Monday, October 7, 2013

Stephen Silver's Character Design Class

Currently, I am enrolled in two online courses. One is Maya Basics offered by Animation Mentor and the other is Character Design taught by Stephen Silver, the class is on a site called schoolism, thank you Jose Antonio Prats for the website!  

Silver's website...

Silver is a fantastic cartoonist/illustrator who has designed characters for Kim Possible, Danny Phantom and other cartoons that you may have seen on Nickelodeon or Disney.  He is a great instructor and I am learning quite a bit from his class.

This first assignment was to design an eccentric fat British entrepreneur named Walter Chipwitther. Before starting the assignment, I viewed several influences of Silver's such as Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Paul Coker, Don Flowers and most importantly Ronald Searle.  Ronald Searle is a hilarious cartoonist and I was very inspired after viewing his work.

After looking at numerous artists I began drawing several fat guy faces that had a monocle and a bow tie, because Walter Chipwitther had both of these accessories.  Here are a couple of fat faces...

This one was actually a caricature I did before the group of fat faces, could you guess who it is?  I would be impressed if you got it right

This one was a really fun doodle

Eventually, I made the face of the man in the top left corner in the final below and thought it was a good fit.  I drew a body of his with pants and no pants. Oh yeah and another description was that he had to be wearing a smoking jacket.

Silver gave me a critique and drew on a layer on top of my drawing showing the construction that was missing in the body and arms/hands.  

His corrections make my drawing more alive and have more personality, it was really impressive watching him draw my character in a matter of minutes.

After that week, Silver assigned us to do silhouettes of a character that is based on the story Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  (Walter White is a good example)

Anyways, I wanted to draw a female character for this project because I do not draw enough characters that are women.  I decided to create a nerdy scientists that transforms into a barbaric woman.  Here is the description....

After writing the examples I got lots of references for the character.  I did this for Walter Chipwitther as well.  This trick is great to get a idea of the outfit and personality for the character.

After I got references, I went outside and drew silhouettes of people in the park and the train.  I also went to Dare 2 Draw located at the Society of Illustrators and drew the silhouette of a woman warrior, which was perfect for my character Wren Blackburn.

Silver also commented on the faces that the noses and lips could be brought out more to exaggerate the person's unique appearance.

Finally, I did the silhouettes of my character here they are!!!

Silver then looked at them and liked 2 of the skinny girls he circled them in one of the examples below...

Silver suggested 3 of the Wren Blackburns. His advice of the characters was to simplify the shapes and to make sure the gesture matches the personality of the character.

At the end of this week, my new assignment is to draw one final of Baxter and another final of Blackburn.  These drawings are not silhouettes and are going to be like the 1st assignment.  Silhouettes were tricky for me, but they do help in creating a character that is simplified and lively.  I will experiment with silhouettes more this week in creating my finals.  

We were also assigned a caricature assignment for this week so I will post this project by the end of this week.  In the meantime, any feedback on any of my work especially assignment two would be greatly appreciated.  I am always interested in what people have to say about my work because it helps me grow as an artist.

Thanks for stopping by and check back Thursday for some new figure drawings!

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