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David Colman is a character designer specializing in animals. The Art of Animal Character Design is a sketchbook containing his wonderful. Welcome to Character Design Crash Course, a series of illustration classes meant for beginning The Art of Animal Drawing: Construction, Action Analysis, Caricature by Ken Hultgren; Animals in Fundamentals of Character Download the Book:The Artist'S Guide To Drawing Animals: How To Draw Cats Character Design Inspiration, Character Concept, Character Art, Concept Art.

It also reveals valuable techniques along the way. It is mainly focused on how to use line and forms when creating character designs. If you want to read a review first, this one will familiarize you with the book. Written by 16 professionals, this guide starts with the basics of character designs. It also contains lots of practical information such as detailed step-by-step instructions and screenshots.

This insightful book is a valuable read for any beginner in digital painting. Check out this cool review of the book or straightly download it from site. All of them contain highly practical animation lessons. This brilliant collection is aimed at both professionals and students. Its purpose is to simply teach you how to make the cartoon characters move.

The author demonstrates his drawing style, performance and has featured more than animated examples. If you still prefer reading a book to watching DVDs, you are provided with the way more affordable option to download the iBook. It starts with some valuable how-to tutorials covering head shapes and facial features.

This is one of the character design books that will reveal you the ins-and-out of creating memorable expressive facial features and head shapes for all kinds of characters, including male, female and kids characters. In series of detailed tutorials the author explains how to illustrate the head in various positions, how to draw the eyes, mouths, eyebrows. In addition to this, there is a bonus topic covering the basics of illustrating the body. Head over this presentation of the book to check it out for free.

Another option is to order it from site if you like the feeling of paper. This short but educational book starts by demonstrating the cartoon shading techniques and the types of lines used for drawing a cartoon guy. Then, the book explains the action and body dynamics while showing multiple examples.

This is one of the cartoon character design books that include short but clear tutorials of how to create different types of eye-catchy characters. If you want to own the book in a physical copy, head over to site to order it. Each one of them reveals the career of one illustrator, the projects they worked on and high-class techniques and advice.

To peek behind the curtains and see a small part of the content, head over to this review of The Nine Old Men. If you want to own this insightful book yourself, you can find it on site. Having worked for Disney for 12 years, in this incredible book the author shares absolutely valuable tips on illustrating unique character shapes and postures.

He also covers the techniques for drawing facial expressions. In addition, he reveals the psychology behind them.

This is one of the must-have character design books for anyone who is interested in learning the ins-and-outs of drawing characters. If you got curious to learn more about this written masterpiece, here is a review including several page shots. If you want to have it in your own collection, you can order it from site or any other e-book store.

They are conveniently gathered in two volumes with more than pages for each. Both are written by a veteran illustrator with over 50 years of experience in this professional field working for Disney — Walt Stanchfield. These master classes, as referred to on the book cover, will teach you how to use perspective to draw believable characters. Intelligence Level: Is your character overconfident, not confident at all, or of average confidence?

Emotional State: Is your character ruled by emotion or logic or both? Is your character an introvert or an extrovert? How does your character deal with l sadness? What would your character like to change about his or her life?

What makes your character get out of bed in the morning? Is your character afraid of anything? What makes your character happy?

How is your character with relationships—social, emotional, physical, etc? Is your character the hero, the mentor, the shadow, or one of the other archetypes? Does the environment affect your character physically or mentally? So there you have it! Now I will use this character development worksheet for the Golden Grasshopper. Chuck Johnson Alias: The Golden Grasshopper Age: Male Race: Caucasian Eye Color: Brown; military haircut Glasses or Contact Lenses: Neither Nationality: American Skin Color: A nice California tan Shape of Face: His face is that of a hero.

He has a square jaw with a butt chin, and it is always cleanshaven. Chuck is meticulous about his clothes. As the Golden Grasshopper he wears the traditional military boots with long brown pants. He wears a black short-sleeve t-shirt. Chuck often cracks his neck as a result of an injury sustained during a secret military mission. Chuck has no bad habits.

