Character Concept Art: From Initial Sketch to Final Design | Charlie Bowater | Skillshare

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Character Concept Art: From Initial Sketch to Final Design

teacher avatar Charlie Bowater, Concept Artist & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Create Your Thumbnails


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Adding the finishing details


    • 6.

      Finishing Details Part 2


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About This 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.


Class Outline

  • Preparation. You’ll begin this art tutorial by going over the hardware and software character designer Charlie Bowater uses to create client work. Charlie will help you choose your canvas size and which brushes to use. She’ll also give you a tour of her own brush collection, which she established by picking and choosing brushes created by other artists.
  • Create your thumbnails. You’ll create a character theme to help keep you on track as you design a series of thumbnails. Charlie will show you some of her characters for inspiration before diving into Photoshop, where you’ll watch her sketch a number of rough character silhouettes modeled after the theme of a fantasy-based traveler. At this point in the design process, you’ll learn to avoid getting too detail-oriented, because it will distract from your overall concept. Charlie will teach you some tricks to help you stay away from details and discover “happy accidents” in the early stages of your work.
  • Refining. The goal of the refining step is to make sense of your rough thumbnail sketches. First, you’ll learn to understand the poses you’ve created and break them down by superimposing stick figure drawings over your thumbnails. Then, you’ll start playing with negative space and adding more detail to your sketches. Remember to use a few of your thumbnails to give you more to choose from later. After all, when it comes to game designing, you’re never going to present a client with just one character design.
  • Variation. You’ll choose a few thumbnails from the previous step before honing in on one, which you’ll then copy so you can work with three or four versions of the same character design. From there, you’ll be able to experiment with different poses, outfits, hairstyles, and accessories. Charlie will remind you to think about the character’s setting and personality as you do this so that you don’t stray too far from the original concept — an important path to follow in any game design course.
  • Adding the finishing details. You’ll witness Charlie’s complete process as she polishes her character, adding textures to achieve a grittier look in some places and blending for a softer appearance in others. Charlie will demonstrate her own technique for blending and how she adds contrast to her character, still in greyscale, by establishing a mid-tone and adding shadows and highlights accordingly.
  • Finishing details: part 2. You’ll see how Charlie creates complex, rich textures like hair, fur, crystals, and even an engraved belt buckle, and she’ll show you how she cleans up all the background mess in her character drawing. In this final stage, you’ll also take a deeper dive into the process of painting convincing highlights and shadows, ultimately creating a character so three-dimensional it could jump right out of your computer screen. Looks like it’s time to move onto a motion graphics tutorial to really get your character moving.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

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 and insisting to anyone who would listen: that she would grow up to be an animator.

She works as a concept artist for Atomhawk Design and spend the rest of her time illustrating and generally doodling! Her work has been featured in and she has created tutorials for publications such as Imagine FX and 3DTotal. She particularly enjoys book cover illustration and has created various covers for individuals and publishers, such as Simon & Schuster and Guterpunkt. Her professional concept work ranges from Pottermore to Dead Island Riptide and Injustice, to Gods Among Us. Variety is the spice of life!<... See full profile

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1. Preperation: to get it started. The first thing I wanted to do with a really brief explanation of all of the prep that I do invite Oh, shop. So before even starting thumbnails, I just wanted to cover things like software choices, brushes, canvas size tablets, all of the basics, Really? So if you're already comfortable with everything that you're using, you could probably just get this part, go straight daily. But if you're curious, if you're just starting out, then I will explain it. So keep watching. Okay, so just briefly cover software. I used photo shop. I always have. I used it when I first learned out paint. And so it's just the program that I'm the most comfortable with. I have dabbled in others, and I know you could do pretty much exactly the same thing in plenty of other programs. But first your job was my preference. I'm using CS five. I haven't upgraded to six because CS five is falling as far as tablets go, I'm using a welcome into us five again. I've always had wack owns. I started with an interest three. I've had four on at the minute. I have the five and I have used bamboos