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Manga: Drawing hair

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Mangakas give their characters a lot of hair. Learn how to draw it to make your hero come alive! How do you do it? Don't forget to add highlights.

What you need to know

Hair says a lot about the character's personality:

  •  a seductress will have long shiny hair (with a lot of highlights);
  •  a kawaii will have a fanciful, uneven cut;
  •  the bad guy will have dark, dull hair (very few highlights).

1. Highlights on dark hair

The highlights need to be defined beforehand: these are the parts that won't be inked.

  •  Step 1: define the volume and movement of the hair surrounding the face with a pencil.
  • Step 2: use a blue pencil to sketch the highlights and carefully follow the waves of the hair.
  •  Step 3: ink line by line with a paint brush marker. Every stroke needs to be tapered at the end: This is done with just the index finger guiding the marker and making constant light, back and forth, strokes.

That little extra: apply a fairly dark screen to the whole area where your character's hair goes, then use a paint brush to add opaque white fluid highlights.

2. Highlights on light hair

Do this the opposite way: ink in the highlights and don't touch the other parts.

  •  Steps 1 and 2 are the same as for dark hair.
  •  Step 3: use a fine point marker to ink in the highlights: your lines should be light and tapered.