Illustrating Characters and the Stories They Tell
with Mary Jane Begin
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01 Class Introduction07:06
03 Creating Characters04:44
Class duration: 2h 28mSee all 14 lessons
About The Class
Storytelling through character development
- The key elements of story creation: working from the inside out, letting intuition flow, working with limitations
- Seeking out prompts to springboard story
- The elements of Character development
Rely on Your Own Story09:55
Developing Personality of the Character06:00
How to Make Characters Feel Authentic14:13
Character Development Q&A09:18
Start with the Shadow Cast by a Character06:16
Demo: Start with Shadow Cast16:04
Demo: Facial Expression & Body Anatomy20:10
Demo: Character Costume & Props09:15
Demo: Add Details to Sketch08:53
Demo: Add Color to Sketch08:59
Demo: Finalize Image with Color21:21
Illustrating Characters Q&A06:10
Mary Jane Begin
As an award-winning illustrator and author of children’s picture books, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate and professor in the Illustration Department at RISD…Mary Jane feels INCREDIBLY lucky; she gets to do all the things that she loves to do ... read moreSee instructor's Classes
Exploring Character Development Workbook
Illustrating Characters Keynote
81% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.
I loved this class. The exercises are fun and inspiring. I was actually doing research to help me develop my own class when I bought this course and I'm thrilled I did. Bonus for me: I am going to work on developing a character and story I've left on the shelf for about four years thanks to this experience. I highly recommend to anyone of all skill levels.
I didn’t pay enough attention to the description so was surprised by the focus of the class — but in a definitely good way. As a member of SCBWI, I’ve learned a lot about illustrating characters by going to conferences and participating in our active local group. Most of the instruction I’ve received, as I suspect is also the case with most formal instruction, has been from the point of view of being given a character from a story to illustrate. This class covers creating a story based on the characters you draw, placing the drawing first and finding the story as you work. Of course there is overlap in the two approaches — overlap that emphasizes important steps. The creativity process is demonstrated clearly and in depth here in a gently encouraging way. However, while I, like the instructor, believe that everyone can be creative, I also question whether this approach would work for all illustrators: not all have time to write the stories that go with the characters they create, as ours is usually a business driven by clients who already have a story and characters. I’m not saying that this would not be a valuable class for them, just mentioning the different take on the subject. I had expected more of the usual angle of how to create a page of character sketches for your portfolio or how to develop the illustration of a character from a manuscript. Though help with these topics is partially covered in the progress of the class, they are not the main focus. All-in-all, the different approach is to the credit of the class — encouraging and expanding a student’s horizons. Also, plenty of little gems are thrown in during the lecture and demos, from techniques to the psychology of creativity. The instructor is competent, clear, and pleasant. She conveyed a lot of information that I didn’t realize until I was thinking about it later. One note: the titles for the breakdown of the demo are not exactly accurate, The demo is of the instructor creating one character as she draws. I understand that the producers wanted to segment it, but really it’s one continuous process, and some of the titles for those lessons are misleading.
Amazing lecture! Everything an illustrator learns in art school covered! Thank you for sharing. I miss the imput and critiques I experienced during my college years and this class brought to mind so many enjoyable memories. The advice was given in a generous and kind, inspiring way!
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