Brainstorming & Sketching a Character Design in Photoshop

See a demo of sketching an original character design. It starts with pencil sketches to brainstorm, the inking process with a dip pen with India ink, and Photoshop to add color. Topics include discussing the importance of writing your own original stories in order to inspire original character designs. See how the personality and narrative […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 4, Color Schemes

Prompt Color one of your characters using 3 different color schemes. Consider your character, what colors will help tell your character’s story and background? Color is not just a visual experience, it is a story telling tool as well! Tips Inspiration Mulan, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nicholas Kole, Andreas Rocha, Samurai Jack, Fantastic Mr. Fox, […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 5, Front & Rear Pose

Prompt Complete a 3/4 front pose and 3/4 rear pose for your character. Optional: front, back and side poses. Be willing to push your expressions and angles in your figures. Aim for a very wide range of emotions and try not to let any two look the same. Don’t pick random emotions, show emotions that […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 3, Style

Prompt Draw one of your own characters in 3-5 contrasting styles. You can reference styles from TV shows and movies if you like. Experiment with shape language and story elements to create the different styles. Examples James, Steen, Crissie, Robyn, Tamara Living Library Blog This blog has production artwork from movies and shows that are […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 2, Story & Exploration

Prompt Choose an occupation/title for your character. Draw 6 thumbnail sketches of your character that portray their occupation/title. Be as specific as possible with your character’s occupation. If your character is a teacher, what subject do they teach? Do they teach elementary school students, or continuing education students? What type of school does your character […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 1, Shape Language

Prompt Explore shape language by sketching 3 characters from other popular designs. Use a broad range of shapes to communicate the feeling of each character being cute, strong and dangerous. You’ll do a total of 9 drawings. Inspiration: TV series Steven Universe, Inside Out, SpongeBob Squarepants, Powerpuff girls, Samurai Jack, Chowder, Fairly Odd Parents, Carmen […]

Character Design TRACK

Our Character Design Track will help you sharpen your fundamental skills in order to help you create your own innovative character designs. Lesson 1 • Lesson 2 • Lesson 3Lesson 4 • Lesson 5 • Lesson 6 We will cover essential skills and topics like shape language, the psychology of color, turnarounds, expressions, poses, thumbnail sketches, silhouette, story, and more. Pacing Do the track at your own pace! Taking […]

Digital Basics TRACK: Lesson 2, Character Facial Expressions

Prompt Choose one of your character designs from the ongoing assignment. Draw 5 contrasting facial expressions for that character using only line and flat colors. Examples James, Steen, Crissie, Robyn, Tamara Facial expressions confused, furious, disgusted, heartbroken, flirty, lethargic, anxious, jealous, nervous, disappointed, proud, perky, feisty, apathetic Tips Look into a mirror as you draw, try out different […]

Character Design in Procreate: 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. Examples Artworks by @pandapufkin, Steen, @trenter_the_dragon Video […]

Digital Basics TRACK: Ongoing

Prompt Create a daily line drawing of a character based on the silhouette of an inanimate object. Trace the shape of that inanimate object and design a character from that silhouette. Examples @pandapufkin, Steen, Trent ONGOING ASSIGNMENT + WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS This ongoing assignment is to be done simultaneously with the weekly assignments. However, if your schedule […]

Procreate: Color Palettes for Characters

This video demonstrates how to create several different color palettes for one character design. Explained is how color can be used to establish a specific mood or personality in a character and how to group colors to work effectively with each other. Demo led by Teaching Artists Cat Huang and Jordan McCracken-Foster.  Video Walkthrough Art […]

Character Design: Facial Expressions in Procreate

Drawing a wide range of facial expressions is a great skill for character design! In this drawing tutorial, prompts for different facial expressions are provided: confused, furious, disgusted, heartbroken, and flirty. This video explores different ways of achieving a expression with Procreate. Demo led by Teaching Artists Deepti Menon and Jordan McCracken-Foster. Video Walkthrough Prof […]

Lighting Characters

Creating different lighting situations for characters has impactful visual effects and can also be used as a narrative tool. The interaction of color and various types of light can create a broad range of color schemes. Lighting can be a very effective means of creating a mood or atmosphere to a character as well. Draw […]