Draw curly hair by outlining the main curly shapes of the hair and filling in the dark portions of hair with a pencil that has soft lead to help indicate the depth of the hair. Artists may then draw lighter hairs in lightly to indicate highlighted streaks of hair, followed by darker strands of hair. Some hairs may need to be erased if they cross with others.
Artists should always follow the direction of the curl when sketching any type of hair to make it appear more natural. Sketchers should avoid attempting to draw every strand of hair. This distorts the look of the hair, making it appear more like a cartoon than a life drawing. Instead, hair should be drawn in larger sections with special attention to its shading and tone variation. Darker lines should be sketched in with a harder pencil as the artist blends the mid-tones together to create a harmonious gradient in the hair.
When using a hair model, it is often helpful to ask the model to use conditioner to help hair settle to a more manageable line. Artists should also plan to take extra time to sketch hair, often as much as the face itself requires.