Introduction To Cartoon Character Design

Denis Zilber, Freelance Illustrator and Cartoon Artist

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13 Videos (2h 5m)
    • Initial character exploration

    • Building up simple shapes

    • S-curves and C-curves

    • Checking anatomy

    • Pushing things further

    • Checking silhouette

    • Polishing your sketch

    • Adding values

    • Creating basic color blocks

    • Adding light

    • Ambient occlusion

    • Refining light

    • Adding details and lighting effects


About This Class

Are you an illustrator trying to hone in on your style? Or are you a beginner who wants to know the ins and outs of cartooning your character? On paper or on screen, this class is for you!

I am an illustrator specializing in character development and design. I have been developing my stylized, cartooned characters for years, and I am going to share with you my best illustration tips and processes for developing your own!

What You'll Learn

You will learn the entire character creation process. We will begin by working with photo references and inspiration resources, and go into rough sketching and more refined value sketches. Then, we will explore exaggerated shapes and cartoon features with S and C-curved lines, keeping correct character anatomy. We will finish with basic three-point light rendering.

  • References and Character Exploration. We will begin with gathering resources for inspiration and exploring the qualities of your character.
  • Rough Sketch. You will compose a sketch of your character.
  • Exaggerating Shapes. You will refine your sketch and learn to exaggerate your character's shapes with S and C curves.
  • Anatomy & Sketching Values. I will cover anatomy basics with exaggerated features, and you will add value to your shapes.
  • Color Blocking. We will discuss color and you will add it to your drawing and explore rendering techniques.
  • Final Rendering. You will refine the details of your sketch and add special effects.

What You'll Make

You will design, create and color your own cartooned character with an exaggerated style. This project will inform your illustration process and expose you to new techniques. You will be able to properly proportion your own characters and render your character with exaggerated realism.

This technique is valuable for editorial work with portraiture and cartooning. These skills will help you approach your future character design projects with a solid basic understanding. It is quite difficult to get a character's cartoon correct- and to spot what the error is! This class will train your eye to see a character or a figure like a cartoonist.

199 of 203 students recommendSee All

Fantastic course by a phenomenal illustrator! Highly recommended.
Brett Field

Creative Director

plenty of tricks and shortcuts that really makes a difference in the creation of your character. He shows in the drawings how the entire process is done. You can follow with pencil and paper and can see how a image evolves to tracing with tracing paper and finally inking. Even is it is all via adobie you can adapt it to simple pen and paper or do it with what ever drawing program you have. Just get used to the accent but its worth it to develop what ever character your are contemplating.
some feedback would be appreciated, but even so it is a great course.





Denis Zilber

Freelance Illustrator and Cartoon Artist

Denis is a freelance Illustrator and cartoonist working out of Tel Aviv, Israel. He specializes in exaggerated, cartooned features and characters. . . and he creates them from start to finish in Adobe Photoshop.