One of the exercises I used to do and that I feel really helped me when it came to character design was called ‘Loose Association’ drawing. What also makes this particular type of practice so good is it gives you something to fall on when you don’t know what to draw or you pen just wont coordinate with your paper. It loosens your drawing up and is a cool way to start getting the hang of stronger flowing gestural lines and thus more convincing character gestures.
On a side note, all of these can be done without the pen, looking for shapes in clouds or bushes helps build your minds ability like any other skill that is practiced. Originally it was a way the brain could spot dangers such as hiding tigers and predators in camouflaged environments, so it should come very naturally to most.
Here are 5 cool things to use
- Plain old scribbles (Like I have done below)
- Cracks in side walks, pavement or walls
- Chipped paint
- Torn or crumpled paper
- Random scribble from a friend
If you chose another method such as cracks, replicate this process by drawing the items lines and curves or having lines and curves drawn onto some paper.
Spend some time gazing at the shapes the scribbles build until you find shapes you either like or start see characters in. It can take some time, but don’t feel daunted, the more relax and open you are to using your imagination the better. So if you feel frustrated take a brake and come back. Once you have found what you were looking for, draw over your chosen lines adding eyes, shading and some details if it helps.
Step three: Development
Take your basic character design and work on it! Keep in mind that loose gestural lines made it in the first place so don’t be afraid to curve and sweep the lines around like a magic wand! Being to meticulous and slow will end in your drawing looking tight and awkward, the point to the exercise is loose confident strokes, so have fun!
Blessed be from Geeks and Graphite