At first, when I skimmed the art of Hey Arnold!, I thought the characters would be pretty easy to draw. So, as my first attempt, I decided to draw Arnold’s head without sketching and using any references for proportions. I thought, “Okay, football shaped head, bushy hair, circles for eyes and ears, a semicircle for a nose, and your average baseball cap. Shouldn’t be that hard, right?”. When I drew Arnold, I ended up with this:
I got so discouraged that I avoided drawing Arnold for a week! (Haha… my pen betrayed me… right, that’s it…) So after that, I began to study Arnold’s facial proportions from 5th season episodes, to help me draw him better. I ended up with these observations:
(By the way, these basic proportions best apply to a full front view. They will change with the angles of Arnold’s head.)
The Shape of Arnold’s Head
- The shape of Arnold’s head isn’t really football-shaped. It’s more like a semicircle.
- But, the bottom of his head is slightly curved.
- His head has a height:width proportion of roughly 1:3.
- His hair extends to a length that is about the height of his head.
- His nose touches the vertical midline along his face.
- The height of his nose is approximately 1/3 the height of his head
- In addition to that, the width of his nose is approximately 1/8 the width of his head.
- The bottom of his eyes are touching the horizontal midline along his face.
- About 5 eye lengths can fit along the bottom of his head.
- The height of his eyes is about 1/2 the height of his face.
So, I hope these proportions will help you when you are drawing Arnold in 5th season style! In case you were wondering, here’s a picture of one of my “after” attempts at drawing Arnold using these proportions:
(The reference picture was a screenshot from the episode “Helga’s locket”. I’m rather pleased with this drawing. 😀 )
If you have any other drawing tips for Arnold, I’d love to hear them!