He is the ideal person. Now that he has recovered from his illness as a result of his exposure to the biological weapon, he is enjoying perfect health.

Chuck loves to play chess. He is always trying to stay two steps ahead of his opponent. Chuck also loves all types of music. Music puts his mind at ease. As the Golden Grasshopper his voice is deep and mysterious. He walks very heroically, with his head up and chest out. He has mutated blood that is affected by the sun. Best Quality: San Diego, California Current Residence: Savannah, Georgia Occupation: Superhero Income: Since the government funds the Golden Grasshopper, he is able to afford anything he wants.

Chuck is a family man. He enjoys a great relationship with his parents. He is also very close to his younger sister and is helping her and her infant son since her husband left her. Status as a Child: He was just an ordinary kid. Status as an Adult: As an adult, Chuck Johnson is the Golden Grasshopper, the defender of justice. Chuck graduated from high school. His short-term goal is to figure out what he is capable of doing with the new powers he has.

His long-term goal is to uphold justice, stop all evil, and bring peace to all. Chuck is a very logical man, but in certain life-threatening situations his emo- tions take over completely.

Chuck is an extrovert. Chuck deals with sadness by immersing himself in music. Chuck is quick to throw his fists when he gets angry, but it takes a lot to make him angry. Chuck deals with each conflict very logically.

He always thinks before he acts. Chuck thinks change is good. Chuck deals with loss like most people. He reflects on what he lost and hopefully is able to move on in time. Chuck is completely happy with the way his life is now. The change already happened, so now he has to make the best of the hand he has been dealt.

He plans to put his powers to good use, not just for himself but for everyone. Chuck always wanted to be a superhero. That is why he joined the military. Now that he has super powers, his main motivation is ultimately to create peace for everyone to enjoy. Being the family man that he is, Chuck is really good with people. Everyone seems to like him. If so, whom? Chuck believes in God. That is what kept him humble in his time of sickness and is the main reason he believes he has been blessed with these powers.

Chuck is not a religious fanatic. He believes in God and tries his hardest to live by his commands. Chuck is without a doubt a hero type. The environment is the main reason why Chuck is the Golden Grasshopper. Without the sun he would still be sick. The story takes place in When he came into con- tact with the weapon, he became ill and had to be transported to the hospital.

It was here that Chuck resited his passion for comic books. As he read them, he dreamed of the day that he too could be like one of the superheroes in the comics. He felt a surge of energy shoot through his body, and he was able to get out of his wheelchair and jump 18 feet into the air.

Once the doctors were able to get Chuck back into the hospital, and run some tests, they determined that it was a medical miracle. Chuck was completely healed, and a short time later he decided to protect and serve as the Golden Grasshopper. That was intense. I am sure that after watching and reading the development of the Golden Grasshopper, you are just itching to get started on your own character.

Well, go right ahead. You can download my character template at http: Your home- work is going to be to fill out the character sheet anyway, so you might as well get started. I will see you in the next chapter. Did you have fun with your homework?

If you did have fun, I have a ques- tion for you. Did you find yourself trying to come up with a completely original story? You know, one that no one has ever read before. If you were indeed try- ing to come up with something original, did you have a hard time doing it? I have a good feeling the answer is yes. Do you want to know why that is? To be original, you have to come up with something no one has ever done before. The reason it is so hard to be original is because humanity has been on this planet for quite some time, and during that time a huge number of ideas have been thought of and brought to fruition.

Those creations are what inspired generations of people such as artists, architects, actors, writers, musicians, and many others to create the great things they did.

So if you look throughout his- tory, you will see that most, if not all, ideas have already seen the light of day. For example, an audience member at the San Diego Comic Con brought up comics. Well, first you have to look at what comics are. They are a series of images that tell a story.

