Art Characters Tutorials

Short Fro, Short Tutorial

Hey folks,

Now that I’ve done the character design for Chinyelu (for now, it could always change), I thought it might be nice to post a quick tutorial on how to make a short fro like hers in Inkscape.

When I first tried making a short fro, I used the method in my previous Afro tutorial, and it didn’t work very well at all.  For very short styles, the individual curls aren’t as visible, so it’s better to just give an impression of how they look rather than actually drawing each hair.

Ok here’s how Chinyelu looks with no hair:

short fro 1

To start all we need to do is add the basic shape of the hair, closely following the contours of her head.  Note that I have also added a slight blur (about 1.5).  I also set the opacity to about 75% so her skin still shows through slightly.  This can be adjusted depending on how long the hair is and what works for the image background and skin tone.

short fro 2

The “trick” to this is in the next step.  In a new layer, draw small white circles across the top of your character’s head.  If you make lines following the contours of the head like I did, it will look like waves.  You can use bigger or smaller circles, and position them in different patterns to create  different hair textures.

short fro 3

Great!  The last step is just to add a slight blur to your circles.  It’s pretty much trial and error to see what looks best.  In this case I went with 4.0 blur and 20% opacity.  What works for you will vary depending on the hair texture and color.

Chinyelu in blue

And viola!  Your character is now sporting a beautiful short ‘fro.  You may also have some luck using this technique for longer haired characters if the other method is slowing down your computer too much.