Top 9 Tips on How to Be Good in Character Painting

Character painting involves a lot of creative thinking. If you are new to character painting or struggling to bring out the character in your mind, these are a few professional tips to help you get started.

1. Get into the habit of painting characters. 

Do you want to know how to get better in painting characters? The answer is, do not stop painting. Practicing drawing cartoons will definitely improve your drawing skills, and that is the secret and the only secret. Painting characters is a skill that can be developed if you spend time practicing it. All you need is curiosity, perseverance, focus, and time. 

You can start with any subject that you find intriguing or amusing. It can be ordinary things inside your room. You can also do free-hand drawing. Doodle or just start anywhere. Experiment with lines, curves, and keep adding details. 

Once you get comfortable with drawing through practicing, you can start painting characters. If you find yourself having a hard time painting a character from scratch, you can start by thinking about the character’s personality. Imagine that you are the character you are painting and let your hands do the work. 

2. Research different character types for inspiration

Find inspiration and reference from popular characters. You can search for character design portfolios from the top artists on the internet like Anna Kulakovskaja, Cesar Vergara, Nikolay Lookin, Aleksey Baydakov, and more. You can also find inspiration from characters in films and books. 

For example, you can use other villain characters as a reference if you are creating your own character. Try to understand what makes them look ferocious or scary and how they radiate wickedness, e.g., their eyes, shape of the face, or smirk.

3. Create your own character design library

You can make a list of your top villain characters and dip into it every time you need guidance to develop your own ideas. 

There are different websites where you can find inspiration. You can check the Character Design References website, or you can create a reference board on Pinterest. Click this link to learn how to create a board on Pinterest.

4. Choose the character painting tools you are most comfortable with

Different drawing tools suit different styles. There are so many different tools, software, and apps for character painting. In choosing a drawing tool, software, or application, there are key criteria that you should consider.

First, choose the device that you will use. Are you going to use a Smartphone, tablet, or computer? Most software or applications are available on multiple devices. However, the feature may vary. Computers can run more powerful software than a Smartphone or a tablet. One of the reasons is because the computer has much storage capacity. 

Some of the best and in-demand software you can use for painting characters are:

5. Draw the Different Facial Expression of Your Character 

One of the key aspects of a character is the facial expression. The face is also one of the most challenging parts to draw. This is because the face consists of different parts, and that helps show different emotions. Every time your character changes its emotions, the facial expression also changes, and every look is different from another. 

In character painting, the face is like the window in your character’s inner life and personality. A viewer can also easily distinguish the personality of your character by just looking at its face. How well you draw your character’s facial expression stimulates the emotion from your audience and controls how they are going to react to it.

6. Define the Features of Your Character

You can help your audiences identify your character’s key qualities by emphasizing or exaggerating your character’s features. Exaggerating your character’s facial expression or body can convey a tangible feeling or strong emotion by just looking at it. Creating exaggerated poses and body language helps to enhance the realism of your character.

7. Use the Right Costume to Compliment your Character 

It is important that you put much effort into designing the costume of your character. The costume is an element of your character that communicates the details of a character’s personality to the audience.

In designing the costume of your character, think of him or her as a book. Read the face and the body of your character.  It will also help if you think of a back story of your character in your mind. You can outline answers to questions like:

  • What is the story all about?
  • Is your character a hero or a villain? 
  • Male or female? 
  • Is the story funny, realistic, surreal?
  • In what era is your character in? Contemporary, futuristic, epic, period?
  • How old is your character?
  • What is the role of your character? E.g., musician, doctor, criminal, student, etc.

Remember that the costume should complement your character.

8. Choose the Right Color to Describe Your Character

The color that you will choose for your character can influence an audience to perceive it. A well-chosen color can help your audience describe and see your character. Maintain the message of the character by choosing the color that best describes them. Your goal is to secure an emotional connection with your audience. 

The human subconscious mind is adept in making up meanings of different colors. There are certain colors that affect human emotion and behavior. The effect of color in a human’s behavior or emotion is called the psychological effects of color.

9. Character Painting: Design and Render Like A Pro Online Course

The best tip that I can give to you if you are new to character painting is to take an online course like Skill Success’s Character Painting: Design And Render Like A Pro. In this course, you will discover the basics of character painting, professional-level techniques, and tricks that will expose the entire process of creating character art with Adobe Photoshop. You will also learn the step-by-step process and the fundamentals of character design.

Ready to learn character painting online? Click here to get started.

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