You can go straight back to the time of the caveman and look at prehistoric cave paintings, and there you go—the first visual narrative! The wheel! Many other inventions started with that one.

Can you imagine what our world would be like if the wheel had never been invented? As I said before, it is hard to be original.

Best Books For Learning To Draw Animals: Anatomy & Technique

So my advice is to make sure you have some form of originality in everything you create. It is a lot easier to obtain originality than to be original. Now I know what some of you might be thinking: Well, let me tell you something that I was told a while back.

What this means is that we are all inspired by the things around us. If we like something, we want to see it again and again. That is why, when we are in the creative mode, we gen- erally pull all of our inspiration from the things we think are cool. Here is a little scenario of what might happen to you as an artist to put this idea of originality to the test. Somebody would like you to develop the next big character for his or her company.

You are very excited about this opportunity, and you ask what the character should look like. The conversation goes something like this: The new story is going to be about another fire person, but it should be different from the first one—just as cool, but different.

Do you understand? By now you are feeling pretty good about your ability to design fire peo- ple, even though you would rather not have to do it again for a while. So, with much dismay, you get to work and develop this: Later, when the phone rings, you have this sinking feeling that some- one is going to ask you to draw another fire person.

Well, you were right. You drag yourself to your drawing table and come up with this: But then you remind yourself that the money is good, so you are going to keep designing fire people if that is what everyone wants to see. So since you know someone else is going to want one and you want to beat that person to the punch, you go ahead and design this: You think to yourself that you will design one last fire per- son and then retire. You sit at your drawing table and draw this as your final goodbye to the creation of fire people: Not to men- tion you were also able to take what you already drew and build on it.

You were able to put your own twist on a character design over and over again. Were you able to see that? Jim was a normal man who loved eating bread. This is going to be awesome! He had never worked so hard on anything in his life, but he knew this was going to be one of the best things he ever did.

All that time and effort for nothing! Jim was beside himself. Once he calmed down, however, he started thinking about how he could still make something out of all the work he had put into his toaster idea. Did you notice the other important message in this story? If not, read it again and see if you can find it. Did you figure it out? At the beginning of the story Jim had this great idea and started working on it right away, but before he could get it fin- ished, someone else completed the invention and sold it to a major company.

What does that tell us? It tells us that there are many great ideas out there in the universe and even more people grabbing at those ideas. Not at all! It just means that once you have a good idea, you have to hit the ground running and finish your project to the best of your abil- ity as fast as you can.

I mean think about it, how many times have you thought: Knowing how easy it would be for them to just look around and copy something they liked, I told them the character had to be an original creation. The next day, the class started and things were going just fine. The students presented their characters in front of the class. Some were good, and some were not so good.

For the most part, however, they all showed evidence of originality. Then came the student who was going to change all that. With confidence he strolled to the front of the class. When he showed the class his character, the silence was deafening. It was up to me to let the student know that this character had been done before. He insisted that it was completely original. I proceeded to tell him how a female winged demon with a tail had been done by many artists in a multitude of stories.

Even after I told him where to find them, he refused to acknowledge that anyone had created this character before. So I took it one step further and told him that he should have done some research first because that character also appears in various types of mythology. At this point, the tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

The final straw came when he admitted that the character was not origi- nal, but the weapon that he had created was completely original and that no one had ever seen anything like it. I had to tell him that he was wrong yet again.

The weapon he had drawn had indeed been created before. Known as a sai, peasants in Okinawa, Japan, used it as both a weapon and a farm- ing tool. Also, always make sure you research the subject matter you are working on this is cov- ered in Chapter 6. I hope that after reading this chapter you completely understand the differ- ence between being original and having originality.

Take five characters you enjoy looking at and put your own twist on them. See what you can come up with, and try to have some fun with it. Try not to overthink things. See you in the next chapter. Chapter 5 Shapes and Silhouettes Did you have fun with the last assignment? Now I want to talk about shapes.

