Dranvinc rabies is almost a branch of art in itself. Yet the illustrator and commercial artist may l>c called upon quite often to include them in his work. Babies also make particularly attractive pictures for framing; when they are well done, most families are delighted with them.
If the baby head is understood, it is really no harder to draw than any other head, and sometimes not as hard. The reason is that the artist is dealing much more with construction and proportion than with anatomy. The skull is important. as always, but the muscles are so deeply hidden that they hardly affect the surface. As Plates 51 and 52 show, the proportions are somewhat different from those in the adult head.
In the baby head the bone structure is not yet completely developed. The jawbone, cheekbones. and the bridge of the nose arc relatively much smaller. This makes the baby face smaller in proportion to the skull, so that the face, from the brows down, only occupies about one-quar-ter of the whole area of the head. The cartilages of the nose are way ahead of the lx>nc structure, so the little nose usually turns up. because the bridge above it is rounded and close to the plane of the face. The upper lip is longer, and the chin, Ixing undeveloped, usually reccdcs or is well under the lips.
Only the iris of the eye is fully developed, which makes the eyes appear large and buttony. They appear to be farther apart than the average adult's eyes l>ccause they rest in a smaller head. Eyes set too close together are unpleasant in a baby face and can spoil a drawing. A baby's head can best be studied when the baby is sleeping. Otherwise we must turn to photographs or magazine illustrations. Babies arc l>ound to wriggle and there is nothing that we can do alx>ut it. It is therefore of great importance to fix the general or average proportions in your memory.
You will find that a certain blockiness of planes and edges also helps to put vitality into a drawing of a baby. Babies' faces arc so smooth and so round that if we copy that quality too meticulously the final effect may lack character.
If you arc disturbed by seeing edges of planes in a drawing of a baby face it is probably because you are too close to your drawing. Step back before you change it. Maude Tousey Fangel, one of the greatest baby artists, draws quite vigorously in angles and planes. Mar)' Cassatt, the Impressionist painter and student of Degas, also had this quality in her work.
Plate 53 shows that the general shape of the baby's head is a bulge attached to a round ball. The distances up and down between the features arc relatively short, and the face seems quite wide. The first build-up of the basic shape should have that cute baby look.
In the sketches in Plate 5-1. the eyes rest in the lower half of the first quarter division. The top line is the line of the brows; the nose rests on the line of the second division; the comers of the lips on the third; and the chin drops slightly below the line of the fourth division.
Plate 58 shows the four divisions for children three to four years old. Note that the brows are a little above the top line, and the nose, eyes, and mouth have been raised above the division lines. These changes make the baby look slightly older. Actually, we have allowed a little more chin and thereby lengthened the face slightly. Plates 55, 56, and 57 show a number of baby heads, all drawn with the foregoing proportions, but differing a little in character as a result of slight differences in the placement of features and the relationship of the face to the skull. Though the proportions vary only slightly, babies' skulls may differ considerably in shape. We find high, low, or elongated skulls in babies as well as in adults.
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