Character creation can be a very rewarding endeavor. With the right tools and understanding, you can unleash your character design  potential. In this post we are going to discuss a workflow that I use to create some of my illustrations.

This is the beginning (and most important) phase of your character creation process. The gesture stage allows you to be creative in your search of the perfect pose that tells the story you are trying convey. In this illustration, I was going for a simple dynamic pose that shows the character in full action.

Once you have your gesture, it’s time to take these abstract forms and fashion something that we can sink our creative teeth into. A basic rib cage, a few cylinders, and a few spheres, we can craft a believable simplified figure.

Now we are getting somewhere! The gesture and masses have been established; now it’s time explore some values and shapes. This is the step is where you will start to explore the character personality and function in the story.  Basic masses and value will aid you in establishing the lighting direction and the weight of the character.

Once you have nailed down your design, it’s time to start working on the line art.  In this stage you will be laying the foundation of the fills and strokes that will hold the color information for you character.

Color theory plays an important role in conveying the energy and emotion of a character. Pick the colors that match the narrative of the story.  My character is a dark, sinister, fire wielding robot so I chose the complementary colors orange and purple. Orange reminds the viewer of fire and purple is its complementary color.

This stage is about finding the perfect rhythm and balance of light and shadow. Keep in the back of your mind where your light source is located. Think of this stage as an under painting or a guide for your final Vector Illustration.

Now we have come to the final stage of our illustration. We are now free to render out the details as we see fit. Now its time to start thinking about what surfaces our creation is made of and what kind of environment he is in. As in step 6, you need to keep in mind your light source while rendering your surfaces. A great understanding of how light works (which will be covered in future post) will aid you in creating believable scenes.

I also included the brushes (CLICK HERE) that I created for this project. Feel free to pass around the net if you like, just give me some credit!

In conclusion, character creation can be a very daunting task if you are not sure where to start. Use this guide I created for you as a starting point so you can build a work flow of your own. Last but not least, have fun!

Remember to subscribe to this blog to receive updates for VECTOLOGY.ORG and you can also follow me on Twitter @HUMANNATURE_84. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted on September 19, 2011, in CASE STUDYS, General News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I’m really learning from this keep it coming 🙂 more power

  2. Excellent character design! How long on average does it take you to make one of these?

  3. Thanks for this guide!

  4. Celso E. Hernandez Barredo

    I love your constancy on these proyects, keep it up you’re sure giving back to the design community man, great job!

  5. thanks a lot for this!

    btw, the brushes don’t work on Illustrator CS4, it gives a warning and opens an empty brushes tab.


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