The prize draw for my on-line illustration workshop, the one I filmed recently in Denver with Craftsy, is now over. Congratulations to Tami T who won a free subscription to my 7-lesson master-class on How to Illustrate Expressive Children's Book Characters.
The 7 lessons take you through everything I could think of that you need to know for creating believable human and animal characters for your illustrations: I crammed in everything I have learnt over the years for you.
We go through lots of tips to show you easy ways to sketch various basic characters as well as how to get across different ages, by playing around with various proportions:
I also demonstrate simple devises for creating different personalities, by varying the positions of facial features, in combination with different head shapes:
I show you how to make characters walk and run, and how to add different facial expressions to communicate more about what's happening:
In one lesson, we look at how you can use clothing and props to tell people more about what your characters are doing and who they are:
We had a lot of fun filming a lesson on how to communicate emotion. At home in my studio, I often act things out in a mirror, to work out the best body-language to use. Clif, my producer, thought it would be good to actually do this on set, so we stole the huge mirror from my dressing room and set it up on an easel in the studio:
I then had to do my acting out in front of the camera (!), playing at being angry, sad, scared etc. before transferring the positions to different character sketches. It took us ages to work out the best way to film it, so we wouldn't see the cameras in the mirror, not to mention the big battery pack I had tucked under my skirt (does my bum look big in this...).
So, this is actually me, being terrified:
At the end of each section, I give you homework tasks, to help you practice what we have been doing and you can then post your work for me to see. You can even ask questions.
I had a lot of fun creating the class and I am hoping it will be a lot of fun to do. By the end, you should be able to create pretty much any character you fancy. But better than that: you will be able to make them feel 'real' (even if they are a crocodile in a dressing gown and slippers), because you will learn how to communicate what they are thinking and feeling too.