Comic Book Character Design: Pain Concept | Forming a Stong Foundation & Clarifying The Design

In this video I’ll be showing you a behind the scenes look at my character design process! The character concept you’ll see me develop in this demonstration is for a comic book called Replicator, by author and creator Rob Arnold. This particular character will be featured in issue three, his name, is Pain.

For more on Rob Arnold’s Replicator series click this link:

As with any well-built illustration, we’ll start out with a solid foundation. The reason for this is because doing so practically guarantees the character design’s success in terms of anatomical structure and composition; for it is the foundation that holds within it the very principles that makes an accurately drawn presentation work.

The basic structure that lies beneath the surface of what will ultimately be the final rendition of the character establishes their proportions, pose and placement on the page. It provides a skeleton for the rest of the design to be built upon.

After the foundation has been sketched out, the next step is to rough in the character’s design over the top. This is where the fun begins, because now we’re able to transition from a somewhat analytical stream of thinking into a creative one.

At this early stage of the design, I’m still working rough, establishing the key components within the design before refining them. The trick to depicting these elements is to use references, and to ensure they all click together into a unified design. They must complement one another in order to create a fortified representation of the idea that’s visually pleasing to the eye.

Most importantly, the character’s design has to make sense. In other works the way they look needs to be congruent with their bio and the role they’ll play throughout the story.

Once the design is drafted, we’ll enter the refinement phase where the basic character sketch is articulated with a much higher degree of clarification. As a whole the concept is sharpened as the line work is cleaned up and reestablished with sharper, energetic contours that are carefully weighted to convey depth, focus and emphasis.

Crosshatching techniques are used to render in the shading, allowing us to depict the character with form and various tonal values that help break the design up. This not only helps the character to read better, but it also makes them look more convincing!

Finally we’ll add in additional details to convey various materials and textures, enabling us to make each element throughout the character concept more distinguishable, solid and tactile in appearance. Once more this adds realism to the character, giving the viewer a sense of the various materials throughout their design, and how they might feel to the touch.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Thanks for watching!

Software Used: Manga Studio

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