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I know what you are thinking: Shapes are what we fundamentally use to define what certain things are and what they possibly can be used for. If cavemen had decided that a square was better for mobility and movement, we would be using squares on our cars instead circles. Luckily for us, they decided to go with the circle. I hope you see a square, but what does this shape tell you about itself?

If this shape was the dominate shape in your char- acter, what would it say about the character? Any ideas? Generally, when we look at a square, certain terms should come to mind: Stability Trust Honesty Order Conformity Security Equality Masculinity These are the most common things people think about when they see a square shape.

Shapes and Silhouettes 69 Here is an example of a square shape being used in character design. This character has a so-called square jaw. Now that you know some of the mean- ings behind a square, do you see any of them in this character? At this point you are probably going through all the shapes you know and trying to figure out the meanings behind them. Or you might be trying to fig- ure out if this works with any other shapes.

What do you think the triangle is trying to convey? Once again, generally speaking, a triangle con- veys the following: Shapes and Silhouettes 71 Do you see the triangle shape in his face? What did you think about the character when you saw him? Did it match up with some of the meanings that were mentioned earlier? Can you think of some of the meanings behind a circle? What do you think a circle could possibly be telling us about itself? Do you see any of the meanings in this character?

That is fine, but you have to know that, depending on what shapes you use, you might be telling a different story with your character designs than you think you are. Was it harder to do than with faces?

When you start embellishing the shapes to make them more interesting, you must always keep in mind what the basic shapes are saying. No matter what else you do to the basic shape, it will always be the most prominent feature.

So, for example, if you have rounded triangles like the previous character, most people will interpret that as a form of protection that allows the character to be aggressive. So you have both a protection meaning from a circle and an aggression meaning from a triangle. Cool how that worked out, huh? At this point you might be asking yourself this question: Well, as long as you know what you are trying to say about your character, you will know what basic shape to use for your character.

You are probably going to want to augment some of those shapes to make them cooler look- ing. The best way to do that is to use a silhouette. Shapes and Silhouettes 75 A silhouette is an outline of a character that is filled in with black.

It kind of looks like a shadow. Silhouettes are important in character design for one reason: If you can create a character with a combination of shapes that is completely recognizable when it is in complete shadow, then you are doing something right.

Try to think of some characters that have good silhouettes. This character has the best silhouette of all time.

Interested in knowing who it is? This character is a he. He likes dogs. Any thoughts? He is represented by three circles. How about now? Still nothing? Okay, here is one last clue: He lives in a magical kingdom. I hope you know the answer by now. Once you figure out who the character with the best silhouette is you should be able to see how much a strong silhouette can help with recognition. Using a silhouette is also a very good starting point for character design.

Shapes and Silhouettes 77 If you insist on putting details in your silhouettes, you can use a few white lines to help you. Here are some examples of using silhouettes and white lines: Remember what I said about form follows function?

What that all boils down to is that no matter how cool your design looks, it should always look like it would work. I have to say that artists not following this rule is one of my biggest pet peeves. Shapes and Silhouettes 79 You have probably seen character designs that you liked visually, only to think this after further examination: As a character designer, you never want to hear that question asked about your designs.

Why, you ask? Elementary, my dear Watson! If a person has to ask that question about your design, it is going to pull that person out of the story you created and destroy any allure that you might have had for your char- acter. Let me give you some examples using three different form follows function items: Spiked arm bracelets Four arms mutations Robots In the s, character designers seemed to use spiked arm bracelets a lot.

The whole idea behind the bracelets is actually pretty cool. It makes for a very intimidating look. The biggest problem that most young designers have is that they put spikes all around the bracelet, like so: If the bracelet has spikes all the way around, every time a character puts his or her arms down, he or she is going to get stabbed!

Everyone wants to create a character who can hold more weapons than a normal human, so naturally the character is given more arms. This is what I generally see when students and young character designers approach this design challenge: As cool as this might look, there is a big problem with this character.

