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HomeHow to Master Drawing Wet Hair: Tips and Techniques

How to Master Drawing Wet Hair: Tips and Techniques

To draw wet hair, start by sketching the basic outline of the hair. Then, add wetness by drawing curved lines for the individual strands and adding highlights to show reflection.

Drawing wet hair can be a challenge for artists, but with a few simple techniques, you can create stunning and realistic artwork. Whether you’re working with pencil, pen, or paint, the first step is to sketch the basic outline of the hair.

From there, you can add in the details that make it look wet, such as curved lines for the individual strands and highlights to show reflection. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for drawing wet hair, so you can create beautiful and lifelike artwork that truly captures the essence of this unique texture.

How to Master Drawing Wet Hair: Tips and Techniques


Understanding The Basics

Understanding the basics:

Drawing wet hair can be challenging for beginners, but with the right techniques and materials, it can be easily achieved. We will walk you through the essential materials and basic drawing techniques you need to create striking wet hair illustrations.

We will also emphasize how vital it is to observe and interpret reference photos properly. Let’s get started!

Essential Materials You Need For Drawing Wet Hair

To draw wet hair, you’ll need to arm yourself with some basic materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started:

  • Pencils: A set of sketching pencils with different lead grades is ideal for creating vibrant and detailed sketches. We recommend having hb, 2h, and 4h for lighter lines and 2b, 4b, and 6b for darker lines.
  • Erasers: A kneaded eraser or vinyl eraser is excellent for removing smudges and correcting mistakes. You can also use a fine-tipped eraser to create highlights and fine details.
  • Paper: A smooth-textured paper suitable for pencils is perfect for creating wet hair illustrations. Ensure the paper is thick enough to handle the lead without smudging or tearing.
  • Reference photos: Having a good reference photo with distinct details is paramount to drawing realistic and accurate hair.

Basic Drawing Techniques For Beginners

Now that you have your materials at hand, it’s time to put pencil to paper and start drawing wet hair. Here are some techniques to get you started:

  • Start with an outline: Sketch a rough outline of the head, hairline, and parting lines using light pressure. This outline will act as a guide for the rest of your drawing.
  • Draw basic shapes: Draw the hair’s basic shapes, such as waves or curls, using light, gentle strokes. Observe the reference photo carefully to create the shapes correctly. Remember to avoid pressing too hard on the paper.
  • Create depth and texture: To create depth and texture, use darker pencils to draw shadow and highlights. Darker areas suggest where the strands of hair are thicker and more condensed, while lighter areas suggest thinner areas where hair strands have separated.
  • Shade the whole hair area: Using the light and dark pencils, shade the whole area of hair strands to provide a realistic effect.
  • Add finishing highlights: Use the fine-tipped eraser to create highlights and fine details in the hair strands to make your illustration look more vibrant.

The Importance Of Observing And Interpreting Reference Photos

Observing and interpreting reference photos is a crucial aspect of drawing wet hair. A reference photo provides direction, accuracy, and inspiration needed to create a realistic illustration. Here are some tips to help you interpret and use reference photos effectively:

  • Observe the information carefully: Take time to observe the reference photo, study the shapes, and observe the direction the hair is flowing.
  • Focus on lighting: Understanding the photo’s lighting is essential in creating realistic hair that looks wet. Focus on the areas where the hair reflects light most, and create highlights accordingly.
  • Avoid copy-pasting: Interpreting reference photos means creating an original illustration piece that is inspired by the photo. Avoid creating illustrations that look like an exact copy of the reference photo.

Drawing wet hair requires attention to detail, a good grasp of basic techniques, and a comprehensive understanding of reference photos. With regular practice and patience, you can hone your skills and create stunning wet hair illustrations.

Key Tips To Master Drawing Wet Hair

Creating A Rough Sketch And Shape Of The Hair

Before adding any details, it’s important to start with a rough sketch of the hair, outlining the general shape. Here are some tips to help you create a solid foundation for your wet hair drawing:

  • Begin by drawing the basic outline of the head and jawline.
  • Sketch the overall shape of the hair, keeping in mind that wet hair tends to cling to the scalp and face.
  • Use vertical lines to indicate the direction of the hair strands.
  • Avoid drawing individual strands at this stage; focus on capturing the general shape and flow of the hair.

Adding Details To The Hair Strands

Once you have a solid foundation, you can start adding details to create more depth and realism in your wet hair drawing. Follow these tips:

  • Draw individual hair strands, starting from the roots and working your way down to the tips.
  • Pay attention to the way the hair clumps together when wet.
  • Add flyaways and frizz to create texture and movement.
  • Use curved lines to depict the wet, shiny look of the hair.