as well. So if you've got bamboo, that's fine. If you're lucky enough to have a sin Teak, that's fine. Pretty much anything. Personally, I'd struggle with a mouse. I'm well beyond the days of being able to do this with a mouse, so that would definitely recommend a tablet. You could take this on. Traditionally, there's no doubt that you can. The only area where you might have a bit of trouble is the fact that I once I'm past the thumb now stage. I tend to duplicate the characters so I can vary them, so you might have a bit of trouble doing that. But I love the methods and rendering and all of that. You should still be able to approach it. But personally, my preference is still for digital. Okay, so onto canvas size, No campus I'm using is 1900 pixels wide, 1200 pixels high. Aunt has a resolution off 300 dots per inch or pixels per inch. Whatever, Um, I get asked a lot of the time. What sort of canvas size are used on? I'd say this is probably the smallest. I'd be comfortable working at. I wouldn't want to work on a campus that was anything less than 1000 pixels high. And the reason that I don't really like working on very small campuses to start with is that I'm setting myself up for more work in the future. If I feel this page with thumbnails and then I pick a thumbnail and I work that up to a final character, I'm gonna have to increase the size of that from now on, if it starts off really small and ends up quite big, I have to do a lot of cleaning up of that character. So if I start with a canvas that's more of, Ah, middle Ground than it's gonna be a lot less work to clean up. That character now brushes. So that's probably the question I get asked The most is what kind of brushes are used. I've included my brush packed for you guys so you can download and have a look through and see if there are any brushes that you like. My pack is essentially a collection off various different artist brushes that I've collected over the years when other artists have made their packs available. I've just solve had looked through and picked out the ones that I like, and I've done that a lot. And then I've ended up with just so off this amalgamation of other people's brushes. The reason that I don't make my own brushes is the fact that other people are a lot better at it than I am, and they make some great brushes. So I just prefer to use those now my favorite types of brushes, all anything that's got a nice texture to it while still having a hard edge. So I like kind of brushes that have, like a chalky feel to them, a little bit of texture, but they still got that nice hot edge. These are just a few of my favorites, really, Look 2. Create Your Thumbnails: - so on to creating thumbnails. - Never fair, - actually start painting my thumbnails. - I just wanted to briefly talk about the importance of having a character theme. - I think that it's a good idea to you give yourself a character brief, - even if it's really, - really simple, - just because it helps to give you a little bit of guidance. - I think that if you leave it completely open on, - you don't really have a clue about what kind of character you want to create. - You can end up sort of wandering a bit too far, - and then you could end up with a character that you completely didn't want in the first - place. - So if you are struggling, - then I've included a few of the characters that I've painted previously. - Toe hopefully give you a bit of a jump style, - and it might help you with some ideas. - Starting on the left, - we have the pyromaniac now really painted him. - Originally, - my brief was really, - really simple. - The only stipulations were that he had a tank on his back with flammable liquid inside of - it. - On that he had a hat, - so the rest was up to May. - So your brief could be as simple as that or is complicated issue. - Want to make it? - I would say Try and keep it fairly simple because then you're not constricting yourself. - And if you've got ideas, - there's room to try them out. - And that after the power we have a couple of villages, - peasants on the creature, - so you can pick any character seem that you want. - I mean, - it's pretty open. - I just person find it really helpful to have a character theme or just a small brief - something to just give it a little bit of guidance so that I have a better idea of where - I'm going with that character. - So now, - on to some actual painting, - as far as my character thing goes, - I ever said, - I'm gonna keep it pretty simple, - but I'm giving myself a little bit of a brief. - I'm aiming for some sort off fantasy based warrior or traveller type character, - and I'm keeping it a simple is that really causes a lot of room for interpretation in there - , - but it just sort of helps me to keep it grounded. - Why I wanted to be so within that fantasy genre without it getting so specific that there's - there's no room for experimentation. - I've got my blank canvas, - Andi, - I have a new layer, - so my characters will be sitting on a layer above the campus. - So if I need to move them around or chopped things or change something, - then it's a lot easier. - So it's a simple Is that really bad? - Converse new layer on just going in there with a brush and just sketching my ideas. - This video has been sped up a little bit, - so this is about twice the speed that I actually painted. - The characters that I think in total. - My