exercise: character development. (part 4)





I started this exercise by looking at different people cut out from magazines and new paper for character ideas.  I  put them into categories. Adult male, adult female, child and others. For some of the characters, i was able to find multiple images of the same person. I looked at them and tried to give them a story and personality. The Woman in green has some great emotions in her face and I immediately read someone who was clever. So I came up with a little story for her.




On this page above, I did a little bit of brainstorming for my character design. Then I started sketching. I found a few articles on drawing characters that I found useful, as well as a student blog (not from OCA) who did her final on creating a childrens book. She talks about character development and shows her sketches as well as her evaluation and reflection of her own work.



Here is a nice read about giving your characters personality. He states that sometimes, when creating a character, he looks at himself in the mirror to look at different facial expressions. He says that he also makes the expressions when drawing it, and he cant help it. I find that I do that too!

Here is the student blog, which has some lovely sketches and just helped get a little inspiration on developing a character.



I also used google images to see how other artist tackle this task. I looked online at different facial expression in cartoon work and options for facial features.

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I wanted to use this character Jasper, the private investigator. She was in my imagination from looking at the woman in green from the newspaper.  Through brainstorming, I decided on an age, originally she was an older woman, but as I began brainstorming I wanted her to be younger, maybe early teens or even younger. And her adventures of detective work would be of smaller crimes. Her father works in the space station and she solves mysteries like where her clients little alien pet is after he has gone missing. Something light hearted and appropriate for young children. Maybe her father gets her out of trouble, or she has a sister or she has an alien pet friend who helps her. She carries a magnifying glass (as all detectives do!) but this one is from the future.  It can scan images, take pictures, have hologram images and recording device. PLus other amazing applications its sort of a computer and projector.   Its the Magnify 3000 and  she keeps it with her at all times. But actually, this could be a real thing, or it is all in her imagination. She has amazing adventures that are based around a space station.


(title in progress)


This was my first 360 drawing. I used micron pens and colored pens. I really like the costume idea but she didnt exactly look like the smart/cheeky girl I had in mind. I decided to work with pencil so that I can make adjustments on my characters body and face.


Here is the first pencil and color pencil drawing of Jasper. She is using her prop and with her tongue sticking out, I think it gives her character more personality. I kept working this way, using pencil.


Here are three drawing of her making different facial expressions. She is starting to look younger and she is also developing as a real character.



Here are some close ups of these drawings. I really like her face of realization that she might have figured something out.



I wanted to explore Jasper with different materials. Here I used large paint markers and smaller paint markers for the details. She ended up looking a little bit like legos with the color of her skin and what not. i also didn’t control the markers that well so there are a lot of mistakes.


Here is used gauche. I think using this medium instead of color pencil gives in a little bit more modern feel to it. I feel tempted to add the lines in her hair, as I love using line work in my images. I thought about what the illustrator Chris Jones said about using lines around your character. These should have been neater, and maybe when she’s scared or in trouble the lines could be a little bit more jagged. I like the colors and style of this one better than the rest, however, I really like how much expression she had in the color pencil studies.


Now it was time to start on my second character. I just started by sketching a few ideas. I wanted her to have a friend or pet so I started there.


I looked up a few Alien pet ideas on google. I sketched these drawings which was fun to make up a whole new creature.

I wasn’t in love with the pet idea. So i started just freely drawing to see what I could come up with. DSC_0025


She is a gogo dancer!




This guy, who started young and ended up old. from the lines in his face. DSC_0032





This was the final drawing I chose for my second character. She has a little cat named monster who hangs out with her. She enjoys the simple things in life. Not a fully developed personality but I think shes cute.

I messed up a bit with drawing her, She is taller and wider in some drawings.  I should have drawn some lines to help me with that. I like using water color for this character. Her clothing is minimalist modern and she could be from present time. She is kinda looks like me actually! I think most of my work is an Archetype character. Not stereo type.


I thought this exercise was really fun and has inspired me to continue working on a character. Maybe I can create a story line for it. If I had the time, ahem, when I have the time, I will come back to Jasper! I think she’s adorable.



One thought on “EXERCISE: character development

  1. Pingback: EXERCISE: ANIMAL FARM | Learning log

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