The fascination of character design

Like you, I create characters since I was a child. With time, I learned that this planning phase is not a simple flight of fancy. It must obey to precise rules and considerations.

A character design is not just a “drawing of the character”.
It is rather a -long and complex- process to define the final look of the character. Usually this result isn’t permanent, because of adaptions or restyling of very old characters.

Personally, I create a new character from informations about his/her personality and background, his/her role into the story. They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case it works the other way around!
A good character design should let everyone understand what kind of character we are facing: his/her look tells us its story.

Some useful questions to ask youself when working on a character design are about:

  • Appearence
  • Constitution
  • Ethnicity
  • The cultural environment he/shes grew up in and where he/she lives now
  • Dress code
  • Usual attitude

Other suggestions on character design can be found in my Artbook & Manual, a very useufl book in which I collected key-secrets to boost your art.

I know I just scratched the surface of this fascinating topic. It’s very wide, so we’ll talk about it at different times. As usual, feel free to drop me a line for questions and feedback.

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Francesca Urbinati Artist

Francesca Urbinati

Sono illustratrice e fumettista freelance. Ho lavorato su effetti speciali 3D, graphic design e multimedia per RAI, Mediaset, Adobe, ArtOrder LLC, Studio Hamburg, MoveTheGame e molti altri. Pubblico la serie a fumetti Niki Batsprite e aiuto altri artisti e autori a emergere.
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