page of thumbnails took me around 25 minutes. - Now don't worry about speed too much. - If you're quick, - that's fine. - If you if it's slower on it, - takes you longer than don't worry about it too much. - The only thing that you probably want to try and avoid is if you're gonna accept into - detail ing thumbnails right to the start. - That could be a pretty bad habit, - because that's not really the idea. - Some nails are all about getting those ideas from your head onto the paper as raw on a - scruffy and sketchy and messy as they are. - It's It's really fine detail in comes into play when your character has progressed a little - more and you're starting to refine that design. - But at the start, - it's something that you really pretty much want to ignore. - It's taken me quite a while to learn this habit, - as I'm quite detailed, - focused myself that learning to stay out of step away from that detail and just focus on - the rough sketch is a great way to just sort of go with the flow and let the ideas happen - and just try things out. - So it doesn't matter if it takes you longer to get those ideas down on the paper, - but just make sure that you're not spending that time working on details. - There is plenty of time for detail in later, - as you can see, - my thumbnails all really, - really scruffy, - and I also I don't really have a set size that sketch them up. - I tend to sketch them a bit bigger than they need to be, - and then I'll select it on, - resize it too much. - The others. - I'm used to working at a fairly high resolution, - so I tend to always sketch them a little bit bigger than any to me. - But if you can sketch them tiny, - then that's fine. - If you sketched, - the bigger like I do either is fine. - But just try and keep them all the same size on the page so that you can get a good view of - them all together and ones not standing out because it's just bigger than the other or - anything like that. - Now, - the kind of brush that I'm using is a pretty choke, - e hard edged brush at the same downstage. - I like to go for brushes that have a lot of texture to them. - Well, - they're a little bit messy or just there an interesting shape. - And I do that because I'm so detail focused and say kind of one of brush that forces me to - be a little bit messier than I normally am, - And I also find if I opt for a slightly messy a brush, - then I'm more likely to stumble upon happy accidents like there might be a random stroke - here or a blob there, - and it kind of leads you into seeing something else that could be it could turn into their - clothing or could end up being a weapon, - but just it's just so feeding into that whole idea of trying to have fun with it. - I'm not getting lost in the details and just sort of seeing them as a whole. - That's why I don't tend to zoom in at this stage, - either. - I will see all the characters there together, - not worry about the details and just, - you know, - slapped around Brushed State where if it's messy and just see what happens, - really, - it's all about experimenting and just seeing where it goes, - I'm following onto that. - That's also why I don't really have any construction method for the character. - I got a lot of questions about anatomy and how do I get the anatomy right on characters and - things like that? - And I think it's pretty obvious at this stage that I am not worrying at all about the - characters and that's me. - I mean, - essentially, - they look like stick figures right now, - and that's kind of enough. - I don't really focus on at the start. - Is the characters shape? - I'm purely looking at that silhouette. - I'm not thinking, - Does that all look rally? - Is that leg in the right pose. - I kind of want to forget all about the anatomy and whether or not something looks correct - on just focus purely on the shape on the design of the character. - I found that if I get too wrapped up in worrying about the anatomy, - it can really suck the front of the whole from no process on. - The idea is to keep it fun on. - Remember that it sold just about your ideas and know how technically correct something is. - As I said before, - there is plenty of time for details later, - and that's also where I'll start to refine the pose a bit more and try and understand what - the characters actually doing. - And then, - you know, - if it's not quite valuable or believable, - then there's time to tweak it and adjust things. - But I just don't want to focus on it right at the start. - I think if I used you know, - construction methods like cylinders and circles and skeletal lines and all of that, - it would just I'd end up with a really stiff looking character. - I talked an awful lot about shape and civil rights during this tutorial, - and that's because I always find myself focusing on the overall shape on a silhouette of a - character. - The say that pretty much sums up the design of the character, - and it dictates how we read them and how we see them. - I think it's a really important part of character design, - if not the most important part. - You can render something to a really nice published and results, - but if it's not an interesting shape to start with, - it's not as good as it could be. - A. - And that's not to say that you have to make your character a crazy shape. - It could be a very realistic character and have nice, - normal proportions all. - You