Drawing hair

When I was 20, I was doing freelance caricatures out of my bedroom. They weren't great, but they were all I did, so I got a lot of practice at them very fast. One of the things that always terrified me about them was drawing hair- I just couldn't do it. I sucked at it. I wouldn't know how to capture the shape or movement of hair at all- much less stylise it to the rest of the caricature. It would be conspicuously different to the rest of the drawing, like a lego-man's hair.



I eventually got up the guts to email an America caricaturist by the name of Tom Richmond, whose work I studied in detail in MAD, and figured "What have I got to lose?" I sent him some samples of my work and asked for some advice on how to improve.

Within a few days, to my amazement, he'd not only replied to my email, but sat down and drawn instructions on how to improve my drawings, marked-up the drawings I sent him and wrote out a long and detailed 'how-to' on drawing hair.

The gist of it was "Draw the actual hair- the sections of it, the movement, the detail of the hair style. You don't have to draw every single hair, but you can't just draw the outline of the hair and then fill in the rest with colour.

These days whenever I draw hair, I kind of get excited to get better at it. It's not easy, but I think I'm way better at it than I was those 11 years ago, and it's thanks to the generosity and kindness of Tom.


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Tom's instructionals on caricatures are now available in print and e-book form- an invaluable resource for any caricaturist -live or studio- and I'd highly recommend you pick it up. It sure saves him emailing everyone individually... You can also follow his blog here.

I'm still drawing freelance caricatures. Only difference is I'm doing it from my own place in New York. Still don't know how to draw feet...

Know anyone I could email?