Notice that the arm is a ball and socket. The head of the humerus fits into the socket of the scapula, which allows the arm to rotate. The scapula has the acromion process and the coracoids process where muscles attach to help move the arm.

Then there is the clavicle, the suprasternal notch, and the sternum, which all have muscles attached to them. All of these things are required for an arm to be capable of movement. If we just slap on a couple of more arms, there would be too many other vital parts missing.

So how can we fix this design problem? We just have to double up on everything that is needed to make the arms work. In short, we need another torso, kind of like this: Not all design choices can follow the form follows function rule. Sometimes you need to know when to walk away from a design you have created. Another character design where people can forget about the functionality of a character is an angel.

Most designers just put wings on the shoulders or coming out of the back. The last thing I want to talk about is robots. I know that robots are probably the coolest of the three examples, but they are the easiest to screw up as well.

Robots are basically big moving shapes. For these shapes to move, all the parts have to work together. Remember the toy where you put the square block in the square hole and the star shape in the star hole? The shapes have to work with one another for the robot character to be believable. Robots, at their core, are the epitome of form follows function. Or at least they should be. They are work- ing together to form a believable character design.

I hope you can now see how form follows function is supposed to work. It is simple when you think about it. Whether you are designing angels, cops, robots, ninjas, or anything else that you can think of, just remember that what- ever you create has to look like it would work.

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Now, on to your homework! Go ahead and design a character and then change the primary shapes in your character. See if that changes anything about your character. You might discover that simply changing the shapes gives your character the story you were looking for. Did you do your homework? I will just have to take your word for it, because there is still more to be told about character design.

The next thing we are going to talk about is reference. Say you have designed your main character, and his sidekick is a bobcat. To ensure that your portrayal of a bobcat is correct, you would need a reference. To obtain a good reference, you could go about it a couple of ways. You could go to the zoo and draw or take pictures of a live bobcat. Or if by chance you have wild bobcats in your backyard, you could draw or take pictures of them. Reference, Reference, and Reference—Oh My! If you did, you need to get them out of your head right now!

And using ref- erence is definitely not cheating. All professional character designers use reference. Whether you are revamping old characters or creating brand new ones, references are vital because you have to make sure that everything on your character is accurate. A large major- ity of character designs involve some form of the human body. The best ways you can ensure that your designs are correct is with reference and practice— and then probably more reference.

The best source of practice and refer- ences will always be life drawing. Au contraire, young grasshopper. When you draw from life, you are referencing the real world around you. You have to look at what you are drawing to make sure that what you are drawing is correct. To prove my point, here are some sketches from a life drawing session. Everywhere you go, there are people you can draw—on the bus, at school, at the bowling alley, the friends playing video games with you.

The reference you need is all around you. I person- ally like drawing people on the Metro train. And once you understand human anatomy, you should probably learn to draw people with their clothes on. How many characters have you created in the past that walk around living out their lives naked? At this point, I bet you have this thought running through your head. Well, that might be true, but you have to try. Drawing people who are mov- ing gives you practice at remembering what it was that you were looking at.

It is a good skill to have. After you draw for a while, you will notice that you are able to fill in the gaps, but that will only happen if you practice. Another great skill you will learn by drawing people on the bus or walking around in the mall is gesture drawing.

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Gesture drawing is a form of quick drawing that allows you to focus on the motion, the energy, and the mood of what you are drawing. These drawings will make you draw faster so you can capture the energy and mood of the people in motion. If you can become proficient in gesture drawing, your character designs have less of a chance of becoming stiff and lifeless.

If you are still intimidated about drawing strangers on the bus or in the park, I know someone with whom you will always feel comfortable and who will always be at your beck and call. This individual will pose any way you like for as long as you want. Are you ready for this great resource? You are the best model you will ever have.

You will always be there, and you know exactly what you are looking for. Here are some examples of me being my own model.