could make it extremely stylized, - and it could have really exaggerated proportions. - They could have a tiny head in these huge bare hands. - Either way, - it doesn't really matter. - But it's just great to really focus on giving them an interesting shape. - You can use the pose to give the character shape they could be, - you know all about it could be leaning on the hip. - It could be jumping like one of my characters there, - but just remember to have fun with the rest of the characteristics, - you know, - you could utilise things like hair on weapons on the shape of their clothes. - All of that can feed into the shape and the silhouette of the character, - so that you end up with something that looks interesting and also something that is - readable as well. - You understand the shape of the character and roughly what they're doing, - and then once you've got that basis, - there's something there for you to build on on, - tweak and vary, - and so you end up with a really cool looking character design. 3. Refining: - so moving on to our next stage, - which is refining, - you'll see that I've got my thumbnails from the previous video, - and you probably noticed that I've sketched over them really roughly. - My girl with refining is to try and make sense of all of my sketches from the previous - round. - They can be really messy, - but like I said, - I try not to worry about that too much of starts. - But now that I'm moving on with the characters, - I want to spend a little bit of time just making sure I understand their pose and what - they're actually doing. - And I find that doodling something as simple as a little stick figure over the top of the - thumbnail really helps to figure out what they're doing on what they're poses and whether - distributing their weight and it really just helps me to understand the character a bit - more. - So what I'm starting to do at this stage is just add in a tiny bit of detail, - nothing to specific. - But at the minute they're just silhouette. - So I kind of want to build on that a little bit more and add in a little bit more value or - just a few sketchy lines to try and into their design a bit more. - If you're anything like me, - you'll probably have a few favorites that stand out to you lost your sketching thumbnails. - And for me I really like the fourth center characters. - So they're the ones that I'm focusing. - Most of my attention on you will naturally gravitate towards the ones that stand out to you - more, - and they're the ones that I want toe take and build upon. - If you want to go ahead on refining all of your thumbnails, - then that's great. - If you're only drawn to a couple of them, - then that's also fine. - But just try and make sure that you take maybe a least 2 to 3 of your thumbnails to a more - fine stage. - And I say that because the thumbnail processes so fast that you don't really have a lot of - time to take in those characters. - So by choosing to refine a few of them, - you get a longer time to look at them and figure them out and really decide if you like - that character or not and see what you can do to improve the character so rather than just - trashing all of your thumbnails and only going with one sketch. - You'll have a lot more to choose from. - And if this work will being done for a client, - you would never just present them with a finished character design. - Most clients generally want to see the whole process right from the start, - from your thumbnails through to the refined versions right through to the finished, - polished final design. - So it is a really good practice method to just go through the whole process. - As the characters develop, - you'll find yourself refining those ideas a bit more and you'll start to sort of find a bit - of direction. - And then, - as you end up with less and less characters, - you will start to see a theme running across the mall so you'll see that I'm slowly just - adding in tiny bits of detail, - not too much. - I still want to keep things rough at this stage because I haven't decided on the final - design, - and I want to save all the really nice polishing details. - For one, - I'm 100% happy with that design. - One thing that I am still always bearing in mind is shape of the character. - When I started my thumbnails, - they were all pretty much just really rough, - blobby kind of shapes. - But now I'm just starting Teoh bring out the definition in the shape a little bit more on a - more so adding in negative space. - So negative space is the space in between the character, - like there you've got the space between her rib cage and her arm. - The space between the legs negative space is a great way to add interest to a shape, - and it also feeds into how we read the character. - So, - as I said in the thumbnail video, - you don't have to make the design super crazy and added in layers of negative space just to - try and make it interesting. - But just bear in mind that negative space is something that you can use on. - Just think about how you can use it in order to enhance the shape of your character so - you'll see that at this stage I'm still keeping my values pretty restricted. - I'm not really straying too far from the gray color that I painted the original thumbs in, - and I'm doing that because I find that if I start adding in really strong values such a Z, - really dark grays and blacks on strong