Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Creating convincing characters

Illustrator maestro Alexis West demonstrates how to magic up appealing characters using a pencil, a computer and bags of imagination.

1_DA_Creating_convincing_characters

The ability to dream up and design cool, dynamic people is a good skill for any graphic designer to have under their belt, whether you’re basing whole graphic novels around them or just using them to add a quirky twist to flyers or T-shirt designs.

Character design is a great chance to really let your imagination run wild – the sky’s the limit. In this tutorial, you’ll learn some basic skills for converting your character from a pencil doodle to a complete, fully-coloured image – learning some crucial Illustrator skills along the way.

2_DA_Creating_convincing_characters

Step 1 The best way to begin creating a character is with pencil and paper. Doodle your ideas, keeping your mind open: the results will speak for themselves. When developing your character, don’t force it, let it emerge naturally: think of personality and even names. Try not to make any of these elements overly ‘wacky’ for the sake of it. Think of a way to further intensify emotion and expression – one of my personal stamps is that I rarely give my characters large or distinctive mouths, thus emphasizing their eyes.

3_DA_Creating_convincing_characters

Step 2 Once you have developed a character, a great way to express their personality is to imagine a scenario that depicts a sense of narrative. My character is a bit punky, so to further emphasize this, I have developed a little scene where she is disrupting a peaceful scene. Another great way to emphasize your character is to place them in a scene that contrasts with their personality.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags adobeadobe illustratorgraphics softwaregraphic design

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Alexis West

Digital Arts Magazine
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?