How to draw characters of different ages

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Proportions

First of, these are just some things I’ve noticed over time, nothing I say should be taken as the only way.

Also, I’ll ALWAYS recommend new artists to look for references, it changes everything.

Now, talking about proportions, children (6-7) usually are half the size of an average adult and, as our bones settle in together, older people tend to shrink and lose a few millimeters.

Childhood

The two most important things about drawing a child’s head is their big round eyes and gigantic skull.
In the guideline, instead of drawing the circle with the cross through it, like we usually do, draw the circle and the cross at the bottom of it.

Add a smal nose, mouth, round ears, thin eyebrows and a shorter neck. (Again, it doesn’t mean children can’t have other features like big nose or thick eyebrows, that’s just a general appearance of a anime child)

Exemple:

Now add a body and don’t be afraid of make them a little chubby, in fact, a usually make the body base pear shaped.

And finally, add the hair. It is not a rule, but I prefer make their hair a little messy and/or short.

Adulthood

Adolescence/adulthood is perhaps the most common stage we see being drawing around.There’s not much of a secret: the skull and the eyes get smaller and the other features tend to position less smooshed together than in childhood.

Also, if you’re drawing the same character remember to keep some features like eyes shape, hair style(optional), etc…

If you’re drawing a man, try adding facial hair (mustache, beard, side burns)

Also, make the jaw even sharper, the eyes a bit smaller and a thicker neck

And if you want the character to look a bit older just add some expressions lines, they’ll do the whole thing.

She already looks some years older, right?

Older people

I think old age is the stage of life that we least see represented in drawings, but there are some details that make old people very interesting to draw.

Ps: On this stage you really should look for references.My recommendation is to look is to look for some older character from ghibli studio, they have a very good characterization.

Our skin starts to become more flaccid, expression wrinkles start to appear more and our cheek loses definition . When drawing the jaw add flash gags bellow the jawbone. Also, draw the ears a little bigger.

Don’t exaggerate the wrinkles. Make some thicker line for the nasolabial furrow, and small lines on the forehead and just below the lips.


Now make smaller and a little more declining at the edges eyes, and below you should make thicker bags. The eyebrows get thinner.

The nose gets a little more bulbous and the lips get thinner

If you’re planning to draw a man, make BIGGER eyebrows and a nose more prominent

Now add thin hair.

Now, draw the body, try to make the hips wider and the back curvilinear

Some extra details

After coloring in the way that you’re familiar it’s time to add extra things, like objects and cloth details. That’s my favorite part.

Clip Studio has an AMAZING amount of tools that can be used to make clothing patterns. Go to ‘Decorations tool, then to the Cloth pattern and you’ll find lots of incredible options. You can also download more.

Now it’s with you and your creativity. Add fun patters to children’s clothing, laces and frill to old people and accessories to adults. Make sure to put the layers under the layer that you made the shading, so it’ll fit better

And that’s it. :)

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