How to Draw Cute Characters With Simple Shapes: Let's Draw Bears | Lisa Glanz | Skillshare

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How to Draw Cute Characters With Simple Shapes: Let's Draw Bears

teacher avatar Lisa Glanz, Illustrator & surface pattern designer

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.

      Class Intro


    • 2.

      What You'll Need for Class


    • 3.

      Quick Bear Study


    • 4.

      5 Simple Shapes = 5 Cute Bears


    • 5.

      Let's Use Two Shapes for Our Bear


    • 6.

      How to Plan Your Character


    • 7.

      Final Character: Sketching


    • 8.

      Final Character: Adding Colour


    • 9.

      More Examples and Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Have you been avoiding drawing animals because they seem too difficult to draw? What if you could learn some fun techniques to help you overcome that anxiety and feel more confident in drawing animal characters. In this class, I'm going to teach you exactly how to do that! 

In the first of the "Let's Draw Series" you'll learn how to use simple shapes to draw and develop adorable Bear Characters.

We'll first get to know the basic features of a bear with some warmup drawings. Once your drawing muscles are warm, we'll have some fun using simple shapes to draw five cute bears.

Then walk you through how you can plan your final character and think about those extra special details that add magic to your work. We'll move onto sketching out our final character and add some colour to bring bear to life. 

This class is not a detailed anatomy study of a bear, but rather a playful approach on how to use simple, organic shapes to produce fun and interesting bear characters full of personality and charm. 

Perfect for beginners or anyone who wants to play with shapes to create adorable characters!

In this class you'll learn how to:

  • Identify key features of a bear which you'll apply in your own work
  • Use simple organic shapes to create adorable animal characters
  • Plan your character to inject more personality and magic into your work 
  • Apply all you've learnt to sketch and add colour to your final character

Bonus extras you'll get in class:

  • 5 Shape brushes for Procreate, Adobe Photoshop and Affinity Designer
  • Also available as JPEG and PNG files
  • Or PDF worksheet for analogue drawing

Excited? Let's draw!

Come and visit me on my website, or say hello in Instagram! See you in class x

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lisa Glanz

Illustrator & surface pattern designer


Hi! I'm Lisa, a multi-passionate illustrator living on the sunny coast of South Africa.

If you're on Skillshare I'm guessing you're a lot like me! We're creatively curious, hungry to try new things and want to better our skills.

That passion for learning has driven my creative journey. Mostly self-taught, I faced the same struggles we all do. From finding my own style, figuring out how to make a living as an illustrator, and everything in between!  

