How to draw a Kleeschen

“Léiwe Kleeschen, gudde Kleeschen…”

Awww, the good old days… Or maybe still your reality today, if you have or work with young children. Whatsoever, Kleeschen’s got something for everyone, regardless their age, so, let’s begin!

If you’ve got an idea of what you want to draw but aren’t sure about how to execute it, it may help to break down your motive into separate pieces. These fragments should be very basic shapes that’ll be put together like building blocks.

Before we begin, grab two differently coloured pencils. Same as for the ghosties for Halloween, you’ll see how much easier this will make your sketching-life.

  1. First, take your colour A (here blue) and draw on a very basic body shape, made from a circle and an egg-shape underneath. On the bottom, we’ll close the oval with a horizontal, straight line.
  1. To this we add arms, hands, and feet. One of the arms can or should be slightly bend to make it look less stiff, and so that Kleeschen can hold his crosier without having to put to much of an unnatural strain on his wrist.
  2. Now we’ll dress him up with our colour B (here red). First, the Mitra, his pointy, red hat. Therefore, draw a shape that looks like a house with in-bend (side-)walls. The lower, bend upward line should entirely fit inside the circle that is his head.

 

  1. Next step is his beard. It’s usually portrayed as long, white, and slightly wavy or curly. Start from the lower corners of Kleeschen’s mitra and make the more or less wavy lines come together downward from there, in about the middle. Make sure to have the beard cover both sides of his face completely. When you draw the the part covering his face, leave out enough space for his face. Again, we use basic shapes: circles, ovals, squares,… Don’t forget his mouth, if you’d like your Kleeschen to smile.

 

  1. This is followed up by his cloak. It starts at shoulder height and reaches down to his elbows. The clasp is hidden underneath his facial hair. The back will only be partially visible and though on both sides, his bend left arm will hide the entire upper piece.

 

  1. To make sure Kleeschen doesn’t get too cold, he’ll need to wear a little more clothes though. That’s when we get to the Cassock. These have quite large sleeves. On the upper part I drew the same fall of folds that I used in the ghost tutorial. The lower part rests on the ground and on his shoes, meaning there is less motion in the fabric. I didn’t want to go into further detail and left out his other accessories such as the stole and his pectoral cross.

 

  1. Don’t forget, don’t skip: his staff. Curled at the top, it reaches from Kleeschen’s head all the way down to his feet, if not the ground.
  1. Next are the fingers. I gave him five on each hand. If you prefer a more cartoony style, feel free to only do three or four. His right hand simply rests next to his body (okay, perspective wise, it’s not 100% correct but let’s just overlook that and simplify everything a bit) while the left holds the crosier, meaning his fingers are bend inwards as the tips touch the palm and you’ll only see the back of his hand. The thumb lies behind the object held in said hand, which is why you’re only able to see part of it.

 

  1. Then, we erase the ‘skeleton’. Two differently coloured pencils help avoid making mistakes, e.g. deleting what we want to keep and vis versa. I left the shoes blue but do not remember why. Somehow I thought I’d mix up something, though I no longer know what. Don’t forget to check overlapping section. For better visibility, I went over them with a green colour in this picture.
  2. Last but not least, trace your lines to draw the outlines. As you can see, I added a few more details to his sleeves. Since the right one is long enough to cover half of Kleeschen’s hand, the other needs to be slightly rolled up to make visible more than just his fingers. Once the ink of your pen is completely dry, you may carefully erase the sketch underneath. Be cautious not to crumble up the paper or maybe even rip it.

Et voilà! I coloured mine and do quietly hope it to be worth some chocolate… 😉 That’s it! Kleeschen is ready, we are ready, have fun drawing your St. Nicholas!

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Stéphanie K.

Stéphanie K.

Hi, my name is Stéphanie. I'm Luxembourgish, in my late twenties, and a passionate artist. I paint and draw since what feels like forever. Though I do occasionally crack open a tube of acrylic paint, my favourite traditional mediums are a watercolour and alcohol markers. I also do lots of digital pieces. My motifs include all possible things, such as food, plants, characters, and animals, whereas my art style depends much on the subject and reaches from cartoony to semi-realism.

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