US $19.97

Character Design Crash Course: Dynamic Design in Four Steps

——   Created by Melissa Lee

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More about this course

Welcome to Character Design Crash Course, a series of illustration classes meant for beginning cartoonists or intermediate character artists looking for a refresher. In this class, I take you through my four-step process for designing a dynamic character, which includes coming up with a story and concept, creating rough thumbnail sketches, refining your design and finalizing the details, and finally, cleanup and color. I also talk about the fundamentals of character design, and the importance of using reference and learning from other artists. 

What You'll Learn

  • Finding Inspiration and Learning from Other Artists: I talk about studying the styles of other artists, how it helps you build your versatility, and the importance of being influenced by more than one artist.
  • Using Reference: I talk about why using reference is key to improving your drawing skills and share some of the best ways to use it to benefit yourself.
  • Developing Your Character: from story and concept to rough sketches to more developed designs
  • Cleanup and Color: I share some cleanup tips for lineart, as well as a couple of different coloring/shading techniques.

What You'll Make

Once finished, you'll have a fully colored character to add to your portfolio. :D

Note: You can do everything I'm going to demonstrate in this class traditionally, but if you do want to work digitally (I use Photoshop and Procreate in this class), some beginning knowledge and experience with the digital drawing program of your choice is likely necessary. If you want to learn more advanced digital painting techniques, I have a couple of classes on Adobe Photoshop in my channel.

The course project

Your assignment is to design and illustrate a character of your choosing.

  • Step 1: Story and Research
  • Step 2: Rough Sketching
  • Step 3: Design and Details
  • Step 4: Cleanup and Color

Your goal is to create a fun character that you can include in your portfolio!


Your project should include your fully illustrated character, as well as your rough sketches. I want to see your process. Feel free to post any practice exercises you may have done as well! 



8 Lessons

1 min
12 mins
The Fundamentals of Character Design
4 mins
Fun Drawing Exercises
6 mins
Inspiration and Reference
8 mins
Step 1: Story
5 mins
Step 2: Roughs
15 mins
Step 3: Design
12 mins
Step 4: Cleanup & Color

About the instructor

It you!
Melissa Lee
  • 9 courses

Hi! My name's Melissa Lee, and I'm an illustrator and surface designer living in the hilly forests of Northern California. Alongside doing freelance and art …

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Class benefits

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 30 day satisfaction guarantee
  • 24/7 streaming access
  • Project included
  • Direct teacher access
  • 59m of on-demand video
  • 3 downloadable files
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