Children’s Body Proportions:
Drawing children’s fashion can be difficult as young children have very different proportions and physical characteristics in comparison to adults. Their poses are different, more playful and innocent. Their bodies are less shapely. They are drawn in a more cartoon-like style and the younger they are, the more rounded their bodies and larger their heads.
When dealing with kids fashion design you can use the same head measurements as those used for adults, dependant on the age group:
· Infants (two to three years) - 4 heads
· Small Child (four to six years) - 5 heads
· Child (seven to ten years) - 7 heads
· Adolescent/Teen –8 heads
Characteristics throughout the ages:
Babies (from birth to one year old):
· The head is one quarter of the total head of the child.
· The body, torso, head, arms and legs all have a rounded look.
· The face features big rounded eyes and there are dimples on the cheeks, knuckles and knees.
· Babies are drawn lying down or in a propped up position.
Toddlers (one to two years old):
· The head is still large in relation to the body (four heads high).
· The figure should still have a chubby look with little or no definition.
· The figure should have an extended belly and at this stage children still wear nappies.
· There is hardly any difference between boy and girl figures.
· Figures should have round and chubby faces, big cheeks, undefined jaw-lines and short necks.
· Figures should have rounded eyes, small button noses and hardly any definition for eyebrows.
· At this stage you may begin to add a little style to the hair.
· Since toddlers are at the age where they begin to walk, figures may be drawn in a sitting position.
Children (two to three years old):
· At this stage figures should be drawn at four and a half heads high.
· Most changes should be seen in the legs – they should be drawn straight as the children are now able to walk.
· Arms and legs may be drawn in a shapelier manner, but is still on the chubby side.
· Figures should still have an extended tummy.
· Faces should be drawn in a more defined manner, with a longer neck, larger mouth and teeth.
· Although more defined hairstyles are the norm in terms of this age group there is still no difference between boys and girls.
Children (three years old):
· At this stage children are drawn upright in cute poses.
· Body language should be depicted in a slightly awkward manner.
· Movements can seem more dynamic.
· Clothing is more individual and fashionable.
Children (four to six years old):
· At this stage children are about five heads high, with most growth shown in the leg area.
· There are some body shape changes. As the torso is losing baby fat, the stomach should protrude less, although there is still no waistline.
· Faces should be drawn narrower, with less rounded eyes and darker eyebrows.
· Noses should be more defined with roundness at the tip.
· The mouth is larger with fully-developed teeth.
· Hair is styled.
· There is more distinction between boys and girls and clothing is more fashionable.
· Poses are more active and animated, albeit still slightly awkward.
Children (seven to ten years):
· At this stage children are around seven heads high.
· Although more muscular, they still have no waist.
· Extremities become slimmer with knees and elbows becoming more apparent.
· Cheeks are still rounded, but figures are losing baby fat.
· Eyes are more shapely, noses are small but becoming stronger with a wider bridge, while the mouth is developing.
· Poses are more adult-like and less cute.
Tips for drawing kids wear:
· Stylising is used to define the age group and differences between boys and girls.
· Include captivating charm and innocence - draw freckles, knock-knees or large heads/feet.
· Hairstyles, props and poses are used to define the age of the child.
· As a rule of thumb most baby girls wear pink and boys wear blue until the age of two.
· Keep children’s fashion whimsical and fun - make use of bright colours and cute prints.
· Make use of fun kids fashion design themes - cowboys and Indians, sailors, farm animals etc.
· Colours and prints are important, don’t use black in children’s fashion design.
· Use a landscape format, is represents a better visual approach for small items.
· Use children’s books, movies, etc. for inspiration
When formatting your portfolio for kids’ fashion your approach should be based on character play or tradition rather than trendiness.