How to draw Afro textured 4c hair - an explanation/Tutorial
For those of you that don't know what 4c hair is, 4c hair is a hair texture type that contains coils to small and tight that the hair appears to be more puffy rather than curly ( like to photo below ) this is in NO WAY to be confused with curly hair. there is a drastic difference.
As a black artist that primarily draws characters with 4c hair, I’ve been asked many times to do a tutorial on 4c hair so here we go~
before we get into 4c hair, lets take a moment to fully understand it by talking about hair texture in a general sense first
let’s take a look at this example of straight hair vs curly hair ( 1 type straight hair vs 3 type curly hair )
If you take a moment to compare the two you’ll notice straight hair is flat, it has no texture. Straight hair perfectly hangs down similar to liquid-like silk. It’s lack of curl pattern is the reason as to why it hangs perfectly flat.
curly hair on the other hand doesn’t lie down flat and silky like straight hair, It’s more thick. Curly hair in it’s raw and unstyled state has a trapezoid like shape this is because the sides of the hair spread more outward.
So why is this? Why is straight hair flat and curly hair thick?
the answer to that question is a thing called piling up. When it comes to hair texture, the shape of the hair strands aren’t the only thing that matters, its how the strands coexist with each other, Curly hair strands coexist by piling up on top each other.
moisture also effects hair texture too, different hair types absorbs moisture differently, thus the thickness of each hair type is different.
.....soooo, how does this all relate to how to draw 4c hair??
Well let’s take a look at the drawing below. Notice how the arrows go outward more as the hair texture gets curlier. As we’ve already discussed, this is because hair piles up, The curlier the hair texture, the more it piles up on each other, the bigger it gets, the more outward the arrows go.
Out of any hair texture, 4C hair has the most curls. Because of this, the hair piles up on each other so much that it doesn’t lie down flat like straight hair, nor does it make a trapezoid like shape like curly hair, it instead becomes more cloud like.❤️
This is what you need to take into account when it comes to drawing 4C hair.
Think of it as piling up a bunch of cotton balls on each other. The most cotton on top of top to lead to a bigger patch of cotton. this is 4c hair.
How to not draw 4c hair:
Garnet fanart. Let’s talk about Garnet Fanart. I notice a trend that when artists draw Garnet from Steven universe, her hair texture is usually changed to 3 type curly like texture. This subtle form of White washing has confused me because this is inaccurate.
Garnet’s hair is in the shape of a cube. Though 3 type hair piles up on each other, it isn’t curly nor thick enough for their hair to stay in the shape of a cube. Curly hair lies down more than 4c hair. So garnet’s hair being in the shape of a cube is a dead giveaway that it is 4C. Why do you think hairstyles like flat tops are usually seen on black men with 4c hair? It’s because, the 4c hair texture is thick and strong enough to stay in whatever shape you put it in.
please, if you’re drawing a character with 4c hair, avoid drawing it like curly 3 type hair, this is very anti-black and texturist.
So, how do you draw 4c hair?
honestly, its the most easy thing in the world
i wanna clarify that blobby looking 4c drawings ( like the one on the top left ) can work depending on how cartoony your art style is.
Another thing that I want to greatly clarify when it comes to drawing 4C hair is, YOU. DONT. NEED. TO. DRAW. EVERY. HAIR. STRAND!.....like, seriously. I’ve gotten many messages about how 4C hair is hard to draw, and it’s always left me confused; but then I find out that the same people that have trouble drawing 4C hair, attempt to draw every single strand of hair. This is unnecessarily time consuming because it’s merely impossible to get every single detail down, especially when you have a simple cartoon style. 4C hair does not require much effort, all you’re doing is drawing lumps. It’s that simple, nothing more nor nothing less.
The reason why I greatly advise all of you to avoid drawing every single hair strand is because in real life, when you look at a 4C textured Afro, your eyes don’t pick up on each individual hair strand like straight or curly hair. 4C hair, appears to be more undefined and cloud like, so attempting to draw each and every individual strand is unnecessary and will most likely end up looking inaccurate.
Anyways! that’s it for now! there will be a part 2 to this tutorial that will come out next week! i hope you guys have learned from this and apply it to your black character in your art!~
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Reasons why black hair isn’t only hair
Razones por las cuales el cabello de negro no es sólo cabello
| The Pencil Test |
Between 1948 and 1994, the pencil test was a method used to assessing whether a person was white or black. A pencil was slid into the hair of someone being assessed. If the pencil fell out, you were white and if it stayed in you were black.
This was a tool used to segregate black people and stop them from attending functions, schools and events. Not only did this cause racial division it also tore families apart.
| Prueba del lápiz |
Entre 1948 y 1994, la prueba del lápiz fue un método utilizado para determinar si una persona era blanca o negra. Un lápiz era puesto en el cabello y si este se caía, eras blanco y si este se quedaba en el cabello, eras negro.
Esta herramienta fue utilizada para segregar a la gente negra y para detenerlos de asistir a funciones, escuelas y eventos. Esto no solo causó división racial sino que también separó familias.
| Map to Freedom |
Cornrows have a rich history in the black community. Slaves would braid escape routes into their hair. They were used as a way for slaves to communicate with one another without their slave owners knowing. Some of the cornrows and the number of plaits worn would let them know how far they needed to travel or how many roads they needed to walk till they would be able to meet one another to escape the plantation.
| Mapa hacia la libertad |
Las trenzas tienen un rol importante en la historia de la comunidad negra. Los esclavos trenzaban rutas de escape en sus cabellos. Era utilizadas como un medio de comunicación entre ellos, sin que sus dueños se enteraran. Algunas de las trenzas y el número de ellas que se hacían les hacia saber cuánto tendrían que viajar o caminar para poder encontrarse y escapar de las plantaciones.
| Means of Survirval |
The black women who came before us were innovative and showed that the thickens and texture of black hair was so valuable and had a purpose.
