Character Design help?

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    The Fledgling Artist

    Hello, my artsy friends! (Or, writer friends. You guys are welcome here too. πŸ˜€ )
    Does anyone have any opinions or advice on how to improve this character design? I’m working on the color palette specifically, but if you have thoughts on anything else that’s great too. πŸ™‚ Just ’cause character design has a LOT to do with the character (No! Really??) I should probably mention a few things about the character.

    1. His name is Avery. :3
    2. He is a supporting character.
    3. He’s one of the oldest of the main characters, and is in a role of authority.
    4. He’s more reserved personality wise.
    5. Oh yeah, he is a knight! Did mention he’s from a fantasy story?
    6. I LUFF HIM!

    (Feel free to ask questions)
    Sorry for the lowish quality, it’s just a screenshot. πŸ˜‰


    What does my choice of colors communicate to you? What do you think I could add to further communicate what kind of character he is? And lastly, if there are any elements that don’t help communicate, or give off mixed signals, please point that out. (How many times am I gonna say communicate??)

    .. And of course, any advice on character design in general would be amazing! It’s something I care a lot about, and really want to improve on. =D










    @ori-art @lin @christieatonΒ @ethryndal @sarah-inkdragon @theclumbsy-lamplighter @anyoneelse

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    @the-fledgling-artist Man I just love your style! I think the colors are great. Looking at it he comes of as smart, reserved, maybe a little introverted but I feel like he knows his stuff ya know. The redish belt gives him a brave look, making him look like a knight indeed. I really like him! (:

    β€œI've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

    Sarah Inkdragon


    So, I’ve actually been researching color theory and how it relates to people’s perceptions of characters(and people in general XD), and I found this cool little list of colors and how they make people view the character in both negative and positive ways:

    Positive: Reliability, classiness, formality, solidity
    Negative: Death, darkness, unknowability

    Positive: Purity, innocence, cleanliness, order
    Negative: Isolation, emptiness

    Positive: Tranquil, secure, honorable
    Negative: cold, fearful, dispassionate, depressed

    Positive: Nurturing, eager, healthy
    Negative: Envy, poison, naΓ―vetΓ©

    Positive: Noble, wealthy, spiritual
    Negative: Mysterious, moody, volatile

    Positive: Joy, energy, intellect
    Negative: Cowardice, irresponsibility

    Positive: Romance, passion, power, strength
    Negative: War, violence, anger

    So, as you can see, there’s many ways to interpret characters based on what color palette you use for their features and their clothing. When I look at your character, from the pose and colors, I see a person who is generally looked up to and admired by other people, and has a strong standing as a future “hero/important person”. He’s young, obviously, but I see someone who has potential to become something if he sticks with it. At the same time, his stance and the muted colors tell me he’s reserved, even a bit insecure with himself(fun fact of the day–raised hands, like his right hand, are often a sign of insecurity/shyness/self-esteem issues that comic/manga artist often use) despite the fact he’s in a position of authority. He’s not standing on the balls of his feet(and I don’t know if that’s intentional or not, but I’m gonna say it is) and he’s standing a bit closed off, with his body angled away, which leads me to believe he’s a rather silent, stoic person who doesn’t open up to other well or very often.

    So if I’m reading into him correctly and that’s what you’re going for, here are a few things to take into consideration to make his design just a tad better. XD

    Le boots. I can’t pin down exactly what it is about his shoes that’s throwing me off, but there’s something there. I’d recommend trying to make them a different color, simply because boots usually aren’t such a vivid blue. It draws away from his face and overall look and makes me want to study his feet, which probably wasn’t your intention. Plus, he’s lacking in browns on his lower half right now(compared to his upper half, where he has very tan skin and brown hair), and to balance out his mostly muted and cool color palette, I think brown would look nice. So maybe try that, see what it looks like, etc. XD

    Weapons–you mentioned he’s a knight, so I think it would communicate “I am a knight!” better if you added some sort of weapon–a sword on his back, a more utility oriented belt(though I absolutely love how you added a tinge of red to his design with that belt, so keep that XD) with a knife or something on it, or something in that area. Right now, his clothes are honestly not really communicating to me that he’s a knight. Perhaps you could add some sort of crest to his shirt if you didn’t want to do a sword/etc? That would also help with letting people know that this isn’t just some random guy, but someone with a job and a standing in the story. Bracers on his arms would be another idea to let people know that he has some experience fighting/etc.

