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It’s been great going to your school and showing you a bit about my work and how to create characters!

So here’s what we talked about in the first week.

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1- RESEARCH

To start a character, it’s best knowing what you want to draw first. Do you want to draw a pirate? An Alien? A superhero?

Check that on google, you can add “character design” after your search term to see what other people done. There’s billions of ways to draw a pirate, and your drawing will be UNIQUE, because you’re the only one able to do it the way you do!

That first part is important, we call that “Research” and every artists, illustrators, animations studios do that.

2- SHAPES

Everybody knows how to draw these simple shapes, it’s all you need to make super cool characters!

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It’s the way you put these shapes together that matters, if you draw a big circle and a small one on top of it, it quickly looks like a body and a head doesn’t it?
Combine as much as you like, play with them, modify the size or stretch them.

Also, Shapes tend to give different emotions, let’s categorize them.

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ROUND SHAPES are usually for cute characters, look at them all, aren’t they nice?!
Next time you watch a cartoon or an animation movie, look at the shapes the characters are made of and what you think of them, if they’re nice or not. They’re usually pretty round.

Let me show you a breakdown of the shapes

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Did you notice, often small details support the general shape idea. Like buttons on Olaf, Mickey or on the scout boy. Or glasses on the orange monster. Think about what details you can use too!

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Next, SQUARE SHAPES.
If you build your character on this shape, it will look strong and steady.
Notice also how small details support the general shape too. Like the old man’s glasses. Look also at their fingers, they’re really squary ones (most of them) or even the pattern on Ralph’s shirt.
Not all details have to support the general shape, you can balance and add rounded or triangular shapes in too

Here’s the breakdown

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Now let’s check the triangular shapes.

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Any Disney Villains look mostly made of triangles. Not all of them but if you want to make something scary, it’s best going for the triangles.
Triangle gives an impression of being sharp as a knife, also can give an impression of being fast.

Let’s break this down and notice also how small details can reinforce the idea. Spikes on batman gloves. Or all the triangular details in the hunter’s clothes (middle top)

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3- SILHOUETTES

A good way to start characters is also to work on the silhouettes.
Silhouettes are what characters are if we paint them all in black!
If you have a good silhouette for your character, it will be readable (meaning you can understand the action or the pose the character is in) and also you can recognise the traits (what makes them special)

Just check these silhouettes, I’m sure you can recognise them all!

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Here’s some characters I’ve done, showing you how they look like (rough) the breakdown of the shapes I’ve used, and the silhouette.
A fun exercise would be to take a black pen and do lots of silhouettes, you’d be surprised by some of them!
It might not look as good as you want at first, it’s always like that, but don’t worry, after a while you’ll see nice silhouettes that you can build you character on.
Also it’s great to do that, that way you don’t focus on details.
You can build details on top of it after!

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4- EXAGGERATE

Look on the design on the left, it’s all pretty boring isn’t it? It’s too regular, too normal.
Exaggerate the shapes and where you put the eyes, nose and mouth on different place.
Here’s some examples of faces you can do from same shape.

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About characters designs,there’s one game that I know you all know (and certainly like) is….drumrolls….FORTNITE!

So this week I’ve decided we’d do a step by step of “The Ice King”

(I might do some more step by step soon.)
Click on them to have the full step by step.


 

THE ICE KING


(30 steps)

Season 9 (Demon soldier?)
(95 steps)

 

Would be great to hear from you, have your feedback about what you liked and/or didn’t like in these few lessons!


Or what you wish you could learn ( it would be helpful as I’m planning on doing “How to draw” books)

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