At first, drawing children doesn’t seem like that much of a challenge. I mean, you take so many figure drawing courses in art school and you start to think you can draw pretty good. And if you’re good at drawing adults, drawing kids should be pretty easy, right? Well, after you’ve tried dozens and dozens of times, and all you come up with are a bunch of freaky midget creatures, you start to realize how wrong you were.
I realized this shortly after I graduated from school and decided to go into children’s publishing. My first assignments were, I admit, less than stellar. But I’ve learned a few things along the way, so I thought I would share some tips with you all.
Curves vs. Angles
Curves vs. Angles
When a baby is first born, he has a lot of baby fat that gradually goes away as he grows up. The younger the person you are drawing, the more rounded his face and body will be. So, when you are drawing a child, try to use more circles and curves as opposed to angles.
The most notable difference between a child and adult is the proportion of the head vs. the body. When you are young, your head doesn’t grow as much as the rest of the body and reaches full size before everything else. As a result, heads can look a lot bigger on kids.
A typical person is about the height of six heads. A kid is significantly less, probably around 3 or 4, depending on his age.
Again, children are pudgier than adults, so their faces will be more round as a result. I usually draw kids with very circular heads. I also give them round, chubby cheeks.
Eyes are typically larger and are set farther down on the head, giving them a larger forehead. Noses are small and cute. Ears tend to stick out more.
As you draw older ages, the cheeks and jawline become more angular as the baby fat goes away. The face will start to look longer, and the proportions start to even out.
Don’t just draw a bunch of lines and expect to create a cute kid. Learning to draw children is fun because they present so many great moods and situations. As with any good character design, it’s best to start with an attitude, action, or emotion. Draw a kid that is bratty, precocious, whiny, mischievous, or playful. These kinds of ideas will always make a better drawing.