Sunday, January 29, 2012

Creation of a New Character---Part 3





First I’d like to apologise for the change in plan that I’d originally promised in last week’s post. I won’t be dealing with the Photoshop tutorial as advertised as it’s a much larger project than I first imagined. And to be honest with you I just couldn’t do it justice as one half of a post.

When I looked at it again and realised just what does go into colouring or greyscaling a cartoon in Photoshop I realised it was more like a two or three post topic all of its own, and even then we’d only be scraping the surface.

So on this, the third in the ‘How to create a Cartoon Character’ posts I’d like to show you how I break the main character, Captain Alzheimer down into workable chunks.

The reason why I do this; and the reason why so many other cartoonists do it is simple: If you have a structure to work off, your character will always look the same, no matter how many times you draw him or her.  

So without further delay, let’s get our pencils and paper out and dive right in.


1                     First off draw a kind of light bulb shape
2                     Then divide both the rectangle and the round sections into four as I have.---These will eventually be the head and body. Also put stick arms and legs in with circles for the hands and bread stick shapes for the feet; the little ‘arc shapes’ on the arms will be the tops of his marigold gloves.
3                     Now give him a v-neck, (this is the start of the shape of his cape) Also draw a circle to denote where the knot will end up. Add the gloves and the shape of his thumb and finger on His left hand
4                     To finish off this section fill out his arms and legs and complete the shape of the fingers. Then move onto the cape; think about the folds and how they will sit. Finally do little cartoon toes on the end of his feet.

Now it’s time to move onto the head. I’ve given this its own section as it’s so important to get the face right. The wrong facial expression can ruin the look, stance and personality of your character.



1                     Using the dividing lines (as set out in fig. 2 above) extend the horizontal line to just outside of the rectangle on both sides. These will be his heavy eyebrows. Next put the nose in, using the horizontal line as a guide; try the have it going down the centre of his nose
2                     Now put the lines in that denote the bottom of his mask. Also put his eyes in place. Note I’ve rounded off the top of his head using the extreme left and right of the rectangle as a guide.
3                     Finally put in his mouth. This particular expression gives him the look of confused pomposity that I want in this character. On top of his head put the capital A attached by a piece of wire

I will be dealing with facial expressions in another tutorial, sometime in the not too distant future. But for now we must move onto the final stages and clean up the finished drawing of Captain Alzheimer by filling in the solid black for the back of his cape and the word ‘err...’ on the front of his thermals. Also put a few dots here and there to show that they’re thermals

In Part 4 on 'How to Draw a new Cartoon Character' I'll be dealing with the writing of a comic page script. Keep coming back for more courses, tales from my life, anecdotes and tom foolery from my Diary of a Cartoonist.

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