I feel super privileged to be able to make a living selling my art online because I know how difficult that journey is. Which is why I'd love to share what I've learned along the way with you. And hopefully you'll walk away with knowledge that will help you further along your creati... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Class Intro: If you feel overwhelmed when it comes to drawing animals, I totally get it. I was just like you when I first started out. I used to have all these ideas in my mind about drawing these cute little animals, but when it came to actually sitting down and drawing them, I was totally overwhelmed, I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't even know where to start, and often my results were really, really awful, so my drawing experience became really stressful and yucky. Hi. I'm Lisa Glanz. I'm a full-time illustrator and I'm happy to say that I absolutely love drawing animals now, and in this drawing series, I'm hoping to get you to love drawing animals too. I'll be showing you the techniques that I use in my drawing process now that makes so much more enjoyable and less overwhelming. In the first-class of this series, we'll be focusing on bears and drawing some cute bear characters. We'll first do a quick study of what makes a bear a bear, then have some fun with simple shapes and sketch out five cute bears. Next I'll show you how to plan your final character so that you can elevate your drawing and add personality to your little bear then we'll move on to sketching and finally adding color. By the end of this class, you'll feel more confident and less overwhelmed when it comes to drawing bears, and the techniques that you're going to learn in this class are fun and easy to follow along too and you can apply them to any animal that you want to draw in the future. This class is for beginners or anybody who wants to have fun drawing some cute characters. So enough talking, let's get drawing. 2. What You'll Need for Class: Throughout this class, I'll be using my iPad an Apple Pencil and Procreate to sketch and add color to my character. But you could use Photoshop, Affinity Designer or any other drawing app as an alternative. Or if you don't want to go digital, any analog tools will do. We'll be doing quite a bit of sketching, so a pencil and paper is absolutely fine. You can then decide to add color to your final character using any medium you feel comfortable with. In an upcoming lesson, we'll be playing with some organic shapes to create cute base. You can download these shapes as JPEG files, PNG files, or even a PDF worksheet. If you're using Procreate, Photoshop or Affinity Designer, the great news is after these shapes into brushes that you can install into your app that you'll be using. I'll be using the Procreate version of these brushes in the upcoming lesson. You'll find all these goodies in the Projects and Resources tab, where you can download the zip file. Please note that this tab is only available on the Skillshare website, so you'll have to head over to the website to download the resources if you're watching this class on the app. If you need a little help installing the brushes in Procreate, I've included a link to a guide in the resources section. Okay, I think that covers everything. Let's draw some base. 3. Quick Bear Study: In this lesson, we're going to do a quick study of what makes a bear a bear. The reason why this is important is because we'll be using very simple shapes for our characters in the next couple of lessons. We want to make sure that even though we're using simple shapes for our character, that we still retaining the essence of a bear and making sure that it still reads as a bear. If we look at a couple of pictures that I've got here on Pinterest and we just start generally studying what are the key features to the animal, I can already tell that on a side view, that he has an oval head and his snout comes out in a rectangular shape. But the end, actually, if I just enlarge that, is quite a bit narrower than the side. That's quite an important thing to consider. If we look at his little face, well, it's a big face, if we look at his face straight on, it turns into more of a circular shape, then his snout becomes more of a teardrop with his nose being quite a big area on his face. If we look at the relationship of his head versus his body, his head is quite large compared to his body, but his ears appear to be really tiny in comparison to the rest of him. That's quite a key feature of a bear. If we look at his face, you'll see that his ears, if we just look at the comparison to all the shapes, his ears are really, really quite small and his eyes are fairly close together, but you don't have to follow that in your character, you can use eyes much wider. Sometimes, it's just nice to know exactly where their original character's eyes actually belong. If we start looking at his body, his body's quite plumpy and it's definitely not angular. His neck, I would say, depending on the species, for example, a polar bear's neck appears to be quite a bit longer than a grizzly bear's neck. If I look at the side profile of the polar bear, it doesn't have that definitive dip in the nose area that a grizzly has. If we go back, you'll see we have quite a strongest dip over there, but the polar bear comes round at the top of his head. That's something to consider, especially if you want to draw a polar bear versus, say, a normal grizzly bear. Then looking at his limbs, they're pretty simple shapes. They almost look like sausages in a way and the paws are almost teardrop shape. They're a cup shape at the bottom and they're not very distinctive. That really helps us when we want to use simple shapes for our character, we can simply just draw almost elongated sausage shapes. I think we're getting a good idea of the essence of animal and I think the next step, the important step is to go ahead and do some quick reference drawings. We're not going to get too complicated, but we just want to get an idea of shapes and actually get our hands used to developing those shapes. Just a note on using reference in your work, there's absolutely nothing wrong with using reference, especially if you're practicing, but if you are going to be selling your work or using a commercial project, it's super important that you don't copy somebody else's work. There's nothing wrong with just getting an idea of general shapes using an image, but please do create your own original work if you're using it commercially. I'll be using Procreate to do quick study drawings and I'm just going to split my screen because I want to bring up Pinterest. Just swiping up from the bottom. I'm just going to drag and drop Pinterest to the side and I just minimize it a dash, just to give myself a bit more space. I think let's start with his head just to get an idea of the shape and how all the different features relate to each other. I'll be