Benefit from concrete ways to enhance your drawings and characters in Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life, a Focal Press book by Tom Bancroft. Even after doing hours of research to help you create rich, compelling people, animals, and creatures, then putting in considerable time to draw them to the best of your ability, you'll find that there's still work to be done. Characters are part of a story; they engage in action and express emotion. This book shows you how to bring your characters to life through movement, body language, and expression, whether you want them to appear in an animated film, television show, video game, web comic, or children's book.
Bancroft addresses each topic with clear, concise prose, and then shows you what he really means by commenting on and redrawing artwork from a variety of student apprentices. His assignments allow you to join in and bring your drawing to the next level using useful techniques and theoretical analysis.
Professional artists from a variety of media offer their experience through additional commentary, as well. These contributors include Marcus Hamilton (Dennis the Menace), Terry Dodson (X-Men), Bobby Rubio (Pixar), Sean "Cheeks" Galloway (Spiderman animated), and others. Additionally, the book features a foreword by comic book artist Adam Hughes, who has produced work for DC, Marvel Comics, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Pictures, and other companies.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Now what: Drawing basics for posing and expressions (Assignment #1: Character design: Elroy and Kirby)
- Chapter 2: The face: Breaking down the elements of expression (Assignment #2: Drawing "Emma" with different expressions)
- Chapter 3: Posing your character: What are you trying to communicate? (Assignment #3: Drawing "Tommy" in three distinct poses)
- Chapter 4: Acting: Characters acting and reacting the way you want them to (Assignment #4: Thumbnail sketch a series of poses of "Tommy" to describe a specific action as best you can)
- Chapter 5: Staging your scene: Using the elements of your scene to create a composition (Assignment #5: Illustrate the same scene from two different points-of-view)
- Chapter 6: Leading the eye: Prioritizing by design (Assignment #6: Illustrating a specific scene using the designs provided)
- Chapter 7: Putting it in action: Creating an illustration from start to finish