Applying Values And Shades To The Hair For Realism

Adding values and shades to your wet hair drawing can make it look more three-dimensional and realistic. Here’s how to do it:

  • Identify the areas of your wet hair drawing that are in shadow and those that are catching the light.
  • Use darker tones to shade the shadowed areas and lighter tones to depict the areas catching the light.
  • Pay attention to the way light reflects off wet hair – use white or light-colored pencils to create highlights in the appropriate places.

Using The Right Strokes To Create Texture, Volume, And Movement

The right strokes can make all the difference when it comes to creating texture, volume, and movement in your wet hair drawing. Follow these tips:

  • Use short, quick strokes to create the appearance of flyaways and frizz.
  • Use thin, curved lines to create the look of individual hair strands.
  • Vary the pressure on your pencil to create areas of light and shadow.
  • Work in a consistent direction to evoke the sense of movement in the hair.

Remember, mastering the technique of drawing wet hair takes time, patience, and lots of practice. But with these key tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating stunning wet hair drawings.

Techniques For Different Wet Hair Styles

Drawing wet hair can be a challenge for artists, whether it be straight, wavy, curly, short, or long hair. Wet hair has a different texture and movement than dry hair, which requires a different approach to drawing it realistically. In this blog post, we will explore techniques for drawing different wet hair styles.

So, let’s dive right in!

Tips For Drawing Straight And Smooth Wet Hair

If you’re looking to draw straight and smooth wet hair, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Use long, flowing lines to represent the strands of hair. Try not to make them too sharp or jagged.
  • Depict the hair as wet by adding subtle lines to represent droplets or clumps of water.
  • Create a sense of depth by varying the tone or shading of the hair. Add darker areas where the hair is tangled or clumped together.
  • Smooth the hair down along the head, keeping the direction consistent with the flow of the hair.
  • Consider the lighting and how it interacts with the hair. Highlight areas that are reflecting light.

Techniques For Drawing Wavy And Curly Wet Hair

Drawing wavy and curly wet hair requires a slightly different approach than straight hair. Here are some techniques to keep in mind:

  • Use lots of curvy, flowing lines to mimic the movement and shape of the hair.
  • Create a sense of volume and movement by making sure to add lots of curves and swirls in the hair.
  • Depict the hair as wet by adding subtle lines to make it look glossy or shiny.
  • Vary the thickness of the strands, making them thicker where the hair is clumped together or thinner where the hair is straighter.
  • Keep the flow of the hair consistent with the direction of the waves or curls.

Drawing Techniques For Short And Long Wet Hair

Short and long wet hair require different drawing techniques to capture the essence of the style. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

Tips For Drawing Short Wet Hair

  • Use short, choppy lines to represent the strands of hair.
  • Add clumps of water droplets to create the illusion of wet hair.
  • Use thick, dark lines to create a sense of depth and volume in the hair.
  • Keep the flow of the hair consistent with the style, whether it be a pixie cut or a bob.

Tips For Drawing Long Wet Hair

  • Use long, flowing lines to represent the strands of hair.
  • Create a sense of movement by adding curves and curls in the hair.
  • Depict the hair as wet by adding subtle lines to make it look glossy or shiny.
  • Keep the flow of the hair consistent with the length of the hair.

Drawing wet hair requires a different approach than dry hair. Keep in mind the tips and techniques we’ve outlined for straight, wavy, curly, short, and long wet hair to create drawings that look realistic and impressive. So, grab your pencil and sketchpad and start practicing!

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Common Mistakes To Avoid: How To Draw Wet Hair

Drawing wet hair can be challenging, but it is an essential skill for any artist. Whether you’re creating a portrait or an intricate hairstyle, it’s important to learn the proper techniques for truly realistic results. In any drawing, there are always some common mistakes that artists make.

In this section, we will discuss some of the most common errors and how to avoid them.

Overworking The Hair, Resulting In A Lack Of Realism

When it comes to drawing wet hair, overworking your drawing can be a death sentence for realism. By layering too many strokes, you risk losing the overall shape and texture of the hair. Instead, it’s better to start with simple shapes and gradually build up the complexity of the drawing.

Here are some tips for avoiding overworking your drawing:

  • Begin by sketching basic shapes, such as the overall form of the head and the direction of the hair.
  • Gradually add more details, such as individual strands and sections of the hair, building up textures one at a time.
  • Keep your work relatively light, avoiding the urge to press too hard with your pencil.