    So. I hope my over-detailed analysis didn’t throw you off to much…. I really like his design so far, it looks very nice(plus, I love your art style!) but I think there could just be a few more things added to him to make him seem like more a real person than just a background character that’s only going to be there for a few scenes, if you know what I mean. Details really help people understand in comics or whatever you’re drawing that, “oh, this guy isn’t just an extra, he matters to the story and we should care about him.” The less details are on a character, the less important people are generally going to view them while reading a comic. (Idk if you’re actually making a comic, but still, it’s important all the way around when it comes to art lol)

    Anyhow, I hope this helps, and if you have any questions about something I said, or you just want to brainstorm/etc, please feel free to @ me! I love analyzing art and chatting art. πŸ˜‰

    "A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

    - C. S. Lewis



    He looks good to me. Though I would agree withΒ @sarah-inkdragon about the boots. But I love his eyes. I think they definitely add to his reserved aura, but they also seem knowledgeable and kind. Plus, they’re blue…so yeah. πŸ˜‰


    That color list is super cool! I’ve thought about it some how the colors and impressions/feelings relate but not that much. So it was informative and interesting. I’ll definitely think about it when I draw/paint in color. πŸ‘πŸ‘

    "Who knows what the next month will bring? I say let us eat cake now!"
    -Mr. Benedict

    The Fledgling Artist

    @lin Thank you!

    Oh wow, thanks so much for putting so much thought into your reply. πŸ˜€ As for the note on weapons.. He does have a sword, but it’s not exactly a normal sword, and so it’s gonna need it’s own design process. (Plus I’ve never really drawn swords before.. so I’ll have to figure that out. xD) I also considered giving him a shield, though I can’t know yet whether or not he should have one. Is there anything else other then weaponry to make him come off more as a knight? (or armor, For certain scenes he might have very light armor, but it seems kind ofΒ unnecessary for most of the story.)

    I actually really like the blue boots, however I can see why they might come off as strange? So I kept the blueish hue, but darkened the value to make them less .. Poppy?

    Oh right, and I’m so glad you mentioned that main characters should have more complex designs then background characters. I’ve learned that less is more with character design, however I do still need to keep that in mind. I’m sure there is a balance between the two, I just have to find it. πŸ™‚


    Thanks so much! Like I told Sarah, I kind of liked the blue boots, but I did tone them down a little.

    This is Avery with some slight modifications. πŸ™‚


    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

    I, David

    @the-fledgling-artist *LE GASP* OHO! Avery!


    The Fledgling Artist

    @i-david YES! πŸ˜€

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    Okay, the only thing I can say is that his skin is a little dead looking in tone. Since it’s more toward the yellow than the pink, it clashes with both the red and the blue. Maybe another thing to think about is making the blue more purplish, or the red more purplish? It just seems like the two main colors aren’t balanced very well. However, I am in LOVE with your style and the posing is fleek. Don’t let me crush your awesomeness πŸ™‚

    I'm an ENFP - fluent in English, jokes, confusing art teminology, MBTI, and maniacal screaming.

    The Fledgling Artist

    @thetessinator Thanks so much for your input! I really appreciate it. I have actually messed around with more purply blues quite a lot in earlier developmental work, and after all of that went back to blue as I felt blue suited both his role and personality better. But I’ll keep that in mind in the future. πŸ˜€

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    Thanks for tagging me @the-fledgling-artist

    sorry I’m late. You probably have all the input you need.

    But anywah…..

    i think he looks GREAT!!!

    few things tho, maybe make him look a teensy bit older. He looks wise and dependable which is great, I just feel he looks a bit young.

    And….. no I think that’s it.


    I'm a Book person, caramel (most often paired with chocolate) lover and illustrating is my destiny.

    The Fledgling Artist

    @theclumsy_lamplighter Thank you! He’s supposed to be 18, though he does look a little younger here. I think it’s because I made his face a little rounder here then I normally do. πŸ™‚

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

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