using a soft pencil from one of my collections, but you are more than welcome to use the built-in brushes that come standard with Procreate, which you'll find under the sketching. Here, there are several pencils that you can use, any one of those will do just fine. I'm just going to use a sepia color. I'm just making sure I'm choosing the right brush. You can use black, gray, or any color that you feel comfortable. These are literally as rough sketches, so I don't want you to overthink it, we're just warming up at this stage. Warming up with the simple shapes, as I mentioned, I'm just going to very lightly have my hands moving around in a circle, just getting a feel of the shapes. As we really discovered, the ears are quite small and they are in a circular. If I had to actually continue that line, this is our circular or even oval. I'm just going to very lightly get a placement and this is a teardrop shape. I'm just allowing my hand to move freely. I'm not judging my strokes. These are always going to be messy. To be honest, I think it's a good thing that they're messy, because allowing yourself to just freely made with your hand gives your drawings a little bit more of an organic, natural feel instead of a controlled approach. We want a more free hand while we drawing because that gives us a more easy flow to our work. I'm just plotting where I think his nose is going to go. Probably something like that. I can already tell that this oval shape, which will suit our character fine, absolutely, but if we wanted to copy this image as our reference closer, I can tell that this is too oval and it needs to be much wider. When I start cleaning up, I'm going to keep that in mind. Just working from the ear area first, and I'm going to go a little bit wider. I'm also going to accentuate this angle that I see. I've taken liberties by adding a bit of a sharp edge here, which is not evident in the image. It would be something like that, but I actually want to just add a little bit of a shop line, because it's this angle that I want to accentuate. The reason why I wouldn't do that is that having angles to his face is already going to give him more of a male characteristic, and it's going to give him more of a stronger characteristic rather than a circular, organic feel. Again, these are just study drawings. We just warming up and getting an idea. His nose is actually quite squarely. I'm going to use that and accentuate the fact that it's more of a square shape. This is the mouth, little eyes, and maybe he is a Grumpy Bear. Just by using very simple shapes, we're ready getting an idea that this is a bear, and we're capturing the characteristics, and you're making all those key features. Moving onto another drawing, let's take the side view of the polar bear because we realized that polar bears have a bit of a different sign angle. We're just going to work from his neck down. I can tell that there are two shapes that make up the side view. One is a triangle for his head and the other one is a rectangle, but it has different angles to the edges. Let's start with his neck. I can see this side is longer and this side is shorter. His head probably angles that way. I'm just plotting out very simple shapes. This is my head. My ear is probably going to sit something like that. That's already given us a groundwork to add some extra detail to our drawing. I'm going to start doing that. The shape comes round. You'll notice that this's a very definitive round shape. We already realized, but he doesn't really have that dip like a grizzly. You want to keep this pretty color in one line. Maybe the character is smiling. The nose seems quite a bit smaller than a grizzly's. Because we're looking from this side, that round shape has now become quite oval. By breaking down your reference and using that as a starting point, it becomes much easier to tackle an animal that you've never drawn before. Let's have a look at the grizzly from the side, if we use that one as our reference on a new layer. As we mentioned, it has very much an oval shape, and then a rectangle intersects that oval shape. The one end is narrower than the other end. If we just have a look here, his neck is incredibly wide because it's this area of a bear that's super strong. You can decide if you want to accentuate that characteristic in your character in your drawing. At this stage I'm not actually thinking of my character. I'm just doing these drawings to familiarize myself with the bear. We're going with a circular oval shape for his ear. If we just start cleaning up, I want to accentuate that dip that we discussed that a grizzly has compared to a polar bear. Then just a very simple triangle for his nose. Again, I'm going to give him a smile. His eye goes about there. Again, starting with very simple shapes we can get an idea of our character. If we are to continue that, it could probably sit something like that. Then our shape would come around. As we already discovered it's not very angular, the body. I'm just going to make that smaller. Bears body seems to be incredibly organic shapes. It's something you want to consider. If we have a look at his paws, really, I'm not very distinctive, but I can tell the front area, obvious, hold the entire arm. The paw is very flexible, much like our hands. His bottom legs, also very simple shapes. Just by plotting out very simple shapes, it takes that whole anxiety of trying to get the proportions of the animal exactly. As I said, these are all warm up drawings. Some of my warm up drawings look really messy, but they are exactly that. They're meant to be warm ups to help us with our next phase of actually working our way through creating our character. In the next lesson, we're going to start playing with some simple shapes to create some interesting bear characters. I'll see you there. 4. 5 Simple Shapes = 5 Cute Bears: In this lesson, we're going to have some fun with simple shapes, and we'll be using five organic shapes that I've already pre-made. You're welcome to use the JPEGs that are included or the PDF file, or if you're using Procreate, you can use the free brushes that come with this class, and I'm going to show you exactly how to use them. The first thing I want to do is create a canvas. I'm going to be creating a 3900 by 4900 pixels. The reason why I'm going so large, I usually go fairly large on my artwork just in case I do actually want to use it commercially. But you don't have to use that size canvas, you can go smaller if you like. Once you've imported the brushes, they should appear right at the top of your brush library. I'm just going to select that, and let's work our way down all the brush shapes. I'm going to use the first one, selecting that, again I'm just using a very simple sepia color, and I'm just going to stamp it out once, and then just increase it slightly using my transform tool, and then creating a new layer, but just bringing the opacity down of our shape