Drawing yourself can also teach you how to remember what you see because, believe me, as great a model as you might be, you are still going to move. With yourself as the model, you can pretty much have any type of reference pose you want. Of course, it will be hard to hold still while you are drawing, so you might want to get one of your friends to take a picture of you posing.

The Internet is also a great resource for photo references. You can download mil- lions of pictures that other people have taken.

Being able to get any person to hold any pose for an infinite amount of time is invaluable, but there is a downside to photo references. Can you guess what it is? There is a problem with photo reference. The problem with photo reference is that the camera makes all the choices for you. I am sure that at this moment you are thinking to yourself: Yes, you are unique in every artistic way, but if you let the camera dictate what and how you are going to draw, then the camera is the artist and not you.

Let me give you an example. I once had a student who turned in a final project that looked absolutely amazing. The details, the story, and the color were spectacular. Once I got past the outer beauty, however, I realized that the perspective was com- pletely off. This student was a slave to his photographs.

He was able to make the picture look really good, but the camera had warped the perspective, and the student had just drawn what he saw in the photo, neglecting to work out the perspective and making sure it was correct. The best way to combat being a slave to your refer- ence is to do a butt load of life drawing.

When it comes to reference, the best one will always be life drawing. By doing a lot of life drawing, you will be able to build your visual library, which will allow you to fill in the gaps that the camera might miss or distort.

Here are some examples of how you can use reference without being a slave to them. The idea is to use what you need and be creative with the rest. For example, here is a headshot of me screaming. Notice how the pose is similar but not exactly the same. The character pose needed both arms to be straight out, but I have to say that gun was pretty heavy!

I hope so. Just make sure the final product is your own creation and not be a slave to your reference. I mean the research you need to do for a specific character. It might sound like an awful lot of work for just one character, but it is incumbent upon you to produce something that is abso- lutely authentic. And the only way you can do that is with research. The same thing holds true when you draw characters with special abilities.

For instance, if your character is a parkour specialist, then you would have to research how a person who has mastered parkour moves.

You could go to a studio that teaches parkour and do a bunch of life drawings, but we already talked about the problem of people in motion. So it would be a lot easier to go online and look at videos and photos of people performing parkour, right? There is one final type of reference I want to discuss. This type of reference is often not considered a true reference at all. I understand why, but I think that it is another strong type of reference.

You are probably think- ing something like this: This comes under the category of DTA: You never want to assume that the other artist did all the work he or she should have. When you do your own research, you know it is right. Have you ever found an image on a poster or online that inspired you to start drawing something similar? I know I have. I think it was supposed to be a female Thor. It looked so awesome that I took a picture of it.

When I got back to my hotel room, I printed out a couple of images of Vikings from the computer. It had something to do with sail- ing and rigging and stuff getting caught on the horns. Who knew? So it happens to everyone. That is why I went back to the hotel and printed my own Viking reference, and for three other reasons. One, I needed more Viking reference. Two, I wanted to make sure that the inspirational image was correct.

I hope you are now convinced that reference is a very useful and powerful tool to have at your fingertips. Got it? This time, I want you to make two different drawings of the same character: One drawing should just be from the top of your head, using no reference at all.

For the other one, I want you to use all four types of references discussed in this chapter. Afterward, compare the drawings and see if there are any differences.

Did you notice anything in particular about your drawings? I hope it has encouraged you to use reference a lot more. I am not going to waste any more time. We are going to jump right into aes- thetics. I know we discussed aesthetics briefly when we talked about shapes, but that was mostly about structure. Now we are going to get to the meat and potatoes. The aesthetic is the first thing the viewer will notice about your character design.

No matter what anyone wants to tell you, human beings are attracted to things that look visually appealing. When they see an attractive character, people want to know more about it.

There is no cookie cutter formula that will always make your character appealing to everyone on the planet. You just have to find it. So how can you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to the aesthetics of your characters?

