Cartoon Kids and Basic Proportions

Drawing cartoon kids is a little bit different than drawing cartoon people and if you're unfamiliar with basic human proportions it might be a little bit tricky. In this lesson you'll learn about the basic proportions that you need to keep in mind when you're drawing children. This applies for both cartoon kids and realistic kids, though when you're drawing cartoons you always have a lot more room to get creative.

Your average human adult is about six to eight heads tall. What this really means is that if you took the head as a measuring unit and stacked a bunch of heads on top of each other your character would be six to eight of those heads tall including the head of the character. Check out the image below for an easier to understand example.

Cartoon Character Proportion

Now when it comes to kids that ratio becomes much smaller. The head measurement unit doesn't change, it's always based on the height of your character's head, but when you're drawing children the body becomes a lot shorter.

The desired age of the character will determine how many heads tall the character should be. If you're drawing a baby that is about one year old your character should be about four heads tall.

Look at the example image of the baby and see how his body is only about one and a half heads tall. If you were drawing realistically then a one year old baby would be about four heads tall, but we've squished the body even more.

Use the following chart to determine how many heads tall your character should be based on the age of the character. Remember that this is a general rule and that your character, especially if it's a cartoon does not need to fit exactly within these dimensions but it does give you a starting point that you can use.

Character Age Height
1 Year 4 Heads
3 Years 5 Heads
5 Years 6 Heads
10 Years 7 Heads
15 Years 7.5 Heads
Adult 8 Heads


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