Oldsters vs. Youngsters

May 25, 2014

So here’s an oldster that I sketched on the DL while spying from another booth at Famous Dave’s.

When I see a someone like this, I can’t let the opportunity to draw him pass me by cuz…I mean come on, this guy’s got all the best stuff!

Glasses, wrinkles, long wavy hair, a double chin. These are all the special features and accessories that make a person fun to draw. And the best part is that he is NOT wearing a hat, because damn hats are difficult to draw.

Oldster Profile

The only thing missing is a mustache. But to quote The Fault in Our Stars, “The world is not a wish granting factory.”

(PS – go read The Fault in Our Stars)

So anyway, my point here, not that you asked, and which I’ve already made before anyway, is that the older a person is, the easier and more fun they are to draw.

Which makes babies the ultimate challenge.

The only exception would be if someone had that aging backwards disease like Benjamin Button, in which case the older they are, the harder they would be to draw.

I guess.

I haven’t actually seen the movie, so I’m a little hazy on how that works.

Anyhow, in normal situations, where people are born as a baby and grow older as time moves forward in the usual direction, younger people are generally much harder to draw than the older ones.

The reason for this comes down to one thing: Line.

The older a person gets, the more stuff they acquire on their face. Hair, scars, accessories, wrinkles. All that stuff takes lines. And the more lines you have to draw, the less it matters if you get them right.

With babies it’s the other way around. All they have are the basic features: nose, mouth, eyes, ears. And those features are so small that they barely even cast a shadow. So you gotta be real careful to get those features in the right place on the first line, because you can’t correct them with a second, third, or fourth line, or you’ll just make them look older.

Also, babies have kinda lumpy heads, and it’s really hard to get the shape right on the first try.

I’m bringing back Little Neph because I have so few decent drawings of babies.

Little Neph

If I could go back in time (in a time machine, not the Benjamin Button way) I would have been more careful about the lines I made around Neph’s eyes. Because even though he did have a couple faint shadows around there, I made them look a lot more sunken in than they really were.

So when it comes to drawing the youngsters, even if they do have a shadow on their face, or a tiny crease around their nose, sometimes maybe it’s better to leave it off.

And yeah yeah yeah, all the art teachers are going to say “Draw what you see, not what you know,” which is true and all, but sometimes you gotta bend the rules. Or be very clear about how many lines, and what line quality it will take to represent that shadow or crease accurately.



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