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Braiding Tutorial Reference by CGCookie Braiding Tutorial Reference by CGCookie
The Braiding Reference by Tim Von Rueden (vonn):
This week I've been working with learning the different techniques artists use to create the braided pattern, as I found out there were many. Rather than only choosing one, three examples of the process were included in this Braided Reference resource that was created to help out with creating your own braids. As noted, the ones with the "X" above them aren't wrong, just inaccurate. In comics, manga, animation, or any media that relies on quick paced results, braids that are simplified are often used, hence why they are not wrong.

The different ways to create the braid are as follows

  1. Repeated Shape - Create that shape with three pointed corners and a smooth one, and repeat it down the line while mirroring the shape on the opposite side.
  2. Zig-Zag Pattern - First draw a tight zigzag going down the line you want the braid to fall on. Then create a curved line going upwards until you meet with the "stopping point"
  3. Curved Live - I would consider this one the most difficult but it's when you draw a curved line in sequence and then repeat it on the opposite side, not mirrored, but slightly higher or lower. Finish it off with the zigzag going down the center to connect the two!

Lastly, it's important to note that the braided pattern can be used for more than just hair. You can see the pattern in weaponry, armor, tiles, and within various other patterns. It's not just for girls either. If you look at even newer fantasy movies like the Hobbit, both the dwarves and elves are lavished with braids intermingled in their hair.

Add a Comment:
charlymd Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2016
I used zigzag and its amazing!
charlymd Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2016
So very helpful!
Bloodsoft Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Useful! I think I prefer 1 and 2, if only because 3 is more difficult.
XquinaSin Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Oh! Thank you for this great tutorial. The zig-zag really helped when nothing else was helping. I tried the it and was blown away how fast I caught on to drawing braids. Now onto trying to color them and make them look realistic. Thanks again.
joy97 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015
I love braids and I try for months to draw them on a character but they never looked right.
I'm going to practice with this. Thank you.
LittleDesertStar Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you so much x3
Quetzal-Queen Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
This will make drawing braids easier for me with the zig zag pattern!
PinkyPie25800 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for this! I've always tried to draw braids, but I really couldn't! Now I can!
YunaSenpai Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
omg, I was just stuck on a drawing with braids, thank you *w*
TurboTasticGal Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This super helped! Thank you so much!~
MapleNutCase77 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this it has really helped!!!😋 X3
CosmicGalaxyStar Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh sweet ! thank for the tutorial ! i really need this >_<
ColorPixie Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey! Just wanted to say that I used your trick sheet, and it was very useful and informaive ^^ Thank you for making it!! :heart:
MouseMoonCorp Featured By Owner May 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oraleee esta excelente! CURSE YOU!  llevo varios años intentando hacer las trenzas la verdad muy útil! gracias! :D
Smudgeproof Featured By Owner May 9, 2015
This looks so helpful.  Love that you have more than one way to achieve the braid.  Thank you! :heart:
DrawWithNessie Featured By Owner May 3, 2015
This is very helpful since one of my OCs has braided hair.
PrincessHeavenly15 Featured By Owner Edited Apr 7, 2015  Student General Artist
This is very helpful. Thank you.
the-manga-lover Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015
oh, this is amazing! you are incredible making this! it's always so hard trying to make a braid but this will help alot>!
zaboo17 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015
Yes, thank you!
GearArcana-No37 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Cool dude, thanks! This will help me for my Character Design!
skymongol Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015
Furattii Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so very helpful! Great job! :clap:
StudioSavage Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Student General Artist
I finally understand braids. Very good tutorial:D (Big Grin) 
skyblue000 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've never really 'understood' how to draw braids until this. x) Thanks for sharing~~ :iconloveloveplz: 
Vibrant-Snow Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for this, Really helpful <3
HardcoreAPHfan Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014
Thank you! This is so helpful!
Kitti-Featherwolf Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Student Filmographer
This is very helpful, thank you!
PearOfDiscord Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014
Very helpful, thanks!
pauljs75 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Good for knotwork also... I had some old stuff like this, but knot as pretty in the presentation.
OmmaXie Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see what you did there.
Dorinootje Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
omg I so needed this, I always do this the wrong way (the 3th from inaccurate) XD
thanks a bunch!
delacci Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Student General Artist
Helpful! Thank you :D
jollyfrenchfry Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014  Student General Artist
thank you so much wow
DimensionalTiger Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014
Thank you. You have no idea how hard it is to have me draw a braid.....this helps a lot.
moon-s-child Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Student General Artist
I love you so much for this... T-T thank you so much Exo : Crying Kai 
Akai-Yuri Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This tutorial is really easy to understand, thanks for showing us! It will be very useful for me in the future.
LadyEnnalissia Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful for me. I often draw braid and have came to get confused on how to do them. Thank you so much for this.
ChibiKera-chan Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Student General Artist
:facepalm: That makes so much sense. I never draw braids because I always draw them wrong. I understand what they should look like but my execution has been all wrong.

Thanks for the tutorial. It's extremely helpful. 
Hazelgee Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Plaits always drive me crazy, this is fantastically helpful! Thanks <3
LightningRaider Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
OMGosh! YES! Thank-you! <3
SpupahBouncyMaddie83 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Student General Artist
You taught me how to braid hair *u* I feel so powerful now.
Silverbloodwolf98 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mind blowing thing- always had probs for weapon one xD never thought they are exactly same
JOHNC3NA Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Student Artist
Bless your soul for this 
sakunohanagasa Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
it's really hard draw this.... you make it really easy xD
CGCookie Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Glad to hear! 
Lostinlust17 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Student Filmographer
Awesome Tutorial! ovo
InfernalMirror Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
This... oh hell. You changed my life.
CGCookie Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Haha this made me laugh when i first glanced at the comment. Hope this helps in future braiding! 
Pyroesque Featured By Owner May 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Braid within a braid….. Braidception. xD
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Submitted on
February 14, 2014
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