layer because this is just the shape, it's just the base of our animal, and I don't want that to be too domineering, because I just want to use that as a reference. Again, I'm going to use one of my pencils, a soft pencil, but again, you can use any pencil you like. We're going to start with a simple bay, and if you can recall, we realized that there were certain features that make a bay a bay, and I'm going to try and incorporate that into this drawing. Let's first start with these tiny little ears, and again, they're just going to be a little rough sketches that you can decide to actually eventually take a bit further and use them in your finished piece. But for me, I'm just going to use them as a rough for now, and let's start with his face. I'm going to use just this entire shape to be his whole body, and it's going to form the basis of our key character. I'm remembering this snout shape, and you'll notice I've actually almost transformed the size. If you can recall, it was thin at the top and wide at the bottom, but I've flipped it around, so please do feel free to experiment and play with the shapes, and I'm just adding in his little nose, and maybe I'll include a line and very simple little eyes, and I think what I want to do is this little guy is going to be holding a balloon, so let's think about how his arm would go probably, something like that. Remember we discussed the hand or the arms are like sausages, so that's all I'm going to draw, and I'm just curving his little arm round. Just to share him holding something, and maybe his other arm just hangs to the side, and remember, we realized that the shapes are like a cup shape. His paws and just adding some fur. For this little guy, I thing I'm going to give him comic legs, so give him these skinny little legs, and you see how I have angled the outside part of his legs down, so the inside is more straight and the outside is angled inwards just to give it a funnel shape, and I think our first little character is done. I'm just going to turn that off, see what it looks like. Yeah, I think he looks quite cute, and you can decide to take this further. We can finish him, but for this lesson, I just want to draw very quick characters with the five shapes. Moving on to the next one. Just going to group this, so I've just selected the birth by swapping them together and then grouping, and I'm creating a new layer above that, turning these off, and I'm going to use the next shape, which is organic shape 2, and I'm just stamping one's, let's make it bigger. I'm pretty happy with that. Again, we're turning our opacity down a dash. Actually, I think I'm going to bring it up a bit more, because again, I'm going to use this as my entire shape for my bay, so we want him fairly big, creating a new layer. Make sure we're on the pencil, which we all know. Starting with his head, I think I want his head quite small and his body to be dominating, and I'm going to give him almost like a comical snout. I'm concentrating on creating a shape just for a snout, and I'm thinking about how his nose is going to fall, this is probably going to if he's looking to the side, which is what I'm aiming for, we're going to see some of this snout doing something like that, and maybe give him little ears, but now I'm pushing the shape, if you can recall, the bays were quite round, and for this one I'm pushing the shape and making it a bit more elongated, and maybe a little bit of a hair style. Just two ovals for his eyes and some pupils, and then I'm going give him a really big nose. The purposes of this exercise is to really just play with different shapes, and how far we can push all of these different shapes, and maybe you want to make it comical, and we are using the basics that we learned in the previous lesson, and we're just exploring what happens if we actually take it one step further. I'm going to draw two great big arms. Again, it's that cup shape, and his other arm, probably doing something like that. I want him to be holding a flower, I think. Again, we're just playing with shapes, and we're just seeing where it takes us. Coming down with his body. I've basically followed the edge of his body, and I'm going to give him short legs. Again, I'm coming down like a funnel, and this time his little leggies are much fatter. We're turning off the reference layer and seeing what we got. A funny, cute, looking bear. Let's move on to the next one. I'm just going to group those. Turn it off. Create a new layer, and choose Organic Shape 3. For me, this looks like either the beginning of a head. It could also be this top part of a bear or you could probably flip it around, but I'm actually going to use the shape for a side view. I'm just going to bring the Opacity down to the new layer. I think what I'm going to do is actually, I might flip that because this angle to me feels like it should be by the bum. I'm going back to my Layer, I'm just going to Flip that, choosing the correct layer, make sure I have my Pencil selected, and I'm going to draw a purr bear. If you can recall, we realized that his neck was fairly long. I'm just going to think about that, and his little head always followed the shape of his neck. I'm just plotting out my shape at this point. Then I'm going to use this entire area for his body, so if you can imagine his little tail, it's probably going to do something like that, but that looks weird. I think I'm going to make him walking, so his back leg, the first one is probably going to be moving forward. You'll see I've curved that down and this one to meet the other one, and then I'm just adding a very simple little foot. Then, if you can imagine his other back leg, if you follow this line, it's doing that. I know a lot of people get intimidated by drawing walking action, but if you just think about the swing action, and you can keep your lines very simple, it doesn't have to be complicated. I'm just going to add another cute little foot. So his front leg needs to be moving forward, probably something like that, and we just want to be in the same line. Then obviously, the leg that's behind him is using the same angle as that or a similar angle, so that's giving us the impression that this guy is walking. Let's work on his face. I'm just want to soften this area. I've just curved that line, and I think I want his little ears about there. If you can recall, his face was very rounded, it didn't have that grizzly bump. I'm just going to bear that in mind and draw his little nose. You'll see I've taken liberties and really extended that shape into quite a long elongated shape. Then I'm going to give him a little smile and maybe his eye over there. What's cute about this character if I turn it off is that his body is really huge and then he's got his tiny little face, so that makes it quite cute. You can play around with that, you can always add a little hat. Let's get rid of that it looks weird. We can add a little scarf to this