How to Draw a Baby from Life

Drawing babies presents a unique set of challenges. There are several important distinctions between a baby’s face and an adult’s face.

Drawing the face of a baby from a photograph may be challenging enough, but can you imagine drawing a baby from life? In the following videos from Lon Haverly and his TV series “You Can Draw!”, he does just that.


While holding a puppet of Ernie from Sesame Street to keep the 8-month-old’s attention, Lon explains that drawing a baby is all about having the fundamentals down and using simple lines.

Along with that he reminds us of some key differences between drawing babies and older people. Lon tells us the “lines of the width of the face are really crucial” and the eyes should be “slightly over an eye length apart” with very large irises.

When I draw a person, whether it be a simple sketch or a more realistic portrait, I almost always begin with a line drawing to get the basic shapes of the facial features in place. Lon has a different approach that works out very well for him. He does begin with an outline of the face and hair. Then, rather than drawing in the features, he lightly indicates a mark to place where the eyebrows, nose, and mouth will be and uses a hatching technique to shade around these features before actually drawing them. It just goes to show you that you can use different techniques as an artist and still get good results.

So have you ever drawn a subject from real life? Have you ever drawn a squirmy subject? I suggest you watch first and then give it a try. Recruit a baby or child in your home or other relatives or friends willing to help you out with their babies.

Share your experiences in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *