Character design

25 Jun

I’m reading a chapter about character design in a book about cartoon drawing, and copied an example from it. The character is designed using big blocks to get the overall appearance right. Then the character is refined in the steps that follow the initial sketch. The big blocks are relatively easy to draw from different angles, so you can set up a character quickly, certainly with some practice.

character design (rough sketch)

In the sketch above the blue pencil sketch was the first sketch, the red pencil sketch refined it and the black pencil sketch was the final version, the version that will be used for further digital manipulation. By decomposing the scanned image into CMYK layers, erasing the CMY layers, and converting back to a color image, you’re left with a dark gray pencil sketch. I cleaned up this sketch with GIMP, and darkened the gray pencil color to pure black.

character design (cleaned up)

Mind you, all this is still very rough. I will need to practice a lot before I’m able to get my characters right. However, using several colors helps you to keep track of your versions, while they won’t show up in the version you are going to be using. Without it, you probably would need to redraw the entire character in a new sketch.

Anything that helps to improve or speed up your character design has to be a good thing.

That is all.

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