On My Mind

-thoughts of a wife, mom, author, illustrator, juggler, toy designer, teacher, camp director, ...



Friday, September 13, 2013

Character Challenge - Day 6: 9-12 year olds

Day 6: 9-12 year olds
 
 
Welcome to Day 6 of the Character Challenge! So far we have worked on Head Shapes, Eyes, and Noses and created some 2-4 year old and 5-8 year old characters. I hope you are enjoying this journey with me.
 
Here are the links to past Character Challenge posts:
 
Starting today, work on characters who are between 9 and 12 years old. These kids range from 4th grade to 7th grade. The 4th graders will be around 4 heads tall and the 7th graders could be as tall as 5 heads tall already (especially the girls).
 
As kids grow, they often get lanky. Kids commonly thin out and their knees and elbows get knobby in 6th and 7th grade. Much of the growth during these years shows in the arms, legs and feet. All of a sudden, their arms hang to mid thigh and their feet look oddly long. Facial features move up on the face. The younger kid's features were down low making them cute and their heads look large - move the features for this group a little higher and move the ears up, too.
 
Most of the baby fat is gone while some kids will start to get chubby - this is a different kind of thickness to the body. Baby fat is in the hands, feet, thighs and cheeks. Chubby kids tend to hold their weight in their belly, arms and thighs. If you are working on these heavier set kids, make the neck wide or don't show a neck at all. If you sketch them 5 heads tall, they will look like giant football players so keep the proportions down to 3-4 heads for them.
 
As far as who these kids are - this is a time of trying new things. 4th graders to 7th graders explore, may take photography classes or acting, start learning musical instruments, or build circuits and robots. They may be active in sports, enjoy curling up in a secret spot to read, or keep a journal. I taught 4th grade core classes for several years and then taught 6th-8th grade art and technology for several years and these kids were full of wonder. They had to try everything - it was fantastic. They are learning what school subjects fill them with curiosity - they may realize that they want to grow up to be a scientist, graphic designer, biologist. Try to show his or her interest in your sketch. Gardening, creating, science, music, sports, cooking, theater, ...
 
This is a really fun group so try some lean kids and some chunky kids so see the differences.
 
There won't be a new prompt over the weekend so for Saturday and Sunday, work on whichever age group you want to return to. Try turning your characters. Try sketching children from different countries. Add diversity to your sketchbook. Pay attention to glasses and braces. You could try drawing a character in a wheelchair or with crutches.
 
Post your characters on the Doodle Day group in Facebook and/or post them on your blog and share the link to your blog in the comments.
 
Have fun!
 

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