We are in the process of creating a character design workshop right here for teens.
Currently at the studio we are creating costumes, then we are going to take photographs wearing the costumes. After that, we will draw and create profiles of the characters.Each student will be given the same set of photographs. Each to design their own characters and build ideas from the reference photos as inspiration.
This workshop will be specifically for teenagers, mainly home-schooled teens who are looking for a writing project. These character designs can be for any writing project; comics, poetry, short stories, blogs, and chapter books. The characters the students create and the accompanying details are to act as inspiration for teens. Some students have difficulty with a “jumping off point” for their creative writing projects, and this might just be the boost they need. All students aren’t going to like or enjoy participating in every style of writing.
To begin this workshop, we have created simple character design and profile worksheets. These worksheets are to be used in conjunction with a sketchbook, or a three ring binder. Drawings can be done in the sketchbook or with a drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator and then printed out.
These two worksheets are very basic. There are more or less complicated character design ideas available on the internet. Here are the worksheets and some example drawings we have done in the studio. We use the Adobe Illustrator computer program and either; 1.Draw directly into the program or 2. Draw some quick thumbnail sketches in our sketchbook first or 3. Draw more detailed sketches in our sketchbook to be developed later. Right now, in the studio we are creating cartoony looking characters for a children’s book. These characters are mainly made of shapes and were created directly on the computer.
You may print out the attached PDF worksheets for your own personal use, but please don’t copy or put on your own website. If you wish to use the worksheets for any other purpose, please message us for permission first.
Reference images are always great to draw or create from. Make sure you either have permission to draw from the image or else it’s a photograph you took of something you own. In our case, we used our little pet bulldog for the reference images. For this character profile, we included side and front images.
We continued to develop this character “Mike” by manipulating the images in the computer to create expressions and emotions on the character’s face. You can also do this in a sketch book or print out your images and place them in a binder.
For this next character profile, we photographed our pet poodle dog and a puppet we created. We then made cartoony looking characters from them and placed the characters in an action shot to see how they work and look together.Next post: Using photographed people in costume for character design inspiration/poses to draw from.