Character Development

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I found some characters in ‘Full of Characters. Character Design by 100 Illustrators’ and some on Pinterest and catalogued them using the following hashtags on this Character Design Pinterest Board:

  • #mancharacters
  • #childcharacters
  • #robotcharacters
  • #animalcharacters
  • #fantasycharacters
  • #surrealcharacters


I decided on developing a character of a ‘single mum’ so I mindmapped out some ideas and added to these with results of Google searches. I wrote out a character description to guide the design:
Suzie Williams is a 30yr old single mum of 2 young children. She was married to a soldier so is used to looking after her children alone but he recently died in active service so she now has money worries too. She has just gone back to work part time as a librarian to help with this and is mostly exhausted or, on a good day, very tired.

My second character choice was of a wood-cutter or lumberjack. The character description I wrote was:
Sam McFadden is a 45 year old lumberjack, originally from U.S. He has come to U.K. to work on woodland conservation projects. He is fairly heavy set and prefers to work with traditional tools. Generally cheerful and friendly, he often whistles while working.

I enjoyed the wood-cutter character design process more and I think the outcome is better than for the single mum character. There are further expressions for him in my sketchbook.

Update Following Feedback

I have explored further ways of rendering the woodcutter, following my tutor’s suggestion. I chose oil pastels for one and watercolour and coloured pencils for the other.



I prefer the watercolour version as it is clearer. However, I do like working with oil pastels but would work on a larger size to get better detail in the face. These were done on A5 paper.

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