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Character Creators Club: Figure Drawing and Character Design


Character Lab 101: Design an Awesome, Original Fantasy Character

Create and draw superb, original characters that are strong, memorable designs you can draw in your graphic novels, traditional comics, or digital animations.
Michelle Baker
85 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 8 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
learners per class


Charged upfront
$33 per class
Meets 2x per week
Over 3 weeks
75 minutes per class
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Class Experience

• To improve drawing skills that are specific to character creation. (something very different from drawing a realistic portrait)
• To understand what design elements make certain character designs better than others
• To incorporate shape language and color palettes that emphasize the traits of a character’s personality
• To improve final rendering qualities of drawing (this means neat, clean and polished work)
• To exercise the practice of commitment and refinement, become comfortable with the process of doing something repeatedly until it is mastered. 

In my classes and clubs, Character Design tends to be a very popular theme. Fantasy characters often have swords, lasers, light sabers, clubs, other weapons, magic amulets, potions, or they may have strange bodily features like fangs or claws or robotic parts. 

I am not opposed to allowing students to share illustrations of this nature. 
It is ok for a drawn or animated character to be holding a weapon IN A NON-THREATENING POSE. Context is key.

HOWEVER.... it is NOT allowed or acceptable to present works showing ACTS of lethal violence or excessive gore. For example: a character can be in a dynamic action pose, throwing a punch or using a shield, but it is NOT okay for a student to present a work that shows a particularly violent attack by one character on another. This can sometimes be a bit of a "gray" area but I want to recognize, here, that DRAWING SKILLS should always be the focus of what we create and share, rather than expressions of violence or excessive gore.

It is VERY important that my class members exhibit respect and sensitivity to one another. What might be "cool" to one could potentially be an upsetting emotional trigger to another person. We do not want to create an upsetting environment. 
We're here to have fun, be creative, be social, and get better and better at drawing.
If ever a learner is upset by any presentations, I beg that they reach out to  me privately so that I know as soon as possible.
In Character Lab, you are expected to participate in assignments and turn in work for instructor evaluation in a timely fashion VIA UPLOADS.
We will not be regularly sharing all work over zoom  during each class. Our class time is for instruction and some preliminary drawing time. We will share works in progress now and then; not regularly.
You should anticipate an average of 40 minutes of homework each week. 
Your learner may work digitally if they choose, or they may prefer a large sketch book with pencils, colored pencils, or markers. Character design DOES require color, so please be prepared to eventually add color one way or another. Black Ultra fine point Sharpies are nice for this or another brand of black fine liner pen. Berol Prismacolor pencils are great for color work.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Feedback for each learner will be provided in a combination of verbal and written formats.
2 hours 30 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
It is my objective to keep the visual content in my class PG rated. That said, my classes tend to naturally attract learners who have a passion for fantasy art, science-fiction, and at times, even horror. Characters who have scary or grotesque features or carry weapons often make appearances and this is typically okay. I do allow a certain level of this, yet I am watchful of the content and the context in which it is presented. I do reserve the right to re-direct any learner who is focusing too much on violent undertones or whose characters are lewd or inappropriate as deemed by my personal judgment as an artist, a teacher, and a parent.
We sometimes utilize Sketchfab.com for reference models - no membership or cost is involved with this.


Michelle Baker
Lives in the United States
Art & Design Instructor
85 total reviews
65 completed classes

About Me

My students learn about art and design through the perspective of pop culture and personal passions as we work through skill drills that sharpen artistic abilities. My lessons are built to keep the FUN in fundamentals. 

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