Character Design - Bring Your Imagination To Life!

Sarita Kolhatkar, Concept Artist & Illustrator

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5 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Introduction & Workspace Prep

    • 2. Lesson 1 - Thumbnails & Ideations

    • 3. Lesson 2 - Detailed Sketch & Lighting

    • 4. Lesson 3 - Black & White Painting

    • 5. Lesson 4 - Final Color Painting

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Project Description

Character Design - From Concept to Final Illustration

The story is about a children's co-ed basketball team in Middletown, Anyplace. The team consists of rag-tag bunch of kids, aged 5-10 who all share a passion for basketball but do not look like your typical basketball team. 


Conceptualize a character, aged 5 - 10, any gender. Give them specific characteristics and an expression that eludes to the kind of person they are. Be sure to include a basketball in the final illustration. 

With the example I've provided, the character is the shortest member on the team and definitely isn't tall enough to play basketball, and therefore has a scared, nervous expression on her face. 



Preparation ♥

Photoshop | Set up your Photoshop workspace so the following windows are open - Layers, Brush, Brush Presets Properties and Color. 

Brushes | A simple round brush with the "Dual brush" properties checked. Spacing - 25, Opacity 70%, Flow 50-70% 

Page | A4 or Letterhead, 300 dpi, midtone grey background, RGB 



Step 1 ♥ Thumbnails & Ideations

Thumbnails | After finalizing your idea, start sketching out silhouettes and thumbnails for your character. Think about who your character is, how can you express their persona through form and poses? For example, is your character gloomy and emo? Then be sure to explore poses that show them hunched and dropped over, think of shapes that express who they are. 


Step 2 ♥ Sketch & Lighting

After feedback, pick your favorite thumbnail and create a more detailed drawing. Once your final drawing is done, I will show you how to add lighting and mood with a series of quick, small lighting comps with different light sources, I will also teach you how to layer your work in Photoshop and brush techniques.  


Step 3 ♥ Black & White Painting 

Once you've finalized your lighting, take your favorite lighting comp and create a finished black and white illustration by painting over it. Use of reference is a must! At this stage you will lay down the foundation for your painting. The lighting and painting must be finalized before adding color. Start the painting with big shapes and work your way to the details. 


Step 4 ♥ Color & Final Painting

Take your black & white painting and create a series of quick, small, color comps and thumbnails. Once your color comp is finalized, I will show you a detailed process from taking your final black and white illustration to your final coloured digital painting. 



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