Friday, July 19, 2013

Character Drawing--Ol' One-Eye

One-Eyed Wizard sketch. Mixed media on paper.

I'll be teaching some upcoming workshops--one of which will be on drawing characters. (I hesitate to call it a "character design" class because I don't want to conjure the ubiquitous images of cute mice and big-eyed princesses.)  Because of the workshop, my daily practice-sessions have been all about studying and drawing a variety of figures.
Not that drawing characters hasn't filled my days in the past, but I've a renewed curiosity about the process and so am thinking more about the sequence as I sketch.

Detail from One-Eyed Wizard sketch via
I can only imagine the processes of other illustrators, but I'd like to know more. My approach varies, depending on whether it's for a finished work or simply a practice sketch. 

For this fellow and his buddy (and most of my sketches), I constructed the figures out of  forms very roughly, from my head. Then I detailed them up with a sharper pencil and outlined them with a Pentel Pocket Brush
Because I was goofing off with this in the living room instead of the studio, I used a black prismacolor for the shadows and a white one for the highlights. I generally avoid like death any kind of pencil shading, but they were in the box by the couch and I was too lazy to go get my pen and ink.

The coffeepot and lantern were drawn from memory, although I had just been sketching the old things the day before--from life. The lantern was embellished a bit. You can see a close-up of it here if you want

Any techniques you want to share are always appreciated--feel free to comment or email me.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Characters within characters! This guy looks like he's about to come to life :) Thanks for sharing your process (I love the tone of the paper, too).

    1. You are welcome, Elizabeth. Thanks for your interest and kind words!

  2. Very cool and also quite fascinating. Cheers ~!


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