Over the past week, we’ve recorded a series of live tutorials where we walk you through building a character, piece-by-piece. In case you missed any of them, you can find them all on the Character Camp page. I’d highly recommend giving them a watch as we progress through Character Camp month!
I also created a free Character Profile template to guide you in defining your characters’ physical appearance, background, and personality. Get the free download on the Character Camp page.
And in case you are just tuning in, Character Camp is a series of prompts, guides, and tutorials to help you design and draw your own original characters. This month we’ll be exploring a variety of character types: humans, animals and creatures, and even inanimate objects.
Here’s what you can expect for the rest of the month:
Week 1: Creating a human character, one piece at a time
Week 2: Creating characters from animals and creatures (current week)
Week 3: Creating characters from inanimate objects
Week 4: Aging a character, from infant to elderly
I’ll be going live again this week, drawing a fun animal character! The best place to watch is on the Bardot Brush YouTube channel. Below is a direct link to this week’s stream!
This week we are creating characters out of animals and creatures! You can turn an animal into a character by giving the it some human characteristics. This could be by giving it personality traits, outfitting it in clothing and accessories, by making the facial features more exaggerated and expressive, adapting way it physically moves, or a combination of these! The point is to humanize the animal. And don’t forget to employ some level of stylization in your animal. Hyper-realism doesn’t work so well in animal characters. Here are a couple of tutorials about starting to stylize animals:
Learn the foundations of stylizing by drawing bears
Learn how to sketch and stylize birds
Draw each of the prompts in the usual MAE way, one per day. For each of the animal or creature prompts, think of a way you could characterize them. You can do this in a number of ways. They can be in a more human-like pose, or you can depict them performing an action. You can add some clothing or fun accessories. Give them a personality trait. Depict them portraying an emotion. Check out this People Skills tutorial about manipulating the facial features to convey different emotions.
Choose one animal to develop fully as a character using the methods we employed in last week’s Build-A-Character. Pick an animal from this week’s prompt list. Write a profile for the character, then progress each day, designing your character’s clothing, accessories, facial features, hair (or in this case, the texture and coloring of it’s fur/feather/scales/etc.), body shape, and finally, putting it all together. Find all the details and tutorials about how to build a character on the Character Camp page. Depending on how much time you have this week, try doing a couple animals!
Whichever option your choose, first take a moment to read over my article from last week: How to Develop a Character for Illustration
We’ve got a Facebook group just for participants of Making Art Everyday and all things Bardot Brush! Come join our group of supportive artists of all skill levels, share your work, ask questions, and be a part of the community!