highlights. - It could be a bit distracting at this stage. - Right now, - I'm still focusing on the shape and the silhouette of the character and so I just find it - better if I if I leave those strong values closest towards detail stage. - Another thing that I'm doing at this stage is I'm starting to have a look at the anatomy - and figure out whether or not it's working. - And then if it's not, - then now is definitely the time to fix it. - At this stage, - everything is still pretty rough looking, - so it's not too much of a problem. - If you need to move an arm over or tweaker leg any of the anatomy. - Really, - if you can see an issue with it, - then now is a good time. - Whilst it's still messy and it's not too much trouble to clean things up again, - go ahead and move them. - I mean, - I'd always say that if you do see a problem with the character, - then do try and fix it, - even if it is a little bit of extra work, - you know, - if you're if you're pretty close to the end of painting your character. - If you can still make it look better by just tweaking something or fixing a little bit, - that doesn't quite look right. - Then it will certainly look better for it. - So my sketches are starting to come together. - At this point, - I'm still experimenting a little bit. - I know that I want some sort of warrior type traveler kind of character, - but I'm not completely sold on any of the designs yet, - so I'm sort of trying out a couple of different ideas like that. - The girl on the end looks a little bit more urban and modern than the others. - So if you do have different ideas, - wash your stealing a sketch stage, - then go ahead and give it a try. - You might end up with something completely different, - but it could turn out a lot better than the sketches that you had before. - So if you do have an idea, - definitely get it down on the page and just see what it looks like. - If you're struggling to come up with ideas for your character design, - well, - you're struggling with their clothing and you can't quite figure out what they should be - wearing, - then do some research into it. - Go and find yourself a whole load of reference and just try and pull together things that - you find inspiring. - If you've got a specific era set in your mind that you want the character to be in, - then you can research that era. - There are costume websites. - There are historical outfit websites or just general reference, - possibly even art of other artists that you like. - Just try and find a collection of images that help you and inspire you and can give you a - bit of guidance. - When it comes to collecting reference, - I'd say Try and gather a little collection of images. - I wouldn't suggest going and finding one specific image because you'll probably find - yourself really drawn to it, - and you might end up just copying it and you might not have meant to. - Whereas if you have the whole page of images, - for instance, - then you're more likely to just take inspiration from bits and pieces and then end up with - a much better design. - So I'm pretty much coming towards the end off the character thumbnail refining stage. - At this point, - I've roughly added a bit of detail to all of them, - but I've definitely found myself focusing on certain thumbnails, - in particular over others, - and I am finding myself drawn to a couple in particular. - So they're the ones that I want to separate off onto their own campus, - and then I'll probably work them up a tiny bit more on. - Then I'll have to decide on my final thumbnail that I'll then take onto the variation stage - . - If you find that you're having a bit of trouble deciding which thumbnails to move ahead - with the now would probably be a great time. - Teoh utilize Student Gallery Even if you're not actually struggling, - it might still be a really good exercise to share your work on. - Do get a bit of feedback on it. - If you were creating this work for a client than now, - probably be the time when you get some feedback from either the art director or colleagues - , - all the client themselves, - and it's really helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at the work, - so it's probably a really good time to share your work on DSI. - What others think of it and get a little bit of feedback. - Ultimately, - the final decision lies with you, - of course. - So it is entirely up to you whether or not you want to share your work. - But I do think that it can be a good habit to get used to sharing your work and to get used - to receiving feedback and critiques. - It could make you a lot more open about your work. - And other people may point out things that you didn't realize that something you missed on - it may end up making it better in the long run, - so definitely consider sharing your work. 4. Variation: - moving on to our next stage, - which is variation. - So we'll see here that I've got my three thumbnails from the previous round, - and now what I'm going to do is decide which one of them that I want to move forward with. - I like all of these, - but the one that I'm the most drawn to is definitely the character in the middle. - So I'm selecting that character and then I'm gonna put her on to a new campus. - I'm still sticking with a wide covers at this point because I want to duplicate the - character a couple of times so that I can then paint in the variations on each