Drawing a realistic baby face with accurate proportions can be challenging. Baby heads have unique bone structures that are not yet fully developed. In this article, we will provide a reference sheet for drawing baby and toddler heads with correct proportions. This guide will help you understand the nuances of baby facial features and their placement. Whether you’re an artist or simply interested in learning, bookmark this page to refer back to it. The information presented here is derived from the book “Drawing the Face & Hands,” which you can find on Amazon if you wish to explore further.
Understanding Baby Head Proportions
A baby’s facial structure differs from that of an adult. Their jawbone, cheekbones, and the bridge of their nose are relatively smaller in proportion. As a result, the baby’s face occupies only about a quarter of the total head area, from the brows down. Additionally, the cartilages of the nose develop faster than the bone structure, causing the little nose to turn up. The upper lip is longer, and the undeveloped chin usually recedes or remains below the lips.
The Eyes and Their Placement
A baby’s eyes are fully developed, making them appear large and adorable. Due to the smaller head size, the eyes seem to be further apart than those of adults. However, it is essential to avoid placing the eyes too close together, as it can adversely affect the baby’s facial expression in your drawing. It is best to observe a sleeping baby for studying their head proportions. If that’s not possible, use photographs as references. Keep in mind that babies tend to move, so understanding the general proportions and ideally memorizing them will be beneficial.
Capturing the Essence of a Baby’s Face
To bring vitality to your artwork or drawings of a baby’s face, emphasize the blockiness of planes and edges. While babies have smooth and round faces, copying this quality too meticulously can result in a lack of character. The general shape of a baby’s head resembles a bulge attached to a round ball. The vertical distances between the features are relatively short, creating a wider appearance. When constructing the basic shape of a baby’s face, aim for that adorable, baby-like look.
Divisions for Toddler Heads
For children aged three to four years (toddler stage), the facial divisions slightly differ. In the provided sketches, the eyes rest in the lower half of the first quarter division. The top line represents the eyebrow line, while the corners of the lips align with the third division line. The chin typically drops slightly below the line of the fourth division. These adjustments make the baby look slightly older by adding more chin length and slightly elongating the face.
Variations in Baby Head Shapes
Even when following the suggested proportions, the placement of facial features and the relationship between the face and the skull can create slight variations in the appearance of baby heads. Baby skulls can differ considerably in shape, with high, low, or elongated variations. The infant skull undergoes rapid changes during the first year or two of life, shaping the face. As the baby develops, the face becomes longer relative to the cranium, causing the eyes and brows to move upward in the head. This shift, combined with the lengthening of the lower jaw, nose, and upper jaw, positions the eyes of an adult or teen on the middle line of the head. Understanding this relationship is crucial, as it directly influences the perceived age of a child.
Drawing Babies and Children
When drawing babies and children, it is easier to work with four divisions rather than the three divisions used for adult faces. Although the actual size of the head is smaller, the spaces between features are proportionally wider. The eyes are set wider apart, the upper lip is longer, and the space from eye to ear appears significantly wider. Striving for these proportions will ensure that your drawing truly captures the essence of a baby, rather than resembling a bald, old man. When relaxed, a baby’s mouth is more pursed, with the upper lip rising sharply and often protruding. The chin is small and typically positioned well below the mouth, sometimes with a hint of baby fat underneath.
To draw a very young baby, start by sketching a ball and plane with a shorter facial plane. Place the eyebrows on the halfway line and divide the face from the brows down into four parts. The eyes should touch the bottom line of the top division, the nose should align with the bottom line of the second division, the corners of the mouth should fall on the bottom line of the third division, and the chin should drop slightly below the fourth division line. The ears should be positioned below the halfway line.
Drawing baby and toddler heads with correct proportions requires careful observation of their unique facial structures. By understanding the distinctive features and their placement, you can create realistic and endearing depictions of babies in your artwork. Remember to consider the blockiness of planes and edges to add character to your drawings. With practice and a solid understanding of the proportions discussed in this article, you’ll be able to capture the essence of a baby’s face with accuracy and charm.