How to Draw Children

The answer is complicated because children are complicated and I am presuming the questioner either did know how to draw or paint something or did not know how to draw or paint anything. Thus I will answer it from a basic question of “How can I learn to draw anything”? I will also use a child as the subject of the answer . However you can use these techniques with any subject matter.


I find that painting children from life can be almost impossible, which is why I like using photographs of children whenever I wish to produce something permanent such as a child portraiture. With a little practice and knowing some artist trade secrets anyone can learn to do it.

First choose a simple picture of your favorite child. For someone who has never done anything like this you can use some artistic trade secrets such as scanning the picture and then printing it down to the size of the art work you want to create. Using artist trade secret number 1 of the 3 artistic trade secrets you can duplicate it onto your canvas, drawing pad or watercolor paper. Remember, your first attempt may not be your greatest one, but practice is all it takes and you can practice in any method such as colored pencils used in my painting called “Fishing Buddies©”. I then highlighted parts of the painting with pen and India ink.

Artist trade secret number one is the tracing method. You can buy inexpensive art tracing paper and put it under your photo between you paper, pad or canvas and then trace out only the basic outlines of your subject in the photo. Retain your color photo for reference to go on to create your full picture’s details. If you want to create a pencil drawing or sketch then have your original photo for reference and a few good sketching pencils to create your lights and shadows as you fill in your drawing such as the example of my grandson and his dog.

Artist trade secret number two is the grid method. The first thing you do is to create a grid of horizontal and vertical lines on your reproduction photo creating squares. Then draw the same number of horizontal and vertical lines on your paper, pad or canvas. Select a starting point and draw lines in the squares that correspond to the subject’s outline in the photo’s squares. A photo such as “SneakPeak”© lent itself well to the grid method and the use of colored pencils made for an easy painting.

Artist trade secret number three is the photo projection method and one needs access to a photo projector to use this method. One takes a small photo and places under the bottom of the projector and turning on the projector one will be able to project the image onto your paper, pad or canvas in the size you want simply by adjusting the projector. Once you have it the way you want it you simply draw on top of the projected lines that are on your paper, pad or canvas. “Childhood Friends©” was a simple photo to use with the photo projection method and again the use of a few good sketching pencils created what I wanted.

I can easily teach anyone any of these methods in 3 to 5 hours and welcome all calls or emails from anyone who wants to learn and remember one must practice, practice and more practice. May the Creative Force be with you! So the next time you are in our neck of the woods, stop in for a visit where “Art Only is Spoken Here©” and if you have any arts and crafts questions, just post it in the area below.

"Tread the Earth Lightly" and in the meantime.... May your day be filled with...

Peace, Light and Love,

Arlene Wright-Correll

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