The Art of Animal Drawing

The first thing you have to think about is your audience. If you are creat- ing the character only for yourself, then all you have to worry about is what you like. But if you are trying to reach other people, you have to consider the preferences of the other people who will see your character design.

You have to answer two important questions: What is the age group that you are aiming for with your character design? What genre is your character going to be in?

You will have to do some research to see what the target age group is watching, playing, and reading. You might think you know, but do you really know? I am going to break down the age groups as follows. This may vary from person to person, but this is generally what I go by. Ages 0—4 Characters have really big heads and eyes, short bodies, bright colors, and simple shapes.

Ages 5—8 Characters still have big heads but less so than characters for the 0—4 age group. Their eyes are smaller, the colors are a bit more muted, and the shapes are more intricate.

Ages 9—13 Characters are pulling away from the simplistic. They resem- ble more believable proportions. The colors are more realistic and have a lot more details. They are properly pro- portioned. The colors are more complicated, and they have the most amount of detail. Why is this important and why should you care? For example, look at what a 4-year-old is watching and then look at what a year-old is watching.

There is more they have to process. This is because the older you get, the more information your brain can process. Imagine being the artist who has this great idea about a bloodthirsty mercenary who specializes in killing demons and monsters, and his main quest is to hunt down and kill the devil.

So you want to make sure that your character is going to fit in with the age group you have in mind. First, we are going to look at a char- acter in the 0- to 4-year-old group. As you can see, this character is very simplistic.

If we break this character down, you will see that the character is only two heads tall, with the largest part of the character being its head. The idea behind the big head and big eyes is to make the character cute and less threatening.

Also, if you look at the lines that were used to define the character, they are very minimalistic. Finally, notice that the colors are very basic—basic in the sense that they are all part of the basic color wheel. There are no shades or tints to any of the colors here. As char- acter designers, we would choose these colors because they are what the age group is learning about.

That would come later if he develops an interest in art. Which brings us to the 5- to 8-year-old group. Not by leaps and bounds, but enough to be noticeable. The head size has become a bit more realistic. The details have become a bit more evident. So we get to see a few more things that define who the character is. The col- ors are also a bit more advanced and require more of an understanding of color theory.

We are getting deeper into what and who the character is. Everything changes in this age group. Kids this age are finding out about the world around them, and they are curious about everything. At this point they should have the mental capacity to understand and comprehend what is put in front of them.

The line detail and color have become more sophisticated. This is because most artists designing for this age group understand that these kids are well on their way to becoming adults. Some of you might be thinking: Here, let me show you. At this age people have a fairly decent grasp on what is going on around them.

So they want what they are looking at, whether it is fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or whatever, to be rooted in reality as much as possible. There are always exceptions, but as a general rule, you can count on this being true.

That is why the younger ages are modeled with childlike proportions and the older age groups want something more adult. The thing you have to remember is that each genre has very specific qualities that fans of that specific genre want to see every time.

So if you are going to be doing a fantasy story, your characters must have some mystical qualities about them. They probably also have to fight dragons, orcs, and goblins. If you are doing a western story, your char- acters have to be willing to get on a horse and wear a cowboy hat. Once again, there are always going to be exceptions, but genres are based off generalizations.

So make sure you know the subject matter of the genre in which you are going to place your characters. As we continue to look at aesthetics, one of the most important features is color. Color says a lot about a character and his story. It also affects whether a person will have a connection to a certain character. People tend to gravi- tate toward other people who like the same things they do.

Color is one of the things that people tend to gravitate to, it is a mnemonic device that easily works, which you will see later. So it is very important to know the meanings of the colors you use. Yellow primary color Orange Green secondary secondary color color Red Blue primary primary color color Purple secondary color The color wheel shows the primary, secondary, and complementary colors. Complementary colors are directly across from each other, so red is the com- plementary color of green, and blue is the complementary color of orange, and so on.

