Well here I am again exploring the happy world of children's illustration.There are lots of skills needed to be a children's illustrator, but for today I want to focus on one in particular, That of Character design. In my last post I discussed and showed examples of character design drawings. To follow this path further, I decided to create some pieces for my portfolio that would illustrate how I would accomplish character design within my finished artwork style. One of the main elements of character design of course is how an illustrator accomplishes continuity of characters through multiple images within a prospective publication.This is termed sequencing. Sequencing is also used in animation where characters are continually generated through multiple frames. The ability to carry an individual or group of characters through stages of emotion and physical differences is an important one in any artists skill set. especially within the children's illustration oeuvre. It is not terribly easy to accomplish. Varying human physiology and emotional status distorts features, making for a difficult task when designing on a two dimensional plane, with very few lines and shapes available, to facilitate a believable representation An understanding of anatomy is important, as is an understanding of how emotions affect facial features. at the same time maintaining your style, a style that hopefully is based aesthetically within the paradigm of children friendly illustration. I decided to complete four character illustrations, two of each gender, with varying subtle age differences. I also wanted to include interior and exterior images, with single a multiple figures within them. I have illustrated the characters in different postures and completing different tasks, as It would be within a story context. There are obviously many more situations and characters one could create, but I think I have given an indication to prospective commissioners that I am able to fulfil the sequencing of characters objective. (along with some of the other work within my portfolio) I will pursue character design further in my next set of illustrations, this time I will utilise anthropomorphic principles to create animal characters. Below are the four completed child character design illustrations described.
As you can see I have added relevant text as an indication of the story context, and positioned the images within a structured page layout, the first three for a full page, and the last for a two page layout with a gap left for the middle spine. The format also offers an possibility of how the images may be rearranged and used as independent spot illustrations.