Effective and efficient character design conveys traits and personality. The use of colors and shapes communicates information to the audience. I previously wrote about 10 tips for character design. I used information from that article and will discuss my artistic decisions on three new characters I designed.
Each of these different characters I gave a distinctive shape and color. The shapes I selected were square, circle and triangle; the colors I went with were blue, yellow and red, all primary colors.
The first design is the Wise, Wizard Owl. His basic shape is a square, characterizing stability. The color blue signifies reliability. Since he is a magical, he has a yellow wand and a wizard’s hat. I originally planned giving him a black hat with multiple stars, but the dark headpiece dominated attention away from the character. Plus a black hat signifies a bad guy type, the owl is a good guy. I elected to go with yellow, which is a more friendlier color. It does have a black band displaying a single, yellow star. It is important to give your character’s meaningful props.
The second design is the Silly, Barbarian Dog. His foundational shape is a round circle, characterizing a friendly, bubbly demeanor. The color yellow signifies cheer, hope and happiness. This barbarian dog usually wears a toothy, canine grin. He carries a bone as a weapon upon his back.
The third and last design is the Sneaky, Rogue Cat. Her basic shape is a sharp, pointy triangle, characterizing a dangerous quality. The color red signifies a risky and fiery personality. She is pictured without her hood so you can see the triangles used for her ears. There are seven triangles on her face (not counting her whiskers). Can you find them all?
Finally, successful character design is accomplished if a silhouette test is done and characters can be differentiated by their silhouette.
For more information about the significance of colors and the emotions they convey, I suggest researching the subject of color theory.
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