Young children are very playful and curious! They are also very tactile. They like to explore and learn about the world around them through their five senses, especially their sense of touch. As a teacher of first grade children for many years, I know this very well!
In that spirit, I thought it would be a fun tutorial to draw a cute little girl playing with a phone. Here is a reference photo of a little girl who found a phone and is pretending to talk on the phone. Or who knows? Maybe she is actually talking to someone!
The artist who contributed the drawings for this tutorial used an H, HB, and 2B graphite pencil. It might also be a good idea to have some drawing paper (haha) and an eraser close by. With tools in hand, we are ready to begin.
Draw with an H Pencil
Begin with an H pencil. Search for a composite position on a sheet of drawing paper. In other words, where should we place the main mass?
Decide on the basic size of the overall subject in proportion to the size of the drawing paper. Then sketch a rough outline to place the head and position the hand. Sketch a few guidelines in the head for facial features later on.
Make a rough and primitive sketch of the main features of the face. Look at the reference photo and the example below to help you with placement of the eyes, nose, mouth, ear, hairline, and a few select details on the chin and cheek.
Elaborate upon the basic facial features sketched in the previous step. Sketch highlights within the eyes. Draw the girl’s teeth. Add detail to the ear and hand. Draw what is seen of the girl’s outfit. Sketch in more of the value changes, or shadows, seen on the face, neck, and below.
Loosely sketch an initial base layer of tone. Lightly sketch straight hatch lines going in the same direction. In the presence of shadow, make the tone slightly darker.
Draw with an HB Pencil
Now we can begin to use the HB pencil. Look for areas of the drawing that need darkening and begin to apply shading. Define the outline of the eyes and the pupils within the irises. Shade the nostrils, inside the mouth, and lips. Darken the shadows on the neck. Shade the ear, phone, lower hand, and the thin shadow the phone is casting onto the cheek.
Continue to shade and add details to the facial features. Shade around the eyes. Erase and sculpt the highlights in the eyes. Lightly shade the nose between the nostrils. Add shadows to form the ear and draw the earring. Shade the lips and work to clearly form the teeth.
Keep working on the lips. Bring out additional highlights on the lips and shade around the highlights to make them stand out. Darken up the phone.
Next let’s focus on the little girl’s hair. With the side of you pencil lead, darken the hair by making another layer of broad strokes back and forth. Again, they should generally go in the same direction, while still maintaining the shape of the hair and head. Apply more layers and pressure on darker patches as needed.
Using light crosshatch lines, work to add eyebrows and more shading to mold the face. Look at the reference photo to see which areas of the chin and cheeks to darken with these light crosshatch lines.
We also return to the eyes and hand. Carefully draw the upper eyelashes. Work on the shadow on the hand and forming the fingers.
Continue to add shadows as needed. Work on the falling shadow that the chin casts on the neck.
Draw with a 2B Pencil
Switch to the 2B pencil. Now we are working with the shadow on the hair. Continue to darken up parts of the hair that need it. Use a mixture of crosshatch lines going in different directions while still being aware of hair shape and direction.
We can also shade the girl’s clothing and skin below her neck.
Continue modeling the nose and cheeks. Don’t forget to maintain the highlight on the nose and the reflected light along the lower edge of the tip of the nose between the nostrils.
Keep working and reworking subtle areas. Touch up details on the eyebrows, including darkening some of the hairs. Look for spots on the cheeks and chin that may need highlights pulled and shadows reshaped.
Rework the lips and hair with more layers of shading. Complete the lips and mouth by pulling any final highlights and adding the last layers of tone. Darken shadows on the hand.
Carefully draw eyelashes on the lower eyelids. Keep working in more layers of hair. Remove any unnecessary lines in the area of the collarbone.
Finalize the hair and shadows. Keep adding layers of crosshatch lines until you get values that balance the portrait. Take a look at the overall drawing and make any necessary finishing touches. Don’t forget to add your signature as the final touch in the work!
That concludes the steps for drawing a little girl on the phone! To best learn how to draw a little girl, don’t stop with this tutorial. Find another reference photograph and apply some of the principles from this tutorial in a drawing of your very own. Applying what you’ve learned to your own chosen projects will help you really start to see results.
Note: I would like to thank artist Sergey Boyko for contributing his drawings and tips for this tutorial! To learn more about Sergey’s artwork, please visit his ArtStation portfolio and his Facebook group.