Character design

Silhouette

Does your character have a clear and distinctive silhouette? If you fill your character in black, is it pleasing to look at? Is the character’s stance still clear? Is it distinct from your other character’s silhouettes?

Character size

Is your character the right size, in relation to the other characters? What happens if you make them bigger (or a LOT bigger)? Or smaller (or a LOT smaller)? How does their size reinforce their personality and emotion?

Character exaggeration

Make a new layer and draw boxes around the character’s head, limbs, torso, abdomen, etc. Are the boxes interesting and dynamic shapes? If you rearrange and resize the boxes then redraw the character, how does it change or exaggerate the character?

Character shape

Does the character’s shape reflect their personality? Round can be comforting or harmless; square is solid, stubborn, stable, or unyielding; triangles can vary- pyramid can be stable, but upside down triangles are unstable, risky, dangerous, edgy. Try drawing a shape and working it into every aspect of your character design. How can this shape reinforce …

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Line of action

Does each character have a clear, dynamic “line of action”? I.E. is there a single line that you can draw from their head to their feet, and is it a dynamic line?

Other characters?

Are there other characters in the scene? What relationship do they have with the main character? How can you add additional conflict or cues to the nature of their relationship?

Shape

Does your character’s shape match their personality? Roundness is comforting or harmless, a rectangle is solid and tough to move, a triangle can be solid (like a pyramid), insecure and unbalanced (up inverted) or dangerous/threatening (many triangles evoke thorns or glass).