Fundamentals of Character Design

  • Price: $699 | Pay with installments.
  • Pre-Reqs: Dynamic Sketching 1&2 and Analytical Figure Drawing or Drawing portfolio review required (images does not have to include characters), send your drawing portfolio or a link to your blog at
  • Materials: sketchbook (6x9 or bigger) / pencils (at least 3 different mediums ex:ballpoint pen, red Col erase pencils, black brushes) and/or a wacom tablet/photoshop, Scanner or Camera to scan or photograph homework assignments

Course Description:

Fundamentals of Character Design focuses on the general elements and principles used by professional artists in order to create successful animated character design. Students will learn necessary terms and explore strategies when approaching a composition. Topics include Form, function, space, line, color, shape, texture and value, through art studies and lectures. Students will utilize these techniques in practice and learn to develop a design with a clear purpose in mind. This class caters more for the development of a stylized than realistic design. *DISCLAIMER*: This class requires students to be at least age 18 to participate. If you are under age, you must provide parental written consent to take our courses. You may send us this request to

Fundamentals of Character Design

  • Week 1: What is Design?: Definition of Design and explanation of the importance of Fundamentals: You must know the real in order to cartoon it. Lecture on Old World Design and Contemporary Design. What good design is and storytelling in design.
  • Week 2: Design from Life: In the world of design we don’t just draw it, we design it. Art imitates life so it’s important to understand the process of abstraction. Importance of observing, digesting and understanding before designing.
  • Week 3: Visual Association: Understanding shapes and their implication. What shape is best for your character? Lesson on shapes meaning, visual language to get a design that supports a story.
  • Week 4: Character Personality: Drawing from within. Importance of posing versus facial expression.
  • Week 5: Appeal and how to achieve it: Understanding what makes a design appealing. Importance of good silhouette and its direct relationship to appeal.
  • Week 6: Creating Form within Abstract Shapes: Tools to create form within graphic abstract shapes.
  • Week 7: Design details and Shape Breakdown: From fur to faces, costume to patterns, designing every element of your character and not just drawing it. Breaking up your character shape from macro to micro while being design conscious.
  • Week 8: Character Staging and Setup: Putting your character in a setting to tell their story adds to their narrative. Use of posing, camera placement, spacing, lighting, composition.

Feb. 4th, 2017 - Apr. 3rd, 2017 + 2 weeks for content review

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