of those - characters. - So the idea with variations for May is that it's a good opportunity to experiment with the - character a little bit. - I might not always be completely happy with the thumbnail that I've got, - and so it's a really good opportunity to just take a look at things. - Andi, - decide what you like about that thumbnail and what you don't like and decide whether or not - you like the pose. - If do you think they're outfit? - Could be better. - Basically, - you could just review all of the elements. - And then if there are things there that you don't like, - then it's not ready too much of a problem to change them. - Everything is still pretty rough at this stage. - And so if you do want to slightly alter, - oppose or add in a different clothing design or anything like that, - really, - it's not too much trouble. - Obviously, - with everything still being messy, - it's fine to just sort of roughly sketch over again and then clean up in the final detail - stage. - So in the previous video, - I was talking about how, - as you progress through the character design process, - you'll start to refine your ideas on. - Do you find yourself with a bit more direction? - So I'm starting to get that here now, - now venomous stage where I'm pretty happy with my some now. - And I'm just starting to tweak things and really decide which direction I'm going in. - I'm definitely starting to see more of what I had in mind originally, - so I've got my character on. - She could be a warrior or a traveller type. - She kind of looks a little bit of both to May. - I must a nursing that each of them have got a little bit of their owner outfit, - whether it's Ah, - cholera around, - the boots are on this good. - And to me, - that kind of feeds into the idea that she might be a traveller. - She might be somewhere cold, - and I tend to find myself doing that. - Whenever I paint characters, - I think about that setting, - whether from or what they're doing. - And so I kind of reflect that in her design and outfit choices and things like that, - I kind of want to go for a more practical character. - You know, - I don't really want toe stick her in a bikini. - If she is fighting on or in a cold place, - it's not really practical, - so I want to make her look a little bit stockier. - Give her a practical outfit, - you know, - it looks warm, - it looks armored, - and she kind of looks actually could take care of herself. - And I like that. - So, - up until this stage, - I haven't really started to find the characters. - Clothing are about much. - I kind of want to stay away from that stage in the beginning because I mentioned before I - am very detailed, - focused, - and I can sort of I can get wrapped up in that quite easily and spends a lot of time detail - ing and outfit on a character that I wrote end up using. - So it's sort of wasted time, - really. - The Merv it's my character is starting to come together. - I'm happy to spend a bit of time paying some attention to the clothing, - really on figuring out what I want that aware. - And I feel like this outfit choices working pretty well for the character, - the whole armored, - leathery, - cold climate kind of outfit. - So that's something that you could bear in mind whilst you're painting your own character, - you know, - how practical do you want to make the outfit? - Practical doesn't have to be boring. - Clo, - you can have so much fun with clothing designs, - and for me it kind of adds an element to how believable I I find that character to bay, - you know, - if they're if they're wearing something that looks like an outfit a real person would wear - . - Personally, - I really like that, - and I find that I can connect with that character a lot more on the road I'm approaching - the clothing is pretty much the same as everything else. - Up until this point, - it's just a new layer above the characters and just a normal layer. - And I'm just adding in a little bit more value, - are sketching in a few lines. - It can still be really rough. - It doesn't matter. - You can still try out all your you can still try out lots of different ideas. - And again if something doesn't work, - it's no riel, - you know, - really wasted any time. - And it's not Adams about rushing are the It's nice to sort of take a time a little bit more - towards the end and finesse things a little bit on, - sort of slow down and enjoy the whole detail ing process a little bit more. - It's really nice at the end to to start to see that character come to life a little bit - more and you'll see now that I've I've also sought to give the characters faces. - I did do a very quick face on the previous video towards the end. - But I also said that I do try and hold off on doing that too early because I love painting - faces. - I enjoy the detail and they also find I'll probably start to be drawn to that character a - little bit more than the others, - so that's why I don't do it up until now. - But at this stage, - you know we're nearly there. - I've almost got my my finished character design. - I want to give that character face. - Now I want to be able to see what they look like and connect with them a bit more Onda have - from with the face of the features. - So if, - like me, - you've been holding off on detail on your faces up until now, - then go forward and give them faces and have some fun with it. - You may also know is