Character Concept Art: From Initial Sketch to Final Design

, Concept Artist & Illustrator

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James Wu

James Wu


Roberto Luiz

Roberto Luiz


Nicole Rusk

Nicole Rusk


Class Project

Design and create your own character concept art

About the Class

Capture the essence of a character through concept art. I'll be taking you through the various steps of character creation, from the initial silhouettes through to a final polished design. I will focus on a particular genre of character but feel free to create any character you wish, as the methods can still be applied.

This class is perfect for anyone with a passion for art, from beginners to professionals looking to learn a different approach. This class will take you through the various steps of character concept art, showcasing your range of ability (a perfect portfolio piece for anyone interested in Concept Art!). 

What You'll Learn 

  • Sketch. The first stage of the class is to start sketching out rough thumbnails that focus purely on the shape and silhouette of your character. During this stage I will explain the importance of brush choices / strokes and speed.
  • Refine. I the next stage of the class we'll begin the process of refining the character. You'll have some pretty rough images from the thumbnail stage and will start cleaning them up and evaluating the design, shape, pose and structure of your thumbnails.
  • Variation. Standard with almost any character design, for clients in particular, next comes the stage of variation. Rarely will a client want to see a finished design instantaneously, We'll go through the process of picking a refined thumbnail as your starting point and varying the design to create alternatives.
  • Final Design. In the final stage you'll have chosen your final character design and it's time to add in some detail and really make the character shine. 

What You'll Do

You will create a final concept art piece, designing a character of your choice. This will be executed from start to finish, covering all essential techniques and ideas in concept art.

More Information

A good working level knowledge of Photoshop, though the methods could be translated into a program of your choice (such as Painter, SAI etc). Download a free trial of the software on A good understanding of art foundations is also recommended.

Level: Intermediate

School: Design

Related Subjects: Character Development, Digital Illustration, Character Design, Concept Art

At a Glance

  • 6 Video Lessons (51m)
  • 2.3K Students
  • 100% Positive Reviews (70)
  • Self-Paced Online Class

About the Teacher

Charlie Bowater

Charlie Bowater

Concept Artist & Illustrator

Charlie is a full time Concept Artist and part time Illustrator living in North East England.Raised on 90's cartoons, she spent her childhood drawing her favorite cartoon characters an...

100% Positive Reviews

Nicole Rusk

Nicole Rusk

Player and designer of pretty games

This was an awesome class. It was great to see Charlie's work flow and apply that to your own designs.

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