guy. He's cold after all. You could have him wearing something like that. Maybe a scarf does that. Maybe you want to add some little details like that. Let's move on to the next one. Again, I'm going to group that and use the next shape. Just make it dash bigger. Opacity down. Make sure I'm using my Pencil. This one you can see this could be the head pot, and this could be fat body part and it's got the makings of a really cute character. I probably want him to look side-on. This would just be the middle line of where his face would be, which is off-center, and let's work with the snout first. I'm just going to use a very simple shape. I'll bring his nose right to the top of the shape. We have a choice, you could bring it there or even all the way down, but I'm going to use it to the top of the shape. Then we have an opportunity to either add in an extra line, maybe a little mouth. Maybe he's looking to the side, a little bit worried. His ear would probably sit over here, and his other one was more than likely going to be tucked behind this area, and it'll be quite a bit smaller, so probably something like that. Maybe he's holding an ice cream, and he's not supposed to be eating ice cream. So he's gotten a guilty look on his face. Again, I'm just using a round shape for his paw. I'm adding in just that extra area over here to give the impression that his paw is coming around. Then just a very simple elongated shape like that, if you can imagine that for a bent-on. Let's see if he's holding an ice cream. The currents probably doing something like that. Maybe this arm is just done by his side. I'm using this curve to guide me. Again, very simple little sausages. He's got a big tummy. I think he's legs are quite chunky. It's not a thin filler. He likes his ice creams. We'll probably see a dash of his little tail, something like that. Just taking away that line. I just use this curve and extended it round for his legs and then try to copy that same shape for the side, this leg and then this is his tummy. To accentuate the fact that he's got a bit of a tummy, we could add a line in here. We could even give him a little belly button. Let's turn off that reference layer. I think it looks quite cute and very concerned that possibly someone's going to catch him eating the ice cream. Let's group that and create a new layer and we'll do our final shape. Just want to make it bigger. That's about right. I'm just going to bring the opacity down like we have been, create a new layer, make sure I've chosen my pencil. Again, I can already see this could be the head part and this could be the tummy part. I'm going to start with the snout again. Again, I want to use it off-center, his face. The reason why I like doing that often is it just creates an extra bit of interest and dynamic pose to the whole character. I think this time I'm going to make him look down because if you see here, it's a perfect opportunity. This is curving round at the top and this sort down, so he's already in that position. Again, using very simple shapes. This is like the snout area. We want to just be getting used to what it's like to push the boundaries with shapes and still have it reading as bear bear. It's a good exercise for any animal, really. His little ears probably going to be something like that. Okay. If he was looking down, his pupils would be there. I think he's excited about something. Again, I've given him a really big nose. Very quickly, just coloring that in. Maybe he's seen, I don't know, a little snail or something. We're just giving him a smile. Let's draw him sitting on the ground. We could tackle his bottom feet first and that would be his paw and probably actually maybe something like that. You'll see I'm just very roughly getting an idea of where I want his limbs to go. Just very loosely allowing my brush to do some kind of plotting lines, figuring stuff out. If we want his paw on his tummy, maybe. If that's his leg, that does something like that. His body coming round. If this paw is holding onto his foot, it would probably do something like that. Maybe we see his pads, little bit of a tail. Again, maybe we'd see his pads. Just very roughly, we are trying to create a sitting position. His little hand is on his tummy because he's got a big tummy. Let's turn our reference off. I think that's looking pretty good. That's definitely a starting point for something that's quite cute. Maybe he's spotted a little snail on a branch. That's the makings of potentially a cute character. I just realized that I never actually added a balloon to this little guy, so I'm going to go ahead and do that. Just drawing a simple circle and then just adding in the string. It'll probably do something like that. Maybe you want to add polka dots to the balloon. That's it for the five shapes. In the next lesson, we're going to be tackling using two different shapes to create one character. I'll see you there. 5. Let's Use Two Shapes for Our Bear: I'm going to go ahead and use the same document for the two shapes that we're going to create. I'm first going to start with the head. As we said previously, it's very roughly just feeling out the head shape like a circle, and our body is also going to be almost like an elongated, more ovally I'd say. But we also want it to be almost the same size as the head. We want the head to be quite large. What I like to do is often just accentuate the cheek area. I'm just drawing a center line making sure that I'm keeping an eye on my proportions and my placements. If we want to accentuate the cheek area, I would say it would bulge over here and then come up here. You'll notice how we started with a circular shape, but now we're shifting or manipulating it, should I say, into more of a shape that we are after in the final shape, and the same with the body. At the sketch stage you'll see things are really messy and they should be because we're just filling things out. We can always clean up, we can always create new layers, we can always have a new piece of paper. What I want to do in this case, just hint his snout and maybe two little eyes, I'll do that. Because he is a baby, is what we're going for. His ears are going to be quite a bit bigger than if he was more of an adult bear because we want to go for cuteness. Maybe he's got cheeks. You're starting to get an idea of our character. This is a fantastic base for anything. We could really start at a later stage personalizing this. Adding a hat, a scarf, a jacket, a little dress if it's a girl. I'm just going to do some arms, and I'm starting the arms fairly low. Even though our neck area is here, I still want the body to dominate. It gives you that impression that his little chest is bi and plump, and round. For now I'm just going to, just for the purposes of this drawing, keep his arms pretty simple and to the side. But as you saw in the previous ones, we could have taken it out. It could be holding a balloon or a flower. Then just like a teddy bear, you'll notice everything is in segments as you would saw a teddy bear in real life. For feet, we're just going to use two little ovals, something like that. That's just our guide, and then finish it off with more pronounced lines and maybe it's got a belly button. In this instance, his bottom actually is more of a focus than his little arms on the side. You can decide what you want the audience to focus on more his cute little feet, maybe he's wearing gumboots. Maybe it's winter and he's got boots on. It's that that you want to accentuate in your drawing. Just bear that in mind. Whatever you want the audience to focus on, that is what you're going to focus on in your drawing and try and accentuate. That gives you a good idea how you can use two different shapes to create more of a teddy bear looking bear. In the next lesson, I'm going to actually start tackling my final character and the first thing we're going to do though is plan the character which is an important step. I'll see you there. 