It's a new year!
I'll be posting here more frequently in 2016. I've got a new position at work and some exciting developments in some personal projects and I'll be sharing all that stuff soon. For now, my final post about Stephen's class.
The class has been over for months, but I figured I should share my last project. We had to design a set of characters based on traits—shy, athletic, bully, smart. Two boys, two girls.
I decided to try to fit these teens into the short-lived Spectacular Spider-Man show's style. I loved the art style and character design of that show (hat tip to Sean Galloway). It’s a style I’ve always admired, but never tried myself. If you haven't seen it, the show had super thin lines and flat colors, but everything looked really smooth and dynamic.
Here’s what I ended up with:
I think I was mostly successful.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the feedback video for this one. I forgot to download it before the class closed. But his feedback was in line with a lot of the other things he said during the course. He pushed some of the forms a bit so they could better lean into their traits—a stronger inward hunch for the shy kid, a sassier tilt for the mean girl bully, etc.
The biggest thing I learned in this course (and this assignment was a good example of how I still struggle with it) is how to keep the energy and excitement of a sketch in the final image. Sketches are loose, kinetic, exciting. They're alive with possibility. When you start putting lines down, you tame that wildness. Tame it too much, and your drawing looks stiff and lifeless. It's not an easy thing to do, but I'm more aware of when it happens now than I ever was before.
I went to CTNX for the first time this year and got to meet a lot of art friends I know online in person, and that includes Stephen. I got to do some live drawing at his art studio with a bunch of my Oatley Academy friends. It was so cool!
Stephen has a bazillion students, both online and in person, but he remembered my art and, as I knew he would be, was super nice and friendly. He's an all around good dude, and I'm so glad I got to learn from him.
So if you're thinking about brushing up on your character design, I cannot recommend his class enough. It might be worth it alone just to watch him draw each week. Seeing character design the way he sees it has helped me be more thoughtful about the characters I create.