I'm starting to push the values a tiny bit more. - I'm still not going too dark or too light, - but I am adding in some slightly darker, - lighter shades just to try and build up that form a little bit more. - And it's all just a really slow, - gradual detail ing process. - It's sort of like baby steps, - really, - you know, - towards the end of this stage, - once I've finally decided on their outfit in their pose and everything, - it's sort of gradually detail ing as I go on and just gently refining things right through - until we get to the finished character. - I also wanted to briefly mention again that if you're struggling with faces in particular - or outfit designs for that matter, - then like I said in the previous video game and got us, - um, - some good reference get a whole bunch of faces that you like, - whether it's photographs of faces or faces. - Other artists have painted classic paintings on, - just got a little collection together, - Onda and and have it next to your work. - So it just gives you a little bit of guidance, - the same with outfits as well. - There are plenty off stock artists who put together great outfits or historical outfit - websites and just again put put yourself together a little reference pack and just have - that that to give you a bit of help so you'll see that I've duplicated the character again - . - So I've got fourth design now because I'm sort of focusing in on the one that I like the - most, - and I've taken the face from the end character. - Andi have put that on this character instead, - you can still do that right up until the end. - If you're getting really close to a design that you like, - But there's certain elements that you prefer on another character than just chop it out on - Justin actually slap it all together like a Frankenstein, - and if it works, - just go with it. 5. Adding the finishing details: - on to the final section finishing details. - So this video is gonna work a little bit differently than the others. - The majority of the previous footage waas recorded on them on PC sort from start to finish - with this video is gonna work a little bit differently. - The actual time that I spent painting this was probably around three hours, - and that's kind of a lot to compress into 10 minutes. - So this is gonna be in sections every now and then will be a transition on. - The painting will progress a bit further, - and it will have moved on a little bit more. - There's nothing missing from the footage and the fact that what you see is what you gets on - this video. - There's nothing extra that I've done in between phases. - It's all just a simple paintwork, - the same as before. - So I'm really doing is just working my way around the painting, - adding more value, - cleaning things up a bit and then adding some detail. - Now, - as for how detailed you want to make your character, - it's pretty much up to you. - You can leave it really suggestive, - and it can still be quite sketchy. - And that can look great. - Or if you want to go ahead and add a load of detail, - then that can look great as well. - So that decision lies with you pretty much. - But this video is just an example of how I go about detail ing my characters. - This is pretty much the standard process for May, - going from some now Teoh slightly more detailed sketch. - So then, - having this my almost final character on just pretty much going, - that's for the detail, - depending on how detailed I want to make the character or how realistic. - More importantly, - depends on how I approached the detail for this. - It's all just paintwork. - I'm using exactly the same hard edge kind of chalky brush, - just a really small size on just working my way around, - cleaning everything up, - adding in extra value, - everything that you see on the video. - Really, - if I were to approach this in a different way, - and I wanted it to be more realistic than I may consider putting in some photo textures - things like leather textures on her clothing, - metal scratches on the armor, - sort of noisy textures and grainy type things to sort of give it a bit of a gritty look on - giving it more texture just makes it look a little bit more realistic. - I'm not doing in this video, - however excited one. - Keep things nice and simple. - So when it comes to the detail stage, - now is the time when you can really start thinking about how you want to light your - character. - The texture of their clothing, - the facial structure, - heavy weapons. - What's a little intricate details? - It's really up to you to just pick out the things that you want. - A detail. - You can tell from this video that I spend a lot of time detail in the face throughout all - of the previous videos of kind of avoid going into the face in too much detail. - But when it comes to this last stage, - I love just finally spending some time on the face because I adore painting faces, - and it's nice to finally be able to concentrate on that character's face and really get to - grips with it. - And you'll notice that the face that I started with in the sketch stage on the face that I - end up with tend to be very different as I work into them. - and I paint them up more. - They sort of go through a They sort of go through progression. - And a lot of the time they end up quite different than how I started. - And I guess that just reflects the whole thumbnail