Lesson Seven: How to Draw Babies

An average baby caricature

The average baby

Drawing babies is just hard.

All the straight lines and even proportions we’ve been learning don’t work on babies.  And for some reason, any little thing you get wrong is going to look much worse than any little thing you get wrong on an adult.

Babies are all circles.  If you were doing an underdrawing (don’t), the head would be a circle, the cheeks would be circles, the eyes and irises, the chin, and the end of the nose.  They’re not perfect circles, but they’re circles.  Well, sometimes they are perfect circles.


The important thing to remember is to make that forehead huge.  Seriously, go ahead and make that thing bigger than you think it should be.  Then go in again, and make it even bigger.  It’s hard to mess up a baby by making it’s head too big, but it’s going to look crazy if you make it too small.  The eye line on a baby is much lower than the eye line on a full grown man


If you find you’ve been drawing a lot of straight lines to outline the face, you’re going to have problems here.  Every line has a smooth curve.  You have to outline the whole cheek with one, smooth, thick-to-thin line.  You have to draw the eyes with two gentle, controlled curves.



Don’t do this:

A bad drawing of a baby with chubby cheeks

Bad lines.

I know most babies have lines right there, where their chubby cheeks connect the corners of their mouth to their nose.  But don’t draw them.  For some reason, chubby The line of a babys chubby cheekcheeks look really cute if you draw that line at the mouth, and a lot worse if you bring it all the way up to the nose.  Just suggest it, don’t draw the whole thing.  And those lines under the eyes?  Just don’t do them at all, unless they’re really, really important to the likeness.  In that case, just be delicate, and be aware that they might wreck all the cuteness.

Here are some awfully cute babies and toddlers from around the world, to get you started.  Thanks, Flickr!

A photo of a latin babyA photo of a caucasian toddlerA photo of an asian babyA photo of an Indian baby

Flickr credits:
Latin baby | Caucasian toddler | Asian baby | Indian baby