An umbrella is great prop to give to the figure of a little girl you are drawing. The way that she holds it and holds her body in relation to it will communicate a lot about the her character. The girl might be cowering under it against the rain, swinging it around her wrist in a carefree manner or brandishing it like a sword. Either way you can use it to accentuate characteristics shown by the facial expression, body language, attire and appearance.
Use a photograph or have a child pose for the drawing if you want to draw by observation or are not confident in your ability to draw using your imagination alone. Otherwise decide on the character you want the girl to have and work out how you will represent this characterisation in the picture. Is she sweet and pretty or mean and moody? Pick dress, facial expression and pose to suit this.
Fit the umbrella into these calculations, making sure that the gesture she is using and the manner in which she holds the umbrella fits to this character. Decide whether the umbrella is a full-sized model which is too big for her, or a child's model. This has a bearing on the message the picture conveys.
Draw a stick figure in pencil to get a basic idea of the pose, but not a figure in which the arms converge at the neck at a point and the legs at the waist. Instead draw horizontal lines for the shoulders and hips and make sure the arms and legs are each divided into three sections for the upper and lower limb and the hand or foot. Include the umbrella at this stage. Remember that if you draw the character in rain then the umbrella should be angled against it and the body also. Remember that if there is wind and she is holding an umbrella you will need to show the strain this causes as she pushes or pulls against it.
Continue working with the pencil. Draw circles around the joints, an egg shape for the head and oblongs around the rest of the body parts to get the shapes of the body right. Now draw curved lines around the centres of these shapes to put them into three dimensions.
Draw the outlines of the clothes, hair and facial features over the basic shapes and erase the shapes when you are finished. Remember to account for any sections of clothes or hair which are wet or being blown by the wind. Switch to pen or other medium now if you are going to or continue with pencil. Draw over the image in pen.
Add shading and shadow, bearing in mind where the light source is and most importantly, where the shadow of the umbrella will be cast. Use a soft pencil and light stokes if drawing in pencil, while drawing neatly parallel lines will create the shadow effect with pen.
Draw any weather effects, rain, snow, sunshine, over the final drawing. You may want to smudge the ink with water to enhance the effect.
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