process. - Really, - I can start with a super rough thumb now, - Andi, - change it an awful lot so that it's you can just about recognize it from when it was at the - thumbnail stage. - But it does go through quite progression, - but I quite enjoy that whole process. - I'm just seeing where it goes. - As far as technique goes, - I get an awful lot of questions from people asking me how I blend in this video. - I'm not doing anything different to the previous videos. - As I said before, - it's just a normal layer, - just a normal opaque layer and same old Chuckie brush. - And I'm just going around the painting and essentially just trying to add in value. - The question about blending is kind of hard to answer, - really, - because I don't think that I actively blend. - I just feel is, - though I'm building something up more than I'm trying to blend two colors together and what - I mean, - is when I start this process and I've got my character, - you know, - even at the rough sketch stage. - And they're mostly just gray and source of they've got a little bit of shading on them, - but not an awful lot. - So the approach that I take during this final detail stage is I have that gray and that - gray is my middle tone, - if you will. - And then my main aim is to build up form more so than it is to blend colors. - So for me, - a good way to wrap my head around that is, - if that gray is my essentially my middle tone, - then the shading that I'm doing is purely adding shadows on highlights. - So if you plan out where your light source is going to bay, - I've gone for a very soft sort of ambient kind of lighting above the character shining down - on her as it's a self light. - Shadows can be nice and soft doesn't have to be anything extreme. - And then, - obviously bearing that light source in mind, - I don't want to paint in my cast shadows. - So this is where those stronger values start to come into play I'll add my shadows by - painting in very dark grays and in some cases, - pure black. - And then, - as I go, - I'll use those shades to sort of clean up the edges as well. - And then, - to contrast that shadow, - I'll also add in a highlight in a lighter grey or edging closer more towards white. - And that's pretty much the approach that I take over the whole painting. - If you struggle with your brush strokes and feel like that kind of SPLA gee or blotchy, - the only thing that I can really recommend to you it's just a practice. - It I think being happy with your blending is not something that is a the thing that you can - pick up instantaneously. - It does take time, - and it takes practice. - And for me it was something that I wasn't very good at for quite few years. - So don't get too frustrated if you can't do it straight away. - Just sort of be patient with yourself and give it some time and definitely try and tackle - it by practising it. - I also wanted to mention I said at the start of this video, - this took me around three hours to detail the character. - I don't want that to be a benchmark for anybody. - That's just how long it took May. - If it takes you a shorter time, - that's fine. - If it takes you a long time, - don't worry about it. - As I said earlier on, - focus on painting something good rather than trying to paint something quickly, - speed will come with practice. - One thing that I would probably try and avoid is using AB rushes in an effort to blend - colors or shades or values together, - I'd say trying stick with a normal burst that you'd use I think if you rely too heavily on - air brushes or blending brushes and that type of thing is going to make things look a - little bit muddy on just really, - really soft and personally, - I think the fun thing about building up all this detail is that you get to put a bit of - texture in there and it's not quite perfect. - And I think adding in these values of shadows and highlights really help with bringing out - the form of the character. - And that can be harder edges in places on softer highlights in others. - But so I think that just practicing with the normal brush and improving just your brush - strokes in general will give you a better end result than if you just try and skip all that - on. - Go for an airbrush or something. - So I say embrace the texture and have fun with it. - And this character is a perfect example because when I zoom I in, - you can see that it's not really that smooth at all. - They're working on a larger canvas. - I got to zoom right into it and then work up the detail that way. - So when you see it in a smaller size, - it looks far more blunder than it actually is. - So just don't get sucked into The idea that you're painting needs to be 100% smooth on - perfect in order to look good, - because that's not true. - If something is a bit more textured and gritty because nothing, - I looks great. - So I'd say Just focus on finding your own balance on DSI what works for you and just get - comfortable in your own process. - So I have that you find this video useful and you can put into practice some of the methods - that I've shared 6. Finishing Details Part 2: - So during this final video, - there's not gonna be any more to trail and from May. - But this is just a time lapse of all the remaining footage from the illustration. - So if you wanted to see the rest of the footage, - this is everything that I couldn't fit into the previous video, - so enjoy.