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Character Design Basics

For Illustrators and Animators
(1 reviews)
4 students
Created by


CourseMarks Score®







Platform: Udemy
Video: 32m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

Table of contents


Welcome to Character Design Basics! This class will help you as you are designing characters for comics, animation, children’s books, magazine illustrations or anything else you are designing.
In this class we cover these concepts:
-Shape language
-Big Medium Small
-Straights against curves
There are two assignments within the course to help you along your progression. The first assignment is to draw three characters using one basic shape. So the first character that you will design will have mainly circles and curved lines. The second will have triangles and lots of angles. The third will be made up of mainly squares. By doing this, I hope you will be able to let yourself explore without judgement of yourself. Let go of all of your fears and just play with it. It will open your eyes to see the possibilities of the language of shapes. You can say a lot about the character you are designing simply by the way you are choosing to use these three simple shapes within your drawings.
The final assignment will be to combine all of the elements and principles in this course by designing a character using the prompts below:
•-Highly caffeinated crazy Girl Scout leader
•-Asian steam punk villain
•-Lucky charm eating champion of the world
I’m so excited to see your designs! Use lots and lots of reference, but don’t follow your reference too closely or it will lose energy and life. Use the reference as a guide.

Step by step guide for your assignment:
1. Look for good reference, but don’t take too much time. 5-10 minutes is PLENTY. Think about what will set your character apart.
2. Start with the basic sketch of the figure. Make sure that you are telling about who this person is with their pose. Sketch 2-3 quickly and then choose your favorite to finish out.
3. Then make sure that the figure has a good silhouette. You can start to exaggerate features here to help the silhouette stand out.
4. Make sure to start stepping away from your reference at this point and come back to it if you need specific help creating costumes or interesting features such as a unique hairstyle, etc…but don’t be following too closely just the one or two reference photos that you started with.
5. Create a new iteration of your design by pushing Big Medium and Small shapes.
6. Now think about straights vs. curves. How can you use them to help direct the eye and to indicate pressure or weight?
7. Add a few costuming details if it helps push your character, but don’t let it distract from your overall design.
8. Post it! Post it somewhere! Art is for sharing! Or if you are just wanting to grow in the quiet of your room, with nobody to bother or applaud you, that’s okay too if that’s what you need. But it’s nice to have community, support, and to share your voice with the world. It’s so great that it’s so much easier now than ever to do that.

Can’t wait to see what you create!

You will learn

✓ Design a character using interesting shapes
✓ Create a strong silhouette
✓ Use straights against curves in their designs
✓ Know how to appropriately use reference


• Drawing basics
• Be able to draw the figure
• Have a basic design foundation

This course is for

• Beginner artist
• Beginner animator
• Comic artist
• Beginner illustrator
• Children’s book illustrator
Kidlit Illustrator

Alycia Pace learned the art of storytelling in the prestigious Animation department at Brigham Young University. After having children, she rekindled her deep love for creating children’s books and is now following her childhood dream of being both an author AND artist.

Traditionally published, Alycia has illustrated Christmas Angels by Rachelle Castor as well as The Drummer Boy by Callie Schmidt. Alycia is the creator of Polly the Perfectly Polite Pig, as recently seen being read on YouTube by the royal Sarah Ferguson.

Emmy-winning StoryTeller Eileen Spinelli from KidTime StoryTime hosted the book launch party for Alycia’s most recent book, How to Potty Train A Dinosaur. The board book was an editor’s top pick on Amazon, and has done so well that the publisher has plans to make it into a series.

Along with her books, Alycia’s work has also been published in magazines such as The Ensign, The Friend, and several times in the SCBWI magazine.

Alycia’s artwork has been recognized with awards including the BYU Talent Award, BYU Learning by the Light of Faith Art Contest (1st place), and the George Bush Library Art Contest (1st place).
Platform: Udemy
Video: 32m
Language: English
Next start: On Demand

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