6. How to Plan Your Character: In this lesson, we're going to start planning our final character. The reason why I like to plan my characters and why I think it's important is because it takes away a lot of the initial blank Canvas anxiety that we often feel. For me, planning is a great starting point to warm up my brain and get used to the character's personality and the feeling I'm trying to convey. I also find that the more I know the character before I start drawing, the easier the drawing process. It's almost like the character comes to life. I also find that because you've planned it, it helps to inject a lot more personality and feeling into the character. One of the easiest ways that I like to plan my character is just to create a simple little story around my character. It doesn't have to be complicated or over the top. You don't even have to write it down. But sometimes that can be super helpful. If you're doing a more involved character that requires a bit of research, this would be a good time to do it. What I mean by that is, perhaps you're doing a bear that is a scientist so you're not a 100 percent sure what do scientists wear? What do they actually have in their labs? Maybe you want to incorporate some of the lab equipments into your drawing. All of those details can really add interest to your character and elevate your drawing that much more? Here are some of the ways that I plan my character and some of the areas that I think about before I begin to draw, you don't have to do all of them. They are just some suggestions that you can use. I would suggest maybe two or three or you can go to town and maybe do all of them. It's entirely up to you. Is your character going to be a girl or a boy? Or perhaps you don't want to have a gender specific character. Those are important things to consider. One of the fun ways you can plan your character is think about your character's personality. Is he or she serious? Are they easy going? Maybe they're lazy, maybe they're smart? Is there a mood or emotion that you want to convey? You could think about, is your character happy, sad, annoyed, maybe they're surprised, or even angry. Humor is a really fun way to get the audience to interact with your character. For example, you could have a very large dancing bear and a super tight [inaudible] , and that whole contrast of this big body doing a delicate action could be quite humorous. Which brings me to the next one, which is activity. Is your character doing something? Maybe they're running, are they sitting, standing, maybe they're carrying something. Deciding on a story around a character could actually answer a whole lot of the above ones I've just mentioned. You could decide to get really involved with your story about your character or keep it super simple. For example, you could think about, bear really likes to bake every Sunday. That is already giving you an idea of what kind of character it is. It's going to be wearing an apron, maybe holding a cake and so on. If you just perhaps come up with one story, you could answer a whole lot of the above things we just chatted about. Finally, you may want to think about the audience you want to appeal to. Is there a specific age group you want to target? For example, if you want to draw a cute character for children, you probably going to think about rounded shapes, perhaps younger characters doing cute activities. Or if you're appealing to a more adult group, you're probably going to use a humor in your piece and maybe even have more adult characters in your final piece. Considering all the points I mentioned, here's what I've come up with for my character. I'll be drawing a boy bear character, and he is a smart budding artist who never leaves his house without his art supplies. I want him to be short and I also want him to be looking up, because I want to use him on the cover of this class. So I need to think about how he's going to be placed on the page. I'm also planning ahead that I want him to be looking up at the name of the class. In the next lesson, we're going to start sketching. I'll see you there. 7. Final Character: Sketching: For my final bay, I'm going to use the same size canvas that we used for the sketches. The color palette I've chosen is pretty simple, I want to stick to orange and browns because we are drawing a bear. You can decide to use any color you like and to start off, I'm just going to fill my background color with a light blue, minty color. All I've done is I've just dragged and dropped it onto my layer, I'm going to create a new layer. The reason why I don't actually full my background often is, I often want to actually use the hue and saturation menu for changing the color just to see how it works and you can really do that with a background color. This is a great way that I bypass that limitation. Again, coming back to our sepia color, I'm going to use my soft pencil just to start sketching out my character. We know that we want him to be looking up and he needs to be fairly short, just keeping that in mind. We're going for almost like a poll shape, like a tablet poll. I'm not too worried about size at this stage because we can always enlarge that for our sketch layer. I'm just focusing on the shape at this point and his head area's going to be about there. I'm just finding the center of his head and we know he's looking up and just drawing like a round shape for his snout and I'm just filling out my shapes at this stage. I know, yeah, I want him to be wearing glasses, so it's probably going to be something like that and I think what I wanted to do is eventually give him a little t-shirt. He's going o be holding a notebook or an odd book, a sketchbook. I'm just using very simple sausage shapes, because we know that that's the characteristic of a bear's hand. A book or a sketchbook, I probably said something like that. I'm giving myself freedom to fill out the shapes and