My previous drafts for Frankie's facial appearance were a slight improvement, but the emphasis on Frankie being a child wasn't present enough.
To resolve this, I've looked at various examples of what makes a character cute, and whilst these are somewhat more childlike, they're still not right. They're missing a key element that I can't quite put my finger on.
Here are some of my revised Frankie designs.
This was the first design I developed, keeping principles of cuteness in mind. I like this design, but I felt the design wasn't childlike enough.
This is an incredibly poor revision of the previous design, emphasising the cheeks and making the features smaller. The chubby approach is a technique that is effective in tons of different examples, but not so much in this one.
This is a side profile of the first example. I really like this once again, but Frankie somehow looks even older here, totally going against what I was attempting to achieve. Also, it just seemed weirdly reminiscent of Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat... just a side note.
I went ahead and coloured the above design in Photoshop, simply to get an idea of how it would appear as a complete illustration, and as is usually the case, it looks way better as a pencil drawing. Plus, it looks like a slightly rounder Jon Arbuckle from Garfield. I seem to be drawing influence subconsciously...
Just a quick attempt of a 3/4 view of Frankie. It kind of works... but not massively. I'll try again.
I needed to see how the head sat upon the body, otherwise I'd be investing time in developing a head that looks silly with the rest of the body. It seems to work quite nicely, and this head in particular seems to have a good level of cuteness. and once again, I can see yet another existing character in this design, in this case, it's Horrid Henry's brother, Perfect Peter.
Another attempt at inking the pencil drawing. Although this is very rough, it seems to be that the design works quite nicely as just line art, a good sign as this means it should work effectively in the storyboards.