Friday, September 20, 2013

Character Challenge - Day 13: 26-40+ year olds

Day 13: 26-40+ year olds

Welcome to Day 13 of the Character Challenge! This is our last prompt and if you have made it this far, you should have worked on characters ranging from 2 years old to 25 years old as well as eyes, ears, noses, mouths, posture, and costumes. I have filled many pages of my sketchbook and I hope you have, too.

Here are the links to the previous posts:
Day 1: Head Shapes
Day 2: Toddlers 2-4 years old
Day 3: All About Eyes
There was no post on Saturday or Sunday
Day 11: 18-25 year olds
Day 12: Costuming a Character

Today's prompt is 26-40+ year olds. Of course you can sketch older than 40 - that's what the + is for. The sky is the limit. This just means grown ups, adults, big people, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, people in the work force, people who entertain, people who you see every day. Remember that we are making characters here so don't worry about realism. Does that guy at the deli counter have big ears? Make them bigger in a character. Does that woman have spikey hair? Make it more spikey in a character. Take features farther.

On Monday, I will post a summary showing many of the characters that I created during this challenge on this blog. If you post a summary showing your characters, share the link in these comments so we can all see what was created. Don't feel that you have to spend the weekend inking and coloring some high quality character pieces - sketches, doodles, pencil are all fine.

Have fun and thank you for taking this challenge with me!

In January, I will be working on scenes (not focusing on the characters - just the backgrounds/locations/places) so if you want to do those with me, let me know.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Character Challenge - Day 12: Costuming a Character

Day 12: Costuming a Character

Welcome to Day 12 of the Character Challenge! You should be knee deep in doodles and sketches of 18-25 year olds. For me, designing adult characters is much more difficult than children. I don't know why - just is. In any case, at this point, we have worked on characters who are 2-4 years old, 5-8 years old, 9-12 years old, 13-17 years old and 18-25 years old. We have also worked on noses, eyes, ears, mouths and posture.

Here are the links to all of the previous Character Challenge posts if you want to check back or need to catch up:
Day 1: Head Shapes
Day 2: Toddlers 2-4 years old
There was no post on Saturday or Sunday
Day 11: 18-25 year olds

Today, I am writing about Costuming a Character. Costumes are a lot of fun. Your character can be anything. Anything! Remember that this isn't the real world - these are your characters - your stories - your drawings. Do you want your character to get shot out of a cannon straight toward the moon? Go for it! Is your character a tiny fairy with super tall flowers surrounding her? Sure! This is fiction. Anything can happen. A good costume doesn't have to be complex, either. It can be appealing through straight forward simplicity. A pirate sword and an eye patch or a ray gun and pointy collared shirt can tell a viewer who this character is.

Take some of those young adults you are working on and add a king's crown and robe, doctors scrubs, space suit, fireman's jacket and hat, baseball pants, shirt, and hat (don't forge the cleats). Think of any job or make one up and try the outfit on your character. You don't have to do a bunch, just try one - sketch it. We're not looking for portfolio pieces in this challenge - this is a time to play.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Character Challenge - Day 11: 18-25 year olds

