The Character Designer published by 21 Draw is a 180-hardcover tutorial book with character design tips from professional artists. This book was made possible from the successful Kickstarter campaign that ended in May 2020.
These are the featured artists and the chapters they wrote:
- Randy Bishop - Shape language
- Tom Bancroft - Creating strong gestures
- Chamba - Where's your head at
- Rene Cordova - Female form
- Michael Bills - The turnaround
- Loish - Color is crucial
- Wouter Tulp - Squash and stretch
- Rodgon - How to age characters
- Gerardo Sandoval - Mega mecha
- Kenneth Anderson - Cast of characters
- Loopydave - Drawing caricatures
These are all very accomplished artists and the quality of their work speak for themselves.
The chapters are meant to be write in sequence because the subsequent chapters would build on what was taught in earlier chapters.
The first thing that struck me with this book is just how detailed and the huge amount of information packed even though the book has merely 180 pages. And all the subjects relating to character designs are well thought out and pages are beautifully laid out. There's a lot of insight that aims to help you think more critically about what makes a character looks good and believable.
Some chapters consist of tips and techniques while others are full length tutorials with step by step instructions and pictures that you can follow along. And since each artist has his or her own style, there are plenty of styles to check out, and you can also find the artists online since their websites are provided.
This is a terrific book for those who want to learn more about character design. It's book suitable for beginners to intermediate artists.
Even though the Kickstarter has ended, the book is now available for sale to the public. The physical copy sells for US $55 (not including shipping) while the PDF version is US $35. Check out more reviews on their website.
And if you're interested in character design, do check out all the other related books I've featured at