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Akari Paws

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How to draw Children

              I haven’t had that much experience with children honestly. Most of my character, ones that I’ve created myself, aren’t any younger then 13 or 14 so I’m not used to drawing child. I have read a few things on it, I mean they are normally talked about in most “how to draw manga” type books. I can’t ever recall a book on how to draw kids though. Anyways. Children between the ages of infants to about 4 years old range in size of 3 to 4 head lengths. As you can see on the far end in the picture below is baby Jovie. She is like 2 there and is a little over three head lengths tall. Most gag characters in anime’s like cute little Shippo from Inuyasha also tend to be the same size. The first example at the far left is Jovie around her average age of like 11 or 12. The thing about Jovie’s character is she has a Little Washu Complex, which if you know the show Tenchi Muyo! you know partly what I’m talking about. Jovie is actually much older, but she likes to remain kid sized.

               As you can see the figure in the middle is Jovie teen aged. Probably like 16 or 17 which is a regular sized women practically. (that is 6 to 7 head lengths tall)

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            Here is an original character sketch of Jovie, well a blank one. As you can see she’s just slightly over 6 head lengths. A character who is 10 to 12 years old is generally around 6 head lengths, give or take some depending on the creators idea for the character. Unlike a lot of shows with character this age I don’t really like to make them look all supper skinny. There’s nothing wrong with that but I like my characters to look a little more real then that. But still the arms and legs are kept pretty much straight with hardly any definition at all, I suppose that is why the skinny little stick figure kids are so popular.

               The body should be pretty straight, arms and legs should be pretty much one width all the way down, ankles and wrists should be kind of wide to. Making them tiny will make them just look like really short adults. The shoulders shouldn’t be very broad, just coming about a little farther then the head. Oh yes, something very important. The child’s head should be larger then you’d think to draw. This makes the kids look cute, or this is what I’ve read. The horizontal line that the eyes rest on should be set lower also, less then half way down the face. This leaves room for large eyes.

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            As you can see in this picture, Jovie’s features and costume are filled in. This really isn’t a good example. It works a little more towards what you shouldn’t do. Her eyes aren’t large enough and the shape of her head needs work, but this is why it’s a rough draft sketch though. Her shoulders don’t’ look right either, lol. The side view is ok though.

          Stick to cute child like hair styles, short cuts, pig tails or fansical curly looks look adorable. Large rounded eyes, or eyes w/ downward slowing upper lids will make your children characters look softer, cuter, and more venerable. ALSO! Big red cheeks are considered very cute in Japan, or so I have read in a few how to draw anime books. This is why a lot of kids have those red dots on there faces in some shows and movies. Take Ed from Cowboy Bebop. She has little red circles on her cheeks.

             Anyways I hope this was helpful in some way. I’ll have a more in-depth tutorial on this at another time, but restrictions on space for this site have prevented me from going into the amount of depth that I’d like.

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