Draw a Circus of Characters - Exploring Body Shape and Body Proportion

Nina Rycroft, Picture Book Illustrator

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13 Videos (56m)
    • Introduction

    • Understanding the Basics in Body Proportion

    • Looking at Shape Across Time and Media

    • Making a Good First Impression

    • Designing Your Characters Using Shape

    • Layering-In More Detail

    • Drawing Character One

    • Drawing Character Two

    • Drawing Character Three

    • Drawing Character Four

    • Drawing Character Five

    • BONUS Body Proportion Drawing Demo

    • To Finish


About This Class

Do you want to learn how to draw characters quickly and easily? 

I can show you how by using simple shapes.

First in a three-part Body Works series and designed for beginners and seasoned artists alike, this class walks you step-by-step through the character design process, guiding you through every aspect of drawing your own set of circus inspired characters.

During the classes you can shadow me as I produce a set of characters for a 'real' project – an unpublished YA (young adult) manuscript – and take you through my thinking and design process, giving you tools and tips to apply to your own characters. This class offers drawing demonstrations, worksheets, offering inspiration along the way, giving you every opportunity to draw the best circus act in town!

In this class you will learn:

Body proportions 
- how to draw the ideal body at various ages
- what can go wrong


Body Shapes
- how and why shape is used when designing character
- how a set of characters evolved across time and media
- the importance of making a first (and lasting) impression


The process
- how to draw a set of characters from simple shapes to a finished drawing


A4 Paper or an art pad.

'Staedtler Mars Technico' clutch pen with refillable blue and carbon (normal pencil) leads. This set also comes with a sharpener. I've had my set for 20 odd years...so a brilliant investment.



If you don't want to go to this expense, just use a blue colored pencil and a 'regular' lead pencil.

152 of 152 students recommendSee All

Wonderful!! Thank you. Very inspiring and very helpful.
great class
Pure joy to hear Nina talk about her thought processes and describing why she's drawing something. Very important process to learn to come up with memorable and interesting characters!





Nina Rycroft

Picture Book Illustrator


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Hi! I'm Nina Rycroft, a picture book illustrator. I worked as a graphic designer in Sydney and London before trying my hand at illustration, with my first picture book 'Little Platypus' receiving a CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) Notable Book Award in 2000. Since then I've had more than a dozen picture books published worldwide. I so excited to be able to share everything that I’ve learnt over the years. 

If you're interested in illustration, character development, visual storytelling, learning how to draw with more ease and confidence...and of course, picture book illustration, then please follow me!

See you in class :)