Drawing hairs

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This tutorial shows the possibility of creating complex structures such as hair with Inkscape.

Part 1: The hair pattern prepare
We open an empty standard document and draw a horizontal 700 px line with the Bezier-courve by pressing ctr.

The line must be converted now into curves .


After that add more nodes with effects>modify path>add nodes those max. Segment length on 5,0.

Now the effects>modify path>jitter nodes. It has ca. 280 nodes and looks now something like barbwire.


Next we will pushing in the “barbwire” down to 10 pixels broad. Next vertical stretch up to 150 pixels.

You can see what it should be. We call it “basicpattern”.

We add nodes again like above. The Pattern has now 2484 nodes. So to produce wavy hanks is there a possibility:
Pattern along path! We draw a light bow and easy S-curve.
Mark the basicpattern and path and do effect>generate from path>pattern along path.The settings for the Pattern:

1. Basicpattern
2. At the bow / single stretched / sample is vertical
3. At the bow / single / sample is horizontal
4. At the S-curve / single stretched / sample is vertical



It is important that you simplify after (Strg + L ) to get a CPU-friendly number of knots.

Now we should know what kind of hairstyle we want. First, we draw the black outline-shape and cut the lower bound with a basicpattern. Then we search the rigth pattern, filled it with grey and build the complete style over the shape. It is a little bit like a puzzle.
When you`re finish double the outline shape mark all objekts and do Objekt > clip > set

That`s it!


The final result:


This work is under Creative Commons-Licence .

Creative Commons License

See also other translations from other Inkscape Users (Thanx for respecting my work!):

flag_en.png flag_fr.png flag_pt.png flag_pl.gif

14 thoughts on “Drawing hairs

    site said:
    January 29, 2008 at 6:09 am



    Anonymous said:
    February 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    This is great! Thanks for sharing the technique.

    Nicolas said:
    March 25, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Great idea!
    Thanks for posting it..!

    Greetings from Hamburg.. 🙂

    Gmax said:
    April 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Hi this is great. Thanks for haring. Could you also do a video and maybe post it on youtube. I’m struggling a bit to get it right

    miggols99 said:
    April 25, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Hey, I can’t seem to get this right. If you could post add more “newbie friendly” stuff to it so I can understand it better that would be great 🙂

    mpollak said:
    June 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    pretty good method. I followed your instructions, and it really looks great, thanks for sharing.

    Greetings from Austria.

    […] L’article original est à cette adresse. […]

    Belasungkawa said:
    December 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Hello Chris,

    I’ve tried using your tricks here but I have some difficulties. The outcome isn’t what I expected,nothing exactly like you have done.

    I’ve posted some question at inkscapeforum.com (it’s the topic that you created at inkscapeforum.com), if you have the time please advise me more on how to achieve this technique.thank you


    Vulc said:
    May 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Chris,

    This seems like a great techniques for me. Unfortunately many of the image taken from the site: http://www.grafikdesign-chris.de/Tutorials/xxx are not found.

    Really appreciate if you could kindly reload the missing pics.

    Many thanks and keep up the great tutorials.

    em abe said:
    September 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    nice trick, thanks chris.

    Belasungkawa, let me explain in Bahasa Indonesia, I know you Indonesian people from you name, 🙂 CMIIW

    1. lo bikin garis, jangan lupa fillnya di hilangin (disable)
    2. convert garisnya jadi curves
    3. klik effects>modify path>add nodes 5.0 px
    4. klik effects>modify path>jitter nodes 10 px
    5. biar jadi garis-garis lo tarik patern yang dibuat tadi (panjangin) keatas ato kebawah terserah lo, dan kesampingnya dipendekin biar garisnya jadi agak merapat, gunain feeling lo.
    6. klik patern yang tadi trus effects>modify path>add nodes 5.0 px
    7. biar patern rambut tadi bisa meliuk liuk, lo bikin garis menyerupai huruf S
    8. klik patern rambut tadi, sambil tekan shift, lo klik garis S tadi, trus klik effect>generate from path>pattern along path

    mudah mudahan bisa membantu,

    cheers. em abe

    Natural Hair with Inkscape » Deep Seed Games said:
    April 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    […] are probably the easiest hair texture to create.  For this image I also used the technique from Chrisdesign Blog’s tutorial on straight/relaxed hair to draw the front hair where it is pulled […]

    passerby said:
    December 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    How are those called in new versions of Inkscape? Around 0.48?

    passerby said:
    December 7, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Found it already. “Effect” has been renamed to “Extensions”.

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