Character's Design Critique Wanted!



  • Hello! I'm a young artist trying my best to become a children's book illustrator. I recently got a job about two Brownie Elf's. They're supposed to be young and adventurous and appealing to children. The illustrations are for a coloring book, but for this illustration I wanted to figure out how the characters looked before I started drawing the layout for the interior drawings.

    Please let me know if there is anything wrong with this picture. (Proportions, appeal, etc.) Also let me know how to make these characters more interesting. (Costumes, face design, etc)

    I drew this traditionally then edited them in photoshop to get a clear picture. The final drawings will be drawn digitally.

    Thank you so much for your time!

    0_1544923448129_Bean and Cup the Brownies 20%.png


  • Moderator

    @kaelin-twede-0 I think they are super cute and would be very appealing to kids. You could add more interest by adding more details to the clothing like fun accessories or trinkets. The exciting thing about elves is not necessarily what they look like, but what they do - maybe adding some details on them to suggest that (like tools, or toys, or candy or something)? Sorry, I just read that they are “brownie” elves, I was assuming they were Christmas elves. So instead adding details that make sense for what they do.



  • Those are adorable! I can't tell what the taller one is holding but I think as characters they work.



  • Aw man, I spent a while looking at this last night trying to pinpoint something that's bugging me about the design but I just can't quite do it 🙂

    I think they look pretty good design-wise.

    You say this is for a colouring book. Will you be doing these characters as simple lineart, or will you be using this pencilly hatching to add value?



  • I dig the design i think the things that are bugging me is the overlap of their feet. And the ears touching. It doesn’t quite look right? I would move the little one maybe to the front? Or to the right so the ears don’t touch and give yourself a little more wiggle room for the foot. It feels flat to me.


  • Pro

    The designs are really cute! And adventurous, I think you hit the mark 🙂 Make sure you practice them as lineart only to check that they are equally as appealing when you don't have values and shading to rely on!



  • You've got some really nice designs here, yes! As @swordofodin kinda touched on, the only problems seem to stem from this particular composition, where the silhouettes of the characters overlap and become less distinct from each other. The only thing I picked up on besides that was a small detail where the thumb-knuckle on the leftmost character seems to jut out a bit obtusely, but that's such a small thing that it's negligible. This it really good stuff! Proportions are well-done, the characters are inviting, (especially on the fingers!) and the outfits are simple enough to be easily-read, yet complex enough to be interesting-- though I'd agree with one of the earlier comments that a little trinket here or there might help add a bit more information. (whether you add some or not is totally up to you!)

    I look forward to hearing how this job goes for you!



  • @inkandspatter I love that idea! I did feel they were a little plain, so adding some trinkets would be perfect! Thank you for the idea, I really appreciate it.



  • @art-of-b Your so sweet! The illustrations will be in simple line art. I will however do a cover with more detail.



  • @swordofodin I agree, Lately I've been struggling with the layout of pictures, if you have any good youtube channels or other artist who teach it well, please let me know! That was a good point about the silhouettes, thanks for the comment!



  • @nessillustration That is a really good point! Thanks for the technique idea! I really appreciate your comment, thanks!



  • @jabbernewt Thank you so much for the awesome comment! It's really nice to be reassured about some things, (like the hands and figures) I personally love being critiqued, and I really happy that you took time to comment, so thank you!

    I will keep you posted on how the project goes! 👍



  • @kaelin-twede-0 actually everything that has helped me has been right here on svs. I just said screw it and did the annual subscription for the videos and i can clearly see the progress when I compare older illustrations with current ones. I did the how to draw everything class first, then the inking. And what helped me the most is the creative composition and environment design classes. I don’t really know any youtube channels that would offer more than svs honestly. Theres also a Character design class on udemy thats on sale right now for $12 that i purchased (but havnt watched yet so I dont know how good it is). Youtube helps sometimes but i could never have progressed as much if it wasnt for the svs classes.



  • @swordofodin I'm slowly making my way through the "how to Draw Everything" class, but I'm not done yet. I can definitely say that the class has helped me a lot so far. I have improved a lot over SVS to, but I can still be learning. 👍

    I'll have to check out Udamy, I've never heard of it, Thanks for the reply!



  • @kaelin-twede-0 I loved that class so much. Sometimes they recommend what classes to take next too which is very helpful.


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