Brainstorming & Sketching a Character Design

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 […]

Student Gallery: Character Design Premium Track

Students in our Character Design Premium Track build fundamental skills in order to create innovative character designs. Essential skills and topics include shape language, the psychology of color, turnarounds, expressions, poses, thumbnail sketches, silhouette, story, and more. The lessons we use are from our free Character Design track. Shape Language Sketch 3 characters (from other popular character designs) and use shape […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 4

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 Traditional: place tracing paper over your drawing and draw the colors on the tracing paper. […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 5

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

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. inspiration Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, The Prince of Egypt, The Jetsons, Aeon Flux, The Triplettes of […]

Character Design TRACK: Lesson 2

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

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. We will cover essential skills and topics like shape language, the psychology of color, turnarounds, expressions, poses, thumbnail sketches, silhouette, story, and more. Visit our Character Design section for more related content. Character Design Premium Track Need more guidance, […]

Character Design Premium Track

This Premium Track will help you sharpen your fundamental skills in order to help you create your own innovative character designs. We will cover essential skills and topics like shape language, the psychology of color, turnarounds, expressions, poses, thumbnail sketches, silhouette, story, and more. The curriculum we use is from our free Character Design track. […]

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. Examples Artworks by @pandapufkin, Steen, @trenter_the_dragon Video […]

Color Palettes for Characters

This video demonstrates how to create several different color palettes for one character design, exploring 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 Determining a […]

Character Design: Facial Expressions

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 Using […]

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 […]