Character Illustration: Give Personality to Your Characters | Gabriela Benke | Skillshare

Character Illustration: Give Personality to Your Characters

Gabriela Benke, Watercolor With Gaby

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11 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:44
    • 2. Materials

      0:38
    • 3. What Is Shape Language

      0:50
    • 4. Shape Language Is All Around You

      0:38
    • 5. Case Study: Shape Language in Cartoons

      1:18
    • 6. Case Study: Shape Language in Videogames

      1:11
    • 7. Project Time!

      0:49
    • 8. Good and Friendly Witch Design

      3:48
    • 9. Reliable and Stable Witch Design

      3:59
    • 10. Evil and Dangerous Witch Design

      3:39
    • 11. Final Thoughts

      0:24

About This Class

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In this course, you're gonna learn how to design better characters by understanding shape language. Shape language is how shapes communicate aspects of a character's personality and mood.

Here are the topics I'll be covering:

  • What is shape language?
  • Where does shape language come from?
  • Shape language in cartoons.
  • Shape language in videogames.
  • Designing a character.

For the project in this class, I'm gonna be working digitally, but you can use any medium you like.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi. My name's Gabriela and I'm an illustrator. Welcome to this course. In this course, you're going to learn how to design better characters by understanding the meanings behind basic shapes. By the end of this course, you will have designed three characters that you can add to your portfolio. For the project in this course, you can draw either digitally or traditionally. You can use any materials you have at home. This course is good, either for beginners that want an introduction in character design, or intermediate learners that want to improve their character designs. Okay? So, let's get started. 2. Materials: For the project in this course, you can draw either digitally or traditionally. You can use any materials you have at home. I'm going to be using a simple sketch book and an HB pencil to sketch my characters. Then I'm going to use a scan to digitalize the sketches. I'm going to use a Wacom tablet and the software Autodesk sketchbook to paint my illustrations but you can use any other software you're comfortable with. If you want to know more about the materials I use in this course, you can download a PDF file with all the information in your class resources. 3. What Is Shape Language: When designing characters, we have to think about the basic shapes that compose them. These shapes can communicate aspects of the character's personality and mode. We call this shape language. The basic shapes in shape language are circles, rectangles, and triangles, and their derivatives. Let's take a look at what each of them expresses. Circles can communicate cuteness, innocence, youthness, harmlessness, and friendliness. Rectangles can communicate strength, stability, reliability, stubbornness and inflexibility. Triangles can communicate harmfulness, speed, dynamism, angriness, and aggression. 4. Shape Language Is All Around You: so where the shape language come from shape language comes from all around us. In nature, harmless and friendly things tend to be made of rounded shapes. For example, babies and some flowers. Intuitively, we know that sharp objects can harm us. For example, sharks and rectangular things tend to be strong and stable. For example, houses and buildings, my attention to the shapes around you. You're going to start noticing thes betters, and this is going to help you to improve your character designs. 5. Case Study: Shape Language in Cartoons: Now let's look at some examples. Let's just start with the Powerpuff Girls. You can see that their faces are made of circles. Their eyes are also made of circles. Their hands and feet are round it. Their mouths are semi-circles. They are mostly made of rounded shapes. They are designed this way to express their personalities and roles in the story. They are the heroines. They're good and friendly. Now let's move to another character. Let's analyze the professor. He's a reliable and stable character. You can see that these characteristics are expressed in the way he was designed. The professor is entirely made of rectangles. His head, torso, eyebrows, legs, neck, and fingers are all made of rectangles. Now let's look at him. He's probably the most scary and dangerous villain off the Powerpuff Girls. He's totally evil. Look how they represent the face in his design. His nose, ears, mouth, chin, eyes, teeth, feet, and hands are all made of triangles or sharp shapes. 6. Case Study: Shape Language in Videogames: Now, let's take a look at some video game characters. Mario and Wario are both from the Mario universe. Mario, is a good and friendly character, but Wario is a bad character. He's an anti-hero, the evil version of Mario. The characters have some similarities, like the overalls, the hat, and the mustache. But what this make they looked so different despite all the similarities. You can see that Wario's mustache was designed with a lot of triangles, while Mario's mustache was designed with a bunch of circles. We can say the same about their shoes. Wario's shoes are very sharp and Mario's shoes are very rounded. Also, Wario's face and mouth are squared, while Mario's face is very rounded. This squared face gives Wario this sense of strength. Now, you can see how only a few lines can affect a lot, a character's personality. 7. Project Time!: Now we're going to create our own characters to practice what we have learned so far. So I wanted to create three witches. One is going to be a good and friendly witch. The second one, it's going to be an old witch, she's very stable and reliable. The third one, is going to be an evil witch, she's mean and dangerous, so now I'm going to design my own witches. But by the end of this course, I want you to have created your own characters. I want you to upload your project so I can see your projects and give you feedback, so let's get started. 8. Good and Friendly Witch Design: Here's my design for the good and friendly witch. You can see, I used a lot of rounded shapes. I used rounded shapes in her face, her eyes, her nose, her ears, her arms, her feet, her dress. You can also notice that I didn't use any sharp points, because I didn't want her to look bad. Now, I'm going to paint this character, and then you're going to be able to see the final result. 9. Reliable and Stable Witch Design: Here's my design for this stable and reliable witch. You can see that I used a lot of rectangular shapes. You can see that in her face, her hair, her ears, her nose, her body is all rectangular. The bottle she's holding, I did rectangular too. I used all these rectangular shapes for her to to look a more reliable and stable character. You can also see that I didn't use any triangular shape or sharp shapes because I wanted her to look good and reliable. 10. Evil and Dangerous Witch Design: Here's my design for the evil and dangerous witch. You can see that I used a lot of sharp and triangular shapes to make her look evil. You can also see that I gave her this very angry expression, because this helps to make the character looks more bad. Now I'm going to paint this character, and after you will be able to see the end result. 11. Final Thoughts: I finished illustrating the three witches. Here's the result. I hope you enjoyed this class. Please leave a review so I can keep improving my next classes. Don't forget to upload your projects so I can give you feedback. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me. Thank you for watching this class. I hope to see you soon. Bye.