Placing Too Much Emphasis On Details And Neglecting Overall Composition

Another common mistake when drawing wet hair is to focus too heavily on details and neglect the overall composition of the piece. While details such as individual hairs are important, they can’t make up for an unbalanced composition. Here are some tips for avoiding this mistake:

  • Start with the basic composition of the drawing, laying out the key elements to create a balanced and cohesive piece.
  • Focus on larger shapes and the overall flow of the hair.
  • Gradually add in details as needed to bring the piece to life.

Remember, the overall composition should always take precedence over individual details.

Using Too Many Dark Pencil Strokes And Not Allowing Lighter Areas For Contrast

In addition to overworking the drawing and neglecting overall composition, another common mistake when drawing wet hair is to use too many dark pencil strokes instead of lighter ones. By using too many dark, heavy lines, you make it difficult to achieve the desired contrast and texture in the hair.

Here are some tips for avoiding this mistake:

  • Begin with light, gentle strokes and gradually build up the intensity as needed.
  • Use a range of tones to create contrast and depth in the hair.
  • Focus on the highlights and the way light interacts with the hair, adding lighter areas to create the desired contrast and texture.

Remember, wet hair is all about texture and contrast, so it’s important to use a range of tones and avoid relying too heavily on dark pencil strokes.

Drawing wet hair can be challenging, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you can achieve stunningly realistic results. Remember to focus on the overall composition, build up your drawing in layers, and use a range of tones to create texture and contrast.

With practice, you’ll soon be drawing wet hair like a pro!

Fine-Tuning Your Wet Hair Drawing Skills

Are you struggling with drawing wet hair? Don’t worry, it’s a common challenge that many artists face. But with some practice, analysis, and experimentation, you can sharpen your wet hair drawing skills and create more realistic and lifelike illustrations. Here are some tips to help you:

Practicing Drawing From Reference Photos And Live Observation

  • Collect reference photos of wet hair from different angles, lighting, and hair types to learn the different patterns of wet hair.
  • Observe people or yourself after showering or swimming to witness the way wet hair behaves in natural light.
  • Shade and sketch the wet hair you see in the reference photos or people to incorporate the different pattern, texture, and reflection of wet hair.

Analyzing And Critiquing Your Own Work To Improve

  • Compare your drawing with your reference photo or subject, determine what’s working, and where it falls short.
  • Identify the areas that need improvement, such as the hair texture, lighting reflection, and hairline, and work on fixing them.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking for feedback. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can help you see areas you may not have noticed before.

Experimenting With New Techniques And Materials

  • Try different techniques, such as cross-hatching, stippling, and blending, to create different hair textures and reflections.
  • Use different materials like charcoal, pencils, or watercolors to experiment with different styles.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because experimentation can help you explore new possibilities.

In Conclusion

Drawing wet hair can be challenging, but with practice, analysis, and experimentation, you can become proficient in this skill. By drawing from reference photos and live observation, analyzing and critiquing your work and experimenting with techniques and materials you will improve your art significantly.

Keep in mind to try and make the drawing experience as enjoyable and fun as you experiment with your new skill.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Draw Wet Hair

How Do I Draw Realistic Wet Hair?

Start by sketching the basic shape of the hair, use lines to show the direction and flow of the hair and add shading to create depth and texture. Use different brush strokes and layers to give a realistic feel of wet hair.

What Colors Should I Use For Wet Hair?

Use cooler and darker colors for wet hair, like blue, green and purple. These colors will give the illusion of depth and wetness. Make sure to add highlights and reflections for added detail.

How Do I Draw Droplets Of Water On Hair?

Sketch small circles or oval shapes where you want the droplets to be on the hair strands. Then fill them in with white or a lighter color and add a dark shade to the bottom for depth. Be sure to add highlights to make them look shiny.

What Tools Do I Need For Drawing Wet Hair?

You will need a pencil or pen for sketching the basic hair shape and a set of watercolors or digital art software. Also, use a brush for adding texture, a blending tool for smoothness, and a white gel pen to create highlights.

How Do I Make The Hair Look Wet But Not Greasy?

Use shading to create the illusion of wetness and avoid using too much shine or gloss. Use cooler colors and add highlights to give a natural-looking shine. Be sure to add texture to the hair as well.


As we reach the end of this tutorial, i hope you’ve gained valuable insights into how to draw wet hair. We’ve explored different techniques to depict the texture and movement of hair when it’s wet, including using highlights and shadows, experimenting with different brush strokes, and applying layers of color.

Remember to pay attention to the direction of your strokes and the overall flow of the hair to achieve a realistic look. By following these tips and practicing regularly, you’ll be able to create stunning drawings that capture the beauty of wet hair.

Don’t forget to experiment with your own style and have fun with it. Happy drawing!



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