Helpful Hints for Creating Characters
As the exams are now over and I have finished school, I am more free to do what I like. However, because I’ll be on holidays in the next week or two I will be unable to blog for a while. I was going to post another drawing, but since I’m going to be gone for a while more, I may as well make this post useful. So, without any further delay, I will share with you some of my hints on how to construct characters, creatures and other people in your artwork:
1. When creating a character in a picture, always start with pencil when draw them. As you develop them you can add or erase anything you want to until they look right. A lot of my drawings are completely pencil-drawn. By allowing yourself to make mistakes and changing or accepting them, you will be able to create interesting characters for your pictures.
2. Don’t plan your characters initially – Sometimes I draw some rough lines for human figures to get the proportions right, but usually I just draw. Start drawing either the head or torso and expand your character from there. After a few minutes, the character will start to emerge.
3. Once you’ve drawn the basic character, give them personality. Whether they’re shy, evil, mad, or confident, observers of your artwork won’t know that you’re character possesses any of these without some sort of visual evidence. My mischievous Tweedle character wouldn’t look so mischievous without the smile stitched onto his face.
4. Now that you’ve sculpted your character this far, you need to think about their background. How did they get to be the character they are? Where do they come from? For example, the Tweedle on your right was built by some sort of mad scientist for an unknown purpose. Simply knowing your character’s history will help you to really understand how to draw them.
5. Finally, attention to detail can really bring out your characters. While not entirely necessary, even the small pocket watch chain on the hatter or the teabag hanging off his arm, for example, can improve the overall look of the character.
These tips are simply based on the way I create my own characters in my pictures and drawings. They might work for you, they might not, but I hope they are useful to you in one way or another.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with my Tweedle characters recently (based loosely upon Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland). I recently gave a leaving present to my school principal (who has helped me a lot throughout my time in secondary school) which consisted of the school logo being built by Tweedles. Although it came up a bit dark on the scanner, the original was drawn on the back of watercolour paper, mounted and put into a frame:
I hope this post provides good advice for both budding artists and people in general, and hope you’ve enjoyed this short insight into how I create the beings that populate my artwork.