Today, I’m excited to share how I draw a curl of human hair using a variety of Ochres, Browns, lighter colors like white and ivory, and darker shades such as black and dark Browns. Enjoy!

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Before we start…

Let’s begin!

Drawing Process

In this video, I start with an ochre pastel pencils to sketch in the outlines, using different colors including black.

I then fill out the base layer with ivory and cream, focusing on the highlight areas. This process involves coloring the mid-tone layers to create a nice base layer with different colors, then blending everything together with a paper stamp.

Blending and Layering

I like to use blending stamps to bring the layers together. Then, I add dark shadows in special areas with black and dark brown wherever the darker shadow areas are.

I always blend with the paper stamp and then add more mid-tones, Browns, and Ochre colors. I really love pastel pencils and pastels in general because they allow you to draw a lot of layers.

Final Touches

You see that a beautiful curl then appears on your drawing paper. This is so much fun. I really love to draw with pastels. You can easily mix colors together, blend the colors together, and create beautiful portraits with a lot of contrast and depth. It’s so fun to bring also your animals to life on paper. This is hair, human hair, but also drawing humans or drawing human hair is really fun with pastel pencils.

Paper Quality and Technique

I’m working on pastel mat paper from Clairefontaine.

This is a very high-quality pastel paper. You can imagine it has little valleys and mountains, and with each layer you draw, you fill in pigment between the spaces. The more layers you draw, the more pigment gets into the spaces, and at some point, when the space is full of pastel pigment, your paper is saturated, and your lines start to smear and smudge. Pastel mat paper really allows you to draw a lot of layers, which is the fun thing about it. You can then build up such a curl of hair with a lot of layers, draw many lines, and let them cross and overlap, bringing in the darks and the lights.

Favorite Drawing Tools

I like the Pitt pastels because they are a bit harder. The Pitt pastel pencils from Faber-Castell are my favorites. I also use them in my drawing lessons at my art academy, Animal Art Club, where I teach my students how to draw realistic animal portraits with pastels. In most of my lessons, I use the Pitt pastel pencil


I add here a bit more of darks here with the black and darken down the shadow areas, always changing between light and darker colors, bringing more Brown. I use here burn Sienna, a nice middle brown, and always blend the layers together and let the lines overlap following the hair direction. Layer by layer, you bring this hair to a very realistic look, so you can achieve really very lifelike animal portraits when you’re drawing with pastel pencils.

Join Us

I hope you have enjoyed learning how to draw a curl of hair with pastel pencils! If you are curious about the Pastel Pencil workshop, my 4 day drawing event in May, click the link below!

Additional Tips

For beginners, I’ve prepared a free beginner’s guide you can download. It’s filled with tips and tricks to get you started with pastel/ pencils. Get it here 👇

    For more details and lessons on drawing with pastels, check out the Animal Art Club 👇