he's going to be pulling a little trolley. This is going to be all his art supplies, he pulls his trolley around with him. I think I want this area just a little plumper, so coming over to my little magic one tool, I'm just going to choose "Liquify" and just using the size adjusting it just slightly, I'm just going to see what happens if I push it up. Let's bring that up a bit. I guess I could have drawn that, but just using this tool sometimes just helps me visualize things easier. I think I'm happy with that and a little leggies, I'm going to be very simple. Actually, very similar to what we did with the teddy bear, I think I'll use something like that to color round shapes. At this point, I want to think about his t-shirt and it's obviously going to go just beyond his tummy area to give that impression that it's just slightly bigger than his actual body. Now I'm going back in and just creating more definition for myself. As I get happy with areas, and I start to like the shapes, I start cleaning up and making lines a little bit more distinctive. His eyes are probably such over there. If you can recall, my character was smart and the easiest way to do that is to give him glasses. He's starting to take shape, and it really doesn't matter, if you're going over the same line several times until you are happy with your results. There's no rule, just adding ring binder. I'm getting quite a good idea of my character. I just want to just move him to the side and I want him to be pulling his little cart full of art supplies. So just making sure I'm on the same plane as his feet, the wheels are going to be in line with his feet. The thing with character drawing that really a quick way to add just some more personality to your piece is to add accessories. If your character is, for example, a baker, then a baking hat would be cute and obviously maybe if he was carrying a cake. All those details that you think about that will add to your final piece and it's those details that people when they look at your character, that's what they fall in love with. Even though these items are not important, they set in the tone and they're solidifying the story. I'm just creating some pencils, maybe some pins, maybe that's an ink bottle, maybe he's got a ruler, that's definitely taking shape. In the next lesson, we're going to finalize the linework and we're going to add some color, so I'll see you there. 8. Final Character: Adding Colour: Now that we have our rough sketch, I'm going to go ahead and refine the linework and apply some color. On a new layer, the first thing I want to do with the original sketch layer is just bring the opacity down, similar to what we did with the shapes. I'm going to start just take my pencil size a dash up. Again, you can decide to use any pencil that you like, but I'm going to stick to my soft pencil. We're going to just start cleaning up a linework. I'm just thinking about adding some quick details as I go. I've just added some little foot texture, and I'm going to start with this little nose. I've just lift an area of highlights. Instead of taking his t-shirt to the very edge of his body, I've extended it beyond so that gives the impression, as I mentioned earlier, that it's bigger than the bear itself, which if you think about is true, obviously, [inaudible] needs to be bigger than us. At this stage, if you don't like the original sketch line, for example, this is when you can do some adjusting as well. We're just drawing little rings just to indicate that it's like a ring binder notebook. I guess I could have drawn that a bit better, but we're going to stick with that. I'm just adding little toes. Even though he's a little face, probably we'll end something like that. We're extending those glasses to go beyond his head. That's what gives us the impression that they're actually glasses and not these huge eyes. He's coming together for sure. I wasn't happy with his arm. I'm still not 100 percent happy, but that's how things go with drawing. But I'm just going to leave it as it is. What I want to do is I've just want to fix the underneath part, the original sketch, because I actually want to use that sketch layer as well in my final piece. Just selecting that, I just want to erase the bits I don't want, and then just adding those extra lines. Taking that sketch layer, moving it right to the top, I want to set that to Color Burn. Actually, I'm going to choose "Linear Burn" and probably leave it something like that. That's right at the top of everything. The reason why I do that is I like the sketchy original linework that shows up in the final piece. I think it adds just that extra little bit of life and gives the piece that sketchy look. Going back to the linework layer that we just worked on, I'm going to add some shading. Just with my pencil here and there, I'm going to add some cute little markings. Maybe they come down like that and a little belly button. Then we just want to add some shading. Those areas are going to be pretty much dark because they'll be in deep shadow. Here and there, I just want to add some sketch work and some shading lines, but this, of course, depends on your style of drawing. You may not use the sketchy look in your work, which is obviously 1,000 percent fine. I'm ready to add color. Creating a layer underneath our linework layer. I'm just going to turn that linework layer to multiply, because basically I want that color to blend in with the colors underneath it. Making sure we're on our new layer to apply color, I'm going to choose an oatmeal color. Because I'd like you to follow along and not worry about buying any brushes, I'm going to use the built-in brushes that come with Procreate. Choosing my drawing brush library, I'm going to use Blackburn and very quickly, we're going to add some color. Again, you can decide based on your style of illustration, how rough you want to be, how precise you want to be. I like a hand-drawn look quite a lot, so I'm not really particular about staying within the lines if I don't have to. I'm going to probably create a new layer for each color that I use. The only reason why I'm doing that because I want the control in case I don't like it, but you don't have to do that. Choosing an orange, we are going to give his shirt a color. You'll see I'm leaving areas, I think it adds interest. Using the same color for his little cart. New layer. This time we're going to use white for his notepad, and maybe white for his wheels. On the same layer, because I'm not too worried about making changes of the white, I'm just going to use a darker color to the background and fill in some of the equipment. Maybe we want this ink bottle pretty dark, and a white label. I'm just applying some color now to the brushes and the pencils. I'm keeping my palette quite simple. As you can see, I'm pretty much using the same colors for a few items and I'm doing that just to give that uniformity look to the piece. We're