers. Also the progress he makes in a certain amount of time is irrelevant to the quality of the advice given, wich, although few, is good.

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    7. I didn’t notice this was considered to be only a preview. People searching youtube usually look for videos they can learn from on the spot. You suggestion that it gets there cause “you have drawn hair so much, that you can do it from imagination” doesn’t help, cause we’re supposed to learn it here. And yeah, the progress and amount of time do matter for the video quality, cause it wastes the viewer’s time. A shorter video with the same advice would be considered better quality.

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    8. i notice u and a lot of other people having a problem with this.. these are demonstrations of what you could learn from his website if you buy membership not actual tutorials. However i think he may as well do one tutorial start to finish because from this i wouldn’t buy any sort of membership cause i still do not know how good he is at teaching

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    9. well, people, by lookin’ at the positive bright side, you can see by the title , “how to draw hair” not ” HOW TO DRAW HAIR FOR AMATEURS” so i think this video has an excuse, he might be doing this inorder for us to have an idea on how to make a hair incase we dont know . 🙂

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    10. I dont think he’s trying to go step by step by step. He just wants to give you a feel for how to do it. I believe people learn how to draw certain things on their own by observation, not by rules and an exact way to do something.

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    11. youre a great artist and all, but the whole video was you kinda rambling and after a while i started skipping and there was barely any difference from the hair from middle to end. it was kinda like you drew the main parts already and were just shading one or two spots. Can you please show how to draw the main parts, this looked just like a lot of grey it was hard for me to see the differences in the spaces.

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    12. Yes, everyone can learn to draw by practicing a lot. But there are VERY important things that will always return with every drawing; making sure the values are correct, composition, creating the focal point for a good read, correct perspective, poses, shapes and color balance.Really one of the few things you can practice is the technique of drawing itself, moving your arm instead of your wrist. Learning the fundamentals and applying them will make all the difference in the world !!!

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    13. Well, I certainly never use my fingers to draw, as it’s extremely fatiguing as it makes me pinch my pencil too hard. I think most will in fact agree that drawing with your arm will give you a much stronger control over lines. This means with your wrist you might end up with very bendy,short and inaccurate lines, but when using your arm more you’ll get straight lines from one end to another. Of course, sometimes bendy lines is what you want, so I’m sure it’s a mix of techniques that’ll be best.

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    14. DONT READ THIS ! TOMORROW WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE AND YOU WILL GET A KISS FROM THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE . BUT IF YOU DONT POST THIS ON 10 VIDEOS IN 2 HOURS YOU WILL DIE IN 2 DAYS NOW THAT YOUR READING THIS DONT STOP ! AFTER YOU POST THIS ON 10 VIDEOS PRESS F6 AND YOU CRUSHES NAME WILL APEAR ON THE SCREEN. ITS FREAKY CAUSE ITS TRUE.

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    15. lol yeah, I read the complaints and laughed. He talks about basic rules that are very handy and applies them in a video. Negative and positive space, shapes, direction of lines, comparing shapes to other shapes. With understanding of the rules he talks about in the video, practice, time and effort, anyone can draw 🙂 I agree though. Time, effort, dedication, lots of practice.

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    16. You are very talented, and that drawing looked amazing. I have found this video very helpful when I’m now drawing hair, I now know how to do it properly and I’m sure many others have been inspired. Could you please consider doing hands and proportions as I am struggling with it and many of the people I know are also struggling. Thanks. 🙂

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    17. Thanks for the tutorials! :3 I’m so happy I got linked to them, you’re a great artist who has a little bit of experience and is willing to share that experience! I say a little bit of because I know you’re /still/ working. 😉 So thanks again. I think I need to go back to my simplistic routes with hair, I’m thinking I’ve been getting a little dry lately. So going back to the first steps of blocking it out and THEN detailing it should help.

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    18. I’ve asked peple this before: What is the best way to store and protect drawings. But…I have a sketch book for graphite and I don’t like to spray it with fixative and I use wax paper in between pages. The reason is because on the cover if it says 80 pages I like to keep the 80 pages intact without removing pages. Your thoughts?

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    19. It depends on what you are after, if you want to preserve artwork till the end of time get acid free paper, simple bond paper, as far as I know, isnt acid free, its not its purpose. It depends on the kind of paper, strathmore series500 bristol is 100%cotton and acid free and many sketchbooks are hardbound and have good quality paper. Theres also the fixative to avoid smudging which you coul apply to every individual page without having to remove them.

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    20. It depends on what you are after, if you want to preserve artwork till the end of time get acid free paper, simple bond paper, as far as I know, isnt acid free, its not its purpose. It depends on the kind of paper, strathmore series500 bristol is 100%cotton and acid free and many sketchbooks are hardbound and have good quality paper. Theres also the fixative to avoid smudging which you coul apply to every individual page without having to remove them.

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    21. Drawing is a skill. It always has been. As long as you work hard, practise everyday and are truly passionate for it you can get to higher levels of drawing. That is the wrong way of thinking and any art instructor or professional will tell you to stop thinking that way. Because it is wrong.

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    22. no it just won’t happened , let’s face the reality. If everyone can practice (without natural talent) then everyone can produce lots and lots of amazing art pieces that can be recognized by the whole world and to be honest , if people don’t have a natural drawing talent , they just can’t produce something that have meaning to their artwork …they will just keep copying others and others

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    23. Then Picasso’s paintings looked fake too; didn’t they? You can tag an attempt on realistic hair as fake. But I honestly can’t tell where in this video the author called his drawing “realistic hair”. Don’t get me wrong, hope you understand the point

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    24. No. You see everyone DOES NOT practice because they believe what you believe. Because of this, they do not practice at all, and no practice means not being able to produce works of a higher level. Heres a video from a professional, and he pretty much tells you the same thing: /watch?v=JYCHLwV7zQk check the 7min mark.

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