Thursday, July 1, 2010

Intro to Picture Book Illustration: Week 2 - Character Development

So here are the basics to developing a three dimensional character...!

Step One - Do not go Past GO until you internalize this!
Convincing characters are fundamental to any and all visual narrative! Nothing works if the viewer cannot believe in the actors on the stage... The artist must believe in them first before ever setting pencil or brush to paper...

How an individual character is born varies greatly from artist to artist and Descriptions can come from various directions
1. from existing texts - written detailed descriptions may already exist
of habits, movements or physical appearance
2. artist/writer may sketch & doodle until something speaks to them "demanding a role"

Successful character development requires
1. keen insight into the nuances and eccentricities of human nature - this takes inherent knowledge!
2. an ability to represent it through line, shape, color and form - learned knowledge! KEEP DRAWING!

Sketchbook - usage
This is the ideal tool for studying and gaining that insight into human behavior. Take your sketchbook everywhere you can and draw. When you don't have it study people, internalize what you see and try to capture it later in your sketchbook...

It is also a place to experiment with poses & behaviors of characters, various media, textures...

This book is really all about be free, have fun and always be SEEING and PERCEIVING— not just looking and recording.

Also, always search for the gestures in an activity when drawing...refer to your in class notes...

Drawing consistent characters requires:

1. References & models for realistic represented work
2. realistic sketches that become a jumping off point more subjective work
3. Model sheets or turnarounds - sheets that utilize front, back, 3/4 views to physically describe character for consistency - used for books, comic book, and video games.

Making a character 3D Emotionally
- Must think of the background, strengths, weakness, environment
- How do they interact with other characters?
- Why do they do what they do?
- What motivates them?
- Every character ever imagined has a base need for physical, emotional, and spiritual survival, just as we do.
- How they specifically navigate these needs & how they respond sets up how these characters respond to the story & negotiate conflicts & resolve to act.

*No need to say everything about a character for the audience to appreciate whole of the character.
- Avoid stereotypes - kids are savvy!
- Must show important traits in a way that audience associates whole series of other traits

Always find a recognizable trait & decide what the audience's first impression will be leads to - dominant character traits & secondary character traits:
- action
- reaction
- reactions of others
- patterns of behavior
- relationship to props
- relationships to setting

Keep up the good work!

By the way based on the drawing of "Vera the Flapper" can you deduce her personality and background?


Francisco Martins said...

Hey Lincoln, I just went through all of your stuff and man...YOU ARE AWESOME!:D
Lovee your style, and your characters are tottaly ahhhhhmazing!

Cheers from Lisbon

lincoln said...

Thanks Francisco! I've still got quite a ways to go to get where I want to be...and the industry is a tough nut to crack with all of you "young pups" coming out with such passion and skill! Keeps me on my toes daily!

Dennis Cornetta said...

Man, I love your style! Great movements in this drawing, you really get a feel for what's happening.

Hmmm I'll take a crack at this...

...Is she a light hearted pleasant gal with a passion to dance? Despite others telling her that she's been "too big" her whole life, she knows she is beautiful on the inside and out and flaunts her beauty with pride!

lincoln said...

Thanks Dennis! You might say Vera is blissfully unaware of her size...

Justin Rodrigues said...

Lincoln great drawing man. Love the movement. And thanks for posting all the information. this is super helpful

Francisco Martins said...

He he! I wouldn't worry with the "young pups"! They all have a long way to go before they can keep up with you ;)