Now here are the colors that we are going to be looking at in depth: I know there are many more colors in our world, but these are the main colors that we as character designers use.

The color red generally evokes feelings of action, confidence, courage, vital- ity, energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, anger, and love. The color yellow generally evokes feelings of wisdom, joy, happiness, intel- lect, caution, decay, sickness, jealousy, cowardliness, comfort, liveliness, optimism, and feeling overwhelmed.

The color blue generally evokes feelings of trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, health, healing, tranquility, understanding, softness, knowledge, power, integrity, seriousness, honor, coldness, and sadness. The color green generally evokes feelings of nature, growth, harmony, fresh- ness, fertility, safety, money, durability, luxury, optimism, well-being, relax- ation, optimism, honesty, envy, youth, and sickness.

The color orange generally evokes feelings of cheerfulness, enthusiasm, cre- ativity, fascination, happiness, determination, attraction, success, encourage- ment, prestige, illumination, and wisdom. The color white generally evokes the feeling of cleanliness, purity, new- ness, virginity, peace, innocence, simplicity, sterility, light, goodness, and perfection. So as you can see, there are many different feelings associated with each color. At this point, you might be asking yourself this question.

Notice how a different tint or shade applied to the base color changes what the color is saying about itself. The darker red conveys more anger and rage, whereas the lighter red conveys a softer, loving side. I have to mention that if you change the color on a character, it will tell a different story about your character. Here is an example. This example using a character that is predomi- nately white and one that is predominately black is pretty obvious, but I guar- antee it works with all colors.

Are you getting a sense of the character being a bit different? These two are subtle, but the differences are still there. What do you think about the next two? Did his story change? What if you look at all four? Are you starting to see that color has an impact on the story of the char- acter?

I have one more set of this character to show you. I hope these examples helped you to understand the importance of the colors you choose. If not I am going to break it down for you. Remember we said that blue means loyalty, intelligence, sadness, and power; among other things Spider-man is very loyal to his family and friends, and most of all to New York City.

Spider-man is intelligent because Peter Parker is proclaimed to be a scientific genius. He has power because of his spider strength, but the big one is sadness.

If I were to pick a primary reason as to why they picked blue I would say it is to represent sadness. Red means passion, love, courage, confidence, and energy. Spider-man is very passionate about what he does. He loves his family and will do anything to keep them safe. It actually borders on being extremely cocky, but it fits with who he is.

Finally, if any character has loads of energy, it would be Spider-man. He jumps, flips, swings, and fights—everywhere and anywhere. See how everything comes together so nicely? An audience member asked me why the colors for Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes were reversed, since Storm Shadow is the bad guy and is wearing white, and Snake Eyes, the good guy, is wearing black.

If you look at Snake Eyes, you will notice two things: So most likely you would wear black for both jobs so you could sneak around undetected, right? That right there would be good enough to suffice for why Snake Eyes wears black. Now what about Storm Shadow? We learn that Storm Shadow was framed for the death of Hard Master. He devoted much of his life to proving his innocence. Also, Storm Shadow constantly strives for perfection. Finally, Storm Shadow always believes that he is doing the right thing, so he feels his motives are pure.

Color can change everything about your character. Just make sure the colors you choose for your characters are saying what you want them to say. The best way to make sure is to ask other people what they think your character is all about. If it lines up with what you had in mind, great!

When it comes to aesthetics, another important thing to keep in mind is detail.Sometimes this question can be answered in the why question. You may also complete your request on-line via the Elsevier homepage http: The WOW factor is something every character designer and artist tries to achieve.

Will a kid get his butt kicked if he is wearing the costume that my character is wearing? Why is this important and why should you care? The first, obvious one was the long and narrow fluidity of the right arm and how it slid into the hand. If this hap- pens, you just lost your readers because they are no longer invested in the story.

JERLENE from New Bedford
See my other articles. I am highly influenced by birding. I do like rarely .