This is because slaves would braid rice and seeds in their cornrows before journeying the Middle Passage. Enslaved mothers would also braid seeds in their children’s hair so they could eat in case they were separated due to slave auctions.
| Medios de sobrevivencia |
Las mujeres negras que estaban antes de nosotros, eran mujeres innovadoras que demostraron que el grosor y textura del cabello negro era valioso y tenía propósito.
Esto es porque los esclavos ponían arroz y semillas en las trenzas antes de viajar en el Pasaje Medio. Madres esclavas también ponían semillas en las trenzas de sus hijos para que pudieran alimentarse en caso de ser separados por las subastas.
| Cultural Representation |
Before colonization in the 15th century. Black hair would tell you everything you needed to know about a person just by looking at the style alone. Hairstyles were able to indicate things like wealth, religion, culture, tribe, marital status, social status, age and plenty more. You were even able to know a person’s last name just by looking at their hairstyle. This is because each tribe has their own unique hairstyle.
| Representación Cultural |
Antes de la colonización en el siglo XV, el cabello de negro o afro te decía todo lo que necesitabas saber acerca de una persona solo por ver el estilo de cabello. El estilo podría indicar cosas como la riqueza, religión, cultura, tribu, estado civil, estado social, edad y mucho más. Incluso podías saber el apellido de una persona solo por ver su estilo de cabello. Esto era porque cada tribu tenía su estilo único.
| The Tignon Law |
Late 18th century in Louisiana, black women were banned from wearing their hair in public and were ordered to cover it up at all times. This was because they wanted to curb the growing influence of the free black population and keep the social order. It was also believe that black women’s hairstyles would draw attention of white men, and this increased the jealousy of white women.
| La ley del Tignon |
A finales del siglo XVIII en Louisiana, a las mujeres negras se les prohibió usar su cabello natural en público y se les ordenó que lo cubrieran en todo momento. Esto era porque querían frenar la influencia creciente de la gente negra libre y mantener el orden social. También se creía que los estilos de las mujeres negras llamaba la atención de los hombres blancos lo que llevó al incremento de celos/envidia de las mujeres blancas.
| Stripped of Identity |
When the slave trade started and the slaves were captured, black women were forced to shave all their hair off. This was the beginning process of eradicating the “black” identity and culture. It was also a tool used to minimize black beauty and dehumanize black women, as slave owners knew their hair was something they valued enormously, was part of their identity and it also held so much significance.
|Despojo de identidad |
Cuando comenzó la trata de esclavos y estos eran capturados, las mujeres negras eran obligadas a cortarse todo el cabello. Esto fue el principio del proceso de erradicar la identidad “negra” y cultura. También era una herramienta utilizada para minimizar la belleza negra y deshumanizar a la mujer negra, debido que los dueños de eslavos sabían que el cabello era algo valorado enormemente, era parte de su identidad y tenía demasiado significado.
| Cultural appropriation |
Black hairstyles are an outward expression of self-acceptance and self-love. However, the anti-Black hair sentiment has existed in society for centuries. Black hair has been compared el wool and often described as ‘wild’, ‘nappy’ or ‘ghetto’. Yet non-black people are praised, credited and even profit from styles and trends that black women have been ridiculed for. Cultural appreciation is about recognizing history and where it came from, which includes learning about and giving credit to what you’re borrowing, instead of saying “it’s just hair”.
| Apropiación cultural |
Los estilos de cabello negros son una expresión de auto aceptación y amor propio. Sin embargo, el sentimiento “anti-cabello negro” ha existido en la sociedad por siglos.
El cabello negro ha sido comparado con lana y en varias ocasiones se ha descrito como “salvaje”, “duró” o “guetto”. Aún así personas no pertenecientes a la raza son aplaudidas, acreditadas e incluso se han beneficiado económicamente de los estilos y tendencias por los cuales las mujeres negras han sido ridiculizadas.
La apreciación cultural es acerca de reconocer la historia, de donde vino, incluye aprender y dar crédito de lo que estás prestando en vez de decir “es sólo cabello”.
| The Corporate World |
In 2010, Chastity Jones accepted a job offer from Catastrophe Management Solutions. However, the offer came with one caveat — she had to cut off her locs. Jones refused and the company rescinded its job offer. Chastity’s case is not unique. Cases filed by black working women alleging discrimination against a their natural hair in the workplace have filled courthouses for more than forty years.
| El Mundo Corporativo |
En el 2010, Chastity Jones aceptó una oferta de trabajo de Catastrophe Management Solutions. Sin embargo, la oferta venía con una advertencia o condición — tenía que cortarse sus rastas. Jones se rehusó y la compañía revocó su oferta. El caso de Chastity no es único. Casos interpuestos por mujeres negras trabajadoras alegando discriminación en contra de su cabello natural en su lugar de trabajo ha llenado los juzgados por más de cuarenta años.
CREDITS ON IMAGES GO OUT TO GERREL SAUNDERS ❤️
Link to his gallery: https://www.behance.net/gallery/43614983/CROWN
CRÉDITOS DE LAS IMÁGENES VAN A GERREL SAUNDERS ❤️
Enlace a su galería: https://www.behance.net/gallery/43614983/CROWN
Source | Fuente: @vibesofablackgirl
Spanish translation by Long Live Blackness Traducción al español por Long Live Blackness
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