Character Design: Silhouettes

Watch a fun character design prompt: use the silhouette of any object to start a character design. This video explains how to go about developing a character, addressing their personality traits and how to incorporate those traits into the character design.

Demo by Teaching Artist Cat Huang and Guest Teaching Artist Julie Benbassat.


Artworks by @pandapufkin, Steen, @trenter_the_dragon

Video Walkthrough

  • Prompt: Create a character design by tracing the silhouette of an inanimate object as a starting point.
  • This prompt helps you to step outside of your comfort zone and work with shapes you wouldn’t ordinarily use on your own.
  • Determine every aspect of the character: clothing, hair style, jewelry, accessories, shoes.
  • The gesture of a character can say a lot about their personality.
  • Think of associations you can make with the silhouette shape.
  • Consider the time period you want your character to live in.
  • Julie’s process with Procreate: combining traditional and digital media together.
  • Julie often uses Procreate to color her ballpoint pen illustrations.
  • Julie and Cat both use very few brushes in Procreate, 1-3.
  • Procreate allows you to create automated straight lines.
  • Procreate makes it very easy to import/export files.
  • Sketching in Procreate is very fast and helpful when sending editorial illustrations to art directors.

Character Designs

Reference Photos

Guest Teaching artist

Julie Benbassat

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