Drawing Anime can be a little hard at first.
But drawing hair is definitely a challenge.
There aren’t many characters in Anime with dreadlocks. But I know as we are moving to include more diversity, this is a request that will pop up more and more.
You can see my other hair tutorials here if you want to draw more hairstyles on your character.
The choices are endless with anime hairstyles. You can even get this book that specifically covers drawing anime hair.
But in this tutorial, I am going to teach you how to draw anime dreads for a male.
This is what you will learn:
And I will also teach you how to color the hair so that you get this effect.
Tools I’m using to draw Anime Dreads
I am drawing this digitally.
I’m currently using:
And I’m using the Procreate software (which costs $10 one-time-fee)
I highly recommend looking at this superb online course that teaches you how to use Procreate.
You can draw this using sketching pencils or a fine marker, or draw it digitally like me.
The tools you use don’t matter because the technique remains the same.
How to Draw Anime Dreads for a Male
If you are using digital art, please remember to keep all your lineart on one layer and make it a reference layer.
Remember to keep each color on a new layer – this will allow you to manipulate any specific layer without affecting the others.
All these colors should be underneath the reference layer (outline later) so that you’re not messing with your outline.
This will enable us to drag and drop colors easily if the area or section is closed completely by lineart.
Okay, let’s get started.
Step 1: Draw the sketch of the dreads
I’m going to start with a male head guide first.
I won’t go into detail on drawing an anime male face since this tutorial is about drawing the hair.
But you can save the above image and trace it or save it to your app and draw the hair over that.
If you want to draw anime from scratch, I highly recommend getting this book.
Let’s move on.
Now, I’m just going to draw a rough line of the hairline.
This will help me draw the dreadlocks easily and I know where to start the dreads.
Now, I will start drawing the dreads one by one.
The idea is to think of it as a large clump of hair originating from the hairline (almost like a thick sausage) and draw it in the direction of the hair growth like this:
It’s easy if you draw it one at a time. They don’t have to be perfect – remember, we are still drawing the rough sketch as of now.
Keep drawing more dreads. Remember to vary the thickness of these locks so that the hair looks more organic.
Next, we’re going to draw one dreadlock along the side of the face.
Remember to vary the thickness of the lock so that it looks very natural.
Next, we’ll continue drawing more dreadlocks on the same side of his face.
You can draw some dreads behind the ear and some overlapping the ear – you can also vary the length
Next, we’re going to start drawing dreadlocks on the other side of the face.
You can make some dreads thick and some thin – this actually looks very realistic.
Keep drawing dreads till you’re satisfied with how your anime male character looks.
Once you’re happy with the sketch, just lighten this layer so that you can use it as a rough guide.
Step 2: Outlining the anime dreads
First, I’ll just lighten the hair so that we can clearly see what we are drawing over.
This makes it really easy to draw the hair now.
And now, I’ll start drawing over the rough sketch.
When drawing the dreads, make sure you use little wiggle movements so that your lines are shaky.
Shaky lines are good when you’re drawing anime dreads! It adds the perfect texture!
Keep repeating this technique for each dread.
Continue to draw more dreads using the shaky hand technique.
Your hair is beginning to take shape now!
Now, it’s time to add texture to the dreads.
Dreads are matted hair locks. So, we need to highlight some of those locks.
The best way to do that is to draw small groups of lines like this along the dreads.
This is the fun part of drawing dreads.
Take your time drawing these lines. And do it one dreadlock at a time for best results!
Continue to do this for all the dreads.
Once you finish this process, you’ll have something like this.
It’s okay if you scribble a little while you’re adding texture to your dreads. It just gives it that nice rough look.
Step 3: Coloring the dreads
I’m going to clean up lines now by erasing all the overlapping lines.
I will get something like this.
I’m now going to shade the skin a nice chocolate brown color as I am drawing an African male for this tutorial.
I will even add shadows.
It doesn’t matter if I’m coloring outside the lines because I am going to color the hair on a separate layer above the skin layer.
If you want more help coloring your digital art, check out my post on how I color digital art step by step. It even includes a video.
Once I am done coloring the skin, I will color the eyes and start coloring the hair a dark chocolate brown.
Once you’re done coloring the dreads with a base color, then you can start coloring some dreadlocks a darker color.
So, color the dreads that are behind the ears or behind the head a darker color.
This will make your dreads look more realistic.
Remember to even add a shadow on the face where the dreads touch the anime male’s face.
These little steps will make your anime character look really good!
And once you’re done, voila!
You’ve learned how to draw anime dreads.
Drawing hair is always a little tricky.
But I hope you had a lot of fun reading this tutorial and you were able to learn how to draw anime dreads.
Don’t fret if your drawing doesn’t look great immediately.
Drawing hair, especially on anime characters does take some time to learn and master.
Just keep drawing more characters and mix and match different hairstyles and clothes to familiarize you with drawing diverse characters.
Once you start drawing more hairstyles, you’ll be able to draw hair faster!
All this will help train you faster.
You can even get these books to help you draw anime hair easily.
I have a post that you can read on how to find your art style if you are keen on developing your own style of drawing cartoons.
You can make things easier by picking up this Character Drawing Toolkit.
If you want to see more tutorials on hair and people, just comment below. You can check out my other posts on drawing over here.
I will be adding more drawing tutorials to this blog, so keep a lookout!
Want to practice drawing more Manga and Anime?
If you’re looking to improve your drawings faster and want to really draw as a hobby or even pick up drawing professionally, I highly recommend picking up this beautiful online course that teaches you how to draw manga characters easily from scratch.
This class will teach you how to draw manga characters from scratch and add personalities to them.
I found this class so helpful because she teaches how to draw faces from different angles and bodies with the right proportions.
Do take a look.
You don’t need any tools except a pencil and paper.
It’s a very detailed course and it’s not at all expensive.
And if you’re learning with pencils – that’s great.
But if you want to do this via a digital tablet and you are just getting started with ProCreate, I highly recommend this course: Procreate for Beginners: Digital Illustration 101
It will help you learn to use Procreate within a day or a week at most. I found it super helpful!
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