Day 11: 18-25 year olds
Welcome to Day 11 of the Character Challenge! We have sketched toddlers, kids, pre-teens, and teens. We have also worked on eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. If you have been keeping up with this challenge, great job! We are moving pretty fast and only have a few prompts to go!
Here are links to the past Cha-Cha Posts:
There was no post on Saturday or Sunday
Today's prompt is 18-25 year olds. College students and recent grads. This age group includes young people choosing careers and entering the work force or joining the military. In books, we now refer to them as New Adult - and they have their own genre.
What you ever knew about figure drawing can pretty much go out the window on "characters." Your squat adult male might only be three heads tall. Your young dad character might be just 4 or 5 heads tall. What makes these characters different from the children using same number of heads in height is that their face moves up on the head to the bottom third or even closer to the center. Ears move up to be between the eyes and nose instead of down between the nose and mouth. Hands get more defined. Clothing changes - grown up style. Women may wear jewelry. Men may wear a hat (other than a baseball hat). Hairstyles become cleaner with less fly away hairs.
Posture - "Posture can either energize or rob it of its energy." - Chris Hart
You can show a characters feelings even without facial features.
Here are a few stances:
Forward Leaning = aggressive or eager
Backward Leaning = easy going
Neutral but swayed forward a bit = Cute and innocent
Bend the knees and lean your character back a bit  = a goofy look. Think Moose from the Archie comics.
Think about posture when drawing these young adults. Is he or she heading off to college or to a job at the Chicken Shack? Give him a silly work uniform and show in his posture that he is either excited to go or dreading the idea.
Have fun!
Come back tomorrow for a new post.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Character Challenge - Day 10: The Mouth

Day 10: The Mouth
Welcome to Day 10 of the Character Challenge. So far, we have worked on characters in the age ranges of 2-4, 5-8, 9-12, and currently 13-17. We have also worked on Head Shapes, Noses, and Ears. Below is a link to all of the previous Character Challenge posts:
There was no post on Saturday or Sunday
Today, I'll share a little info about Mouths. Mouths are a lot of fun to draw because they can be soo expressive (like the eyes). You can twist mouths in funky shapes to show different emotions. A tiny dot can show a character at a loss for words. A tilted line (along with a squinty eye) can show a character who is perplexed. Mouths can also be super wide showing amazement or anger. Doodle up some blank head shapes and try different mouths - you don't even have to add the nose or eyes or anything else - just go for different emotions with mouth shapes OR add some different moods to those moody teenagers that we are working on from yesterday's post OR just try some a page of mouths showing different reactions. Have fun with it.
Here are some mouth reference photos:

Have fun!
Come back tomorrow for the next age group prompt.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Character Challenge - Day 9: 13-17 year olds

Day 9: 13-17 year olds
Welcome to the second week of the Character Challenge! During last week, we worked on head shapes, 2-4 year old characters, eyes, noses, 5-8 year olds, and 9-12 year olds. I hope you were able to sketch out at least one character for each of those age groups.

Here are links to last week's posts:
Day 1: Head Shapes
Day 6: 9-12 year olds

For this week, our characters are getting older and today we start working on TEENAGERS. Specifically 13-17 year olds - the reason that I am not including 18 and 19 year olds is because once a person finishes high school and heads off to college - they are often into different things so we will work on them in a couple of days. For today and tomorrow, stick with High School students.
Things to keep in mind when designing teenage characters: High school students often break off into clicks or groups. You've got the brainiacs, the nerds, the goths, slobs, goofballs, athletes, etc...everyone from Miss Popular to Mr Total Nerd and they can all be super funny characters.
Boys: Teenager boys (unless they are the big athletic type) can be lanky with overly long legs, arms, and neck - skinny but fit. 4-6 heads tall should work for these boys. Finger tips can stretch to a couple inches above the knee.
Girls: Give your teenage girl character some hips and pull her waist in a bit. Give her some earrings and add a few eyelashes. You can make your girl characters taller than the boys (and still look like teenagers) because they are growing faster and the reality is that many of the high school girls can be a head taller than the boys. Unless your character is meant to be small, go for 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 heads tall for the teenage girls. Chris Hart states in his book, THE HUMUNGOUS BOOK OF CARTOONING that the girl's fingers for this age range will taper a bit - not showing nails but more defined that the boys at the same age.
Remember - all of these tips and suggestions are just that. Suggestions. You don't have to use any of it when designing your characters. Observe some teens this afternoon. If you have time, head over to the mall and find a seat in a popular area. Bring your sketchbook. Look at what the kids are wearing, how they are standing. Do some super fast gestural drawings to show poses (these can be stick figures - just stay loose with your lines).
Here is a Chris Hart video on drawing a cartoon girl...

Have fun!