A few words on designing a character

Now, when I used to do online school I used to have my own column in the school newspaper about how to draw things. I am missing that at the moment so here are some tips about designing a character, with examples.

Let’s  start with this: suppose I want to draw a tiger character, that has human-like limbs, as the Disney, or Pixar characters often do. First, I pick an animal. As aforementioned, I have picked a tiger, because I really, really want to conquer the ever-elusive accurate tiger look.  So, I look at real tigers.

Then, I decide that I don’t want to draw a completely realistic tiger head on a body. So, I decide I’m going to cartoon it a bit.


But, I’ve run into some trouble trying to figure out what that tiger ought to look like as a cartoon. So, I base the base, so to speak, off of what the masters of cartoon animals have done. In this case, Kung Fu Panda concept artwork, final artwork of characters like Tigress and Tai Lung, finals of Diego from Ice Age, and other characters like that, ones that I really like the look of. Analyze them. Why do I like the look of this character? What makes this character stand out? What don’t I like? And then you try to apply that to your own drawing.


And then we start applying details now that the facial structure is somewhat satisfying. This is where we close absolutely all pictures except for the pictures of the real tiger. We still want it to look like a tiger, so we can’t get too far off course. Why does the tiger look like a tiger? What can be left out? What can’t?


And eventually you get something that just happens to look like… a tiger!

This one needs a lot more work but I thought that at least one of you would be interested in what goes on while concepting conceptions of concept art. ;P


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