We all like to look at baby pictures, but that doesn’t mean we all like to draw them!
We all know how much different it can be to draw children rather than adults. If the thought of drawing a child intimidates you, then you are likely even more hesitant to draw a subject that is a baby.
It is true that there are significant differences in facial and body proportions between adults and children. There are even more differences between adults and babies. However, those differences do not have to stop you from drawing a baby every now and then. In fact, you will soon see that drawing a baby can have more similarities to drawing an adult that differences.
In this tutorial, we will ease into the task of drawing a baby with a simple, less-intimidating subject. We will stay away from crying babies or playing babies with their arms and legs wobbling wildly in every direction. We will walk through how to make a drawing of a baby sleeping.
As you can see, there is little need to worry too much about body proportions in this example. Also, since our little guy’s eyes are closed, it will make drawing him that much easier. As we go along, I will point out some key facial proportions to keep in mind when drawing babies, as well as how they compare to facial proportions of adults.
Drawing the Baby’s Face
Start by making some simple guidelines. Use the reference photograph above to very lightly sketch the outline of the baby’s head, arm, and hands, as seen below. Try to get the angle of the head to closely match. You should also place some guidelines for the facial features.
Now here’s where having a reference photograph comes in handy…when we talk baby proportions! You have likely noticed that the head of a baby is much more round than that of an adult’s. Still, as you can see from carefully studying our reference photo, our baby’s head is not a perfect circle. It is still an oval shape. It is just a more circular oval than you would make for an adult.
Maybe you have also heard that a baby’s eyes are lower down on the head than an adult’s eyes. While usually true, this is barely noticeable in our example. The eyeline is placed just like an adult’s – halfway between the top of the head and the chin.
One key difference to pay attention to is the much shorter nose of a baby. For this reason, you can’t put the nose line halfway between the eyes and the chin. It needs to be closer to the eyes.
Speaking of the eyes, let’s draw them next. The eyes are usually the most prominent feature of a baby, since they are so large and round. Since they are so prominent, you might also find them to be the most challenging part of drawing a baby. Luckily, since our baby is sleeping, drawing his eyes will be a piece of cake.
Lightly sketch the curved eyelids and subtle wrinkles around them. Draw a light line bridging the eyes together in the middle. The eyebrows should be barely visible. The same goes for the eyelashes. Make them as short as you possibly can. This task is made easier with a mechanical pencil for drawing those fine, thin lines. You can also use the mechanical pencil for the entire drawing, as I did.
Remember that a baby’s nose is very short compared to an adult’s. For this reason, don’t leave much room for the bridge of the nose. Just focus on the tip and nostrils. I began by drawing a circle for the ball of the nose. The wings of the nostrils branch out from this circle but do not extend past the inner corners of the eyes.
Next draw the mouth, partly open to reflect the baby breathing in his sleep. A baby’s mouth is proportionately smaller than an adult’s; therefore, the corners of the mouth may not necessarily line up with the center of each eye. They will actually be closer to the inner corners of the eyes. Lightly sketch vertical lines on the upper and lower lips. Since the baby is sleeping on his left cheek, you should see a bit of a crease where the upper lip meets that cheek.
Now it is time to better define the outline of the face. Remember earlier when we said babies have a round head? Think “round and circular” as you trace over the contour of the baby’s cheeks. Place the ear between the guidelines for the eyes and the mouth (not the nose).
Finishing Up the Final Details
Our baby subject does not have very much hair. Sketch a fuzzy outline along the top of the head where the hair is slightly fuller. Draw fine lines to show the thinner patches of hair that are closer to the face. Since this pretty much completes the baby’s face, now would be a good time to also erase your guidelines.
Moving along, the next part of the drawing is the baby’s sleeve. I suggest that you look at the reference photo and try to sketch the folds of the fabric as best as you can. If you need extra help drawing the clothing, you can read a previous post I wrote about how to draw clothes along with the various types of folds found in them.
The final step is to draw the hands and indicate the soft bedding on which the baby is resting. I opted to not make the ribbed, parallel line pattern of the bedding from the reference photo. However, I did pay close attention to the reference photo to try and keep the size of the hands properly proportioned to the face. I kept having the urge to draw them smaller, since the arms are so small compared to the head.
Baby Proportions to Remember
To sum up a few comparisons that were covered in this lesson between baby and adult proportions:
- Babies have very round, almost circular heads. However, they are still oval-shaped. The oval shape of adult heads are much more obvious.
- When compared proportionately to the rest of the body, the head of a baby is larger than an adult’s head.
- The eyes of a baby are slightly lower on the head than an adult’s, but they are still pretty much centered between the top of the head and the chin.
- The nose of a baby is shorter than an adult’s.
- The mouth is smaller and the corners do not necessarily line up with the centers of the eyes.
- The bottom of the ears may line up more with the mouth than the nose.
As always, these are general guidelines that may not apply to every baby subject perfectly. Nevertheless, maybe being familiar with them will make you a little more confident the next time you draw a person who’s favorite words are “goo goo ga ga”.
Remember, taking on those subjects that you normally want to run away from is a sure-fire way to grow as an artist. Hopefully this tutorial will motivate you to draw even more baby pictures!