definitely getting somewhere. This point, I'm going to add some details to his face. Yeah, let's use the Gloaming brush. A new layer. We're going to add just a pinky area to his snout. I think that gives him a little bit of interest, and going with an even pinkier pink, I want to give him some cheeks. I think it looks cute. Maybe that pink is a little too pink, let's see. Yeah, I think that's looking better. I'm now going to start working on some shadow. You don't have to apply that to your character. Again, it entirely depends on your style of work, but I always enjoy adding shadow to my characters. It just gives them that extra depth that we're going for. Creating a new layer, setting that to multiply. I'm going to choose a gray color and see what happens. I'm probably going to use the Freycinet brush. I may or may not like it. What I forgot to mention is if we can imagine the sun or a light source, should I say it's coming from that side, anything that it hits on this side is going to be lighter and anything that's sitting in the shadow of that is going to be darker. I'm going very loosely with that. It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, I'll probably make technical mistakes, but it doesn't matter because we're just going for a general approach to lighting. It does look pretty harsh and dark at this point, but we are going to adjust the opacity of that layer once we're done. There'll be a shadow on the book. His arm will create a shadow on the actual book. Definitely be a shadow underneath his t-shirt. Okay. I want to soften this area, so just using my Smudge tool. In fact it doesn't really matter what you choose really. We'll go back to the same brush we've been using. I'm going to change the opacity of the brush because I want to be able to control that a bit better. So we're just softening a little bit at the edges. I'm not going to do too much because I quite like they're definition sometimes and I'm just going on instinct at this stage before I change the opacity, and then we can see if we need to do some more work. I think that's looking pretty good. So now I'm just adding a dash more shadow work and it's just here and there. We're also going to add shadow underneath him because of course him standing is going to create shadow and our little cart will have shadow. I think that's looking pretty cute. So we want to lighten the area where his glasses are just to give an impression that they are glasses and they're just reflecting a little bit more light in those areas. Actually I'm going to do that separately, so what I'm going to do is create a new layer and choosing white. I might choose a different brush for this. One of the painting brushes is the Stucco brush and I'm actually just drawing white area with the glasses and then I'm bringing that opacity down quite a bit, because we don't want them to look like eyeballs, but we just want that color variation, and then finally I want to add some light on the side where the light source is catching him. So creating a new layer, I'm going to make sure that's changed to add, and just bringing my opacity down, I'm still using the Stucco brush. I'm just going to just fill out some light areas. We're going to be changing the opacity in a minute, so don't be too concerned, but we are essentially just adding light to areas to our piece, just here and there, and then I wanted to light obviously the areas that I went over. I'm just cleaning that up, and finally adding a highlight to his nose and his glasses, and we're just going to play with the opacity until we're happy. I think that looks pretty cute. I want to blend that area dash. It's a bit harsh, and then coming down here just to clean up, and I just want to add a dash more here. You can decide how far you want to take the glow from your light source, and what I want to do is just bring that above the shadow layer and see what that looks like. Yeah, I think that's better, and we can do the same for our equipment. I'm just adding highlights here and there. I'm not being too particular. Finally what I want to do is just add some stripes to his t-shirt, so making sure you're above the t-shirt on a new layer, I want to choose probably like a pinky color, and I think I'm going to use my pencil. I have more control that way, and I'm just making stripes. So all of these little details add that quirkiness to your character, and maybe I just want to finish that off by adding some detail to his t-shirt, so maybe we want this area to be like a colored ribbing area. You can decide how far you want to take your drawing. Maybe you just want a simple sketch like mine or you want a more in-depth complicated finished piece. I'm putting final finishing touches on this little guy, and I think our little guy is done. In the next lesson, I'll show you how I completed some of the bears we drew with the simple shapes. I'll see you there. 9. More Examples and Final Thoughts: Drawing an animal for the first time can be super overwhelming. I completely understand that, but I promise you if you slow down and just take a moment to study the key features and just break down sections of the animal into simple shapes, you'll feel less overwhelmed and you'll feel more confident in tackling any animal that you want to draw in the future. As you saw in class, once you get the hang of those key features, you can start playing with shapes and create really cute and interesting characters. Don't forget planning your character can really elevate your drawing and inject personality and charm into your work. Yes, I thought I'd quickly show you my final results of some of the bears we drew early on. For the polar bear and this cute little guy eating his ice cream, I use Procreate to finish off my drawing, but for this guy, I actually ended up victimizing him and finishing him off in Adobe Illustrator. If you'd like to learn the technique that I used for this bear, I use the same technique that I teach in another one of my classes. Now, over to you, I'd love to see what you create. Don't forget to upload your characters to the class project area. Sharing your work can sometimes feel scary, I get it, but your work can also inspire someone else to go out and create. Please do share and support each other in class. If you're sharing on Instagram, you can use the hashtag, #LETSDRAWLISAGLANZ, so I can see your amazing work. Come and say hi on my Instagram account, I often share the work of students in my stories, so don't be shy. Finally, remember to have fun. Your creative time is there for you to enjoy. We're all at different stages in our creative journeys and comparing your work with others is just going to kill your creativity. Take a moment to be proud that you carved out this time for yourself, and no matter what the results, or what you actually produced at the end of this time, you still move forward and you still grew as an artist. Thanks so much for watching and happy creating.