Schoolism: Stephen Silvers Character Design - Complete!

I just finished Stephen Silvers Character Design class through Schoolism! I learned a great amount from each of Stephen's lectures and especially from his draw-overs. It's amazing how he could make my design so much better with just a few alterations! I feel like my biggest improvements are my confidence in my line, drawing through the forms - making sure everything fits together, and pushing the shapes. I haven't gotten my final critique yet, so I'll find out soon what Stephen feels my biggest improvements are and what I should work on moving forward!

Lesson 1 we drew a character based on a description we were provided with. And Lesson 9 was the same assignment, but applying everything we learned throughout the class. Here is the comparison:

There are certain elements from the original I do still like, since it's more film type details, but I am really happy with the final character! He is definitely more solid and interesting... feels like he is actually leaning on the counter, has more character, pushed shapes - yeah! Much better!  I didn't spend as much time on his paint job as I wanted to, but I did the best I could with the time I had. I'll give more time to the next one!

If you want to see the other Lessons leading up to the 9th, continue on!

Lesson 2: Thinking, Looking, Doing.

This week was all about design fundamentals and the importance of silhouettes. The thing that really stuck was even with doing silhouettes, its still important to get the gesture and form down. Once I treated even my little silhouettes as more of a gesture, my shapes began to unflatten.

The long assignment of the class is designing a Jekyll and Hyde character. I decided to do a pig scientist that would turn into warthog. Here are the silhouettes I did exploring different design possibilities.

Lesson 3: Construction/Caricature

This week covered the importance of construction, what it means to avoid the ladder and tap into the realm of caricature. He gave great examples of design issues and how to avoid them. This was extremely helpful! So many things to think about and keep in mind that all make for a stronger design!

One part of the assignment was figuring out the construction of a bunch of heads and also tracing over faces to see their proportions and what makes them look the way they do.

Another part of the assignment this week was to do a drawing of this dude with an awesome stash and bowler hat.

Then I had to put the picture and drawing away and do characters based on his essence.

Also did a bunch of other caricatures...

And finally continued on with our Jekyll and Hyde assignment by adding more character, clothing and personality. I first did some pig and warthog studies to get familiar with the animals.

Lesson 4: The Features

Stephen had many great tips on how to break down the features to make them simple to draw from all angles and also how to push them in a way that still makes the characters believable. This weeks assignment was all about studying.

 Lesson 5: Clean-Up

This week Stephen demoed several different ways to clean up a drawing while focusing on scale and proportion. The idea of continuing to draw over your drawings again, then again... then again and as many times as you can to further explore and push was a huge thing I learned this week. It's so easy to get locked down on an idea which often leads to stiff boring drawings.

From this point we had to choose only Jekyll or Hyde to continue on with. I choose Dr. Jekyll, but I hope to finish off Hyde now that the class is over so I have the complete set.

Lesson 6: Turnarounds

I learned a lot of tricks to keep a character consistent while turning it around. Still tough though...

Lesson 7: Expressions and Attitudes

Stephen drew a range of expressions while focusing on rhythm, balance and flow. He also did a color demo that was extremely helpful. It's amazing how fast he can go from line art to a finished piece!

And here is the final part of the Jekyll assignment!

 Lesson 8: Memory sketching and how to approach keeping and drawing in a sketchbook daily.

I realized this week that this is what I have to work on the most. I have a really hard time drawing something if I don't have it in front of me while I am drawing it. I realize the more I do this the easier it will become. *pencil to forehead* Draw Draw Draw!

All in all this was an amazing class that I have obviously grown in and had a lot of fun in! I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is looking to improve their character design skills from an amazing teacher that is also a working professional! Thanks Stephen Silver for an amazing class and getting me drawing again!

1 comment:

Jared said...

These are all very awesome Jess! looks like you had fun. makes me want to draw more.
Great Job!!!