Drawing challenge: Babies!

Is it impossible to draw babies?

Babies are one of the toughest subjects to draw. In today’s drawing challenge, I will go three rounds with the most formidable of adversaries: a baby!

People who don’t draw may wonder, what’s so hard about drawing a baby? Fair point.

Let me rant for a second. Babies don’t have lines in their faces. No laugh lines, no crows feet, no brow furrows. Nothing. As an illustrator, your work is making lines. No lines makes it so hard. Its like drawing a face on a plum.

Anyway, rant over, lets begin.

Round 1: Baby from a picture

First image is drawn from the eyes, second is drawn from the skull. The later method gets much better results.

This is done from a still shot on instagram. You can see the problems with the first image. Drawing eyes first is a recipe for failure. You end up readjusting the outline and shape of the head a million times. And nothing is worse than redrawing a finished eye because its two millimeters two high.

Drawing the skull first is the way to get it right. This applies to all head drawing. It may be a little morbid to sit around wondering what a baby’s skull looks like, but whatever. Do it for the art.

Round 1 goes to the artist.

Round 2: Baby in pen

Mixed successes and failures here. With pen you have to draw way slower than a pencil drawing. Look twice, draw once.

Pen makes it harder. None of those had underdrawings, which is why theyre so wonky. No skulls drawn here.

You can see the lack of consistency. Every shot looks different. These should all look like the same baby.

I’d say round 2 is a draw.

None of these are portfolio worthy. Really its just copying lines off a photo. I can copy pretty much any set of lines, baby or not. In that sense youre not really drawing a baby, just the lines that we recognize as an image of a baby.

The real challenge is-

Round 3: Baby from life

Unfinished drawings are unfinished cause you cant get anything done when theres a baby nearby.

Babies are the worst models. Just stay still!

Here are some of my failures. These are attempted from life. In most cases, he moved, or cried, or went directly for the pencil I was using to draw him. I was trying to find times to draw him all day. It didnt work out.

Drawing babies from life is impossible. Maybe, doing anything productive around a baby is impossible.

Round 3 goes to the baby. Theres no shame in being beaten by the best.

Scoring the challenge

  • Round 1: Samwise
  • Round 2: Tie
  • Round 3: Baby

So thats an even score. I tied with the baby for this challenge.

But, you kinda gotta give it to the baby because he’s a baby. I’m a grown adult with decades of experience. Tying with a baby isn’t exactly that impressive. Lets nudge it in his favor, right?

Victory goes to the baby!

There you go. Drawing babies is a super tough challenge.

Have you tried to draw babies? What else do you find it impossible to accomplish when babies are nearby? Sound off in the comments. And if you have ideas for other drawing challenges, I’ll try them win, lose, or draw.

Special thanks to my nephew Russel, my model for this challenge.

Thanks for reading,