As I mentioned last week, I’m taking a character design class online from Stephen Silver at Last week’s lesson was on silhouettes. A strong character design will have a clear silhouette that is visually interesting, making the character instantly recognizable. To illustrate, I’ve taken Jafar from Aladdin and shaded him in. Notice how clearly everything reads:


Our assignment was to take Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, and fill a page with little thumbnail silhouettes. We were told to play with shapes, trying to find a simple and clear design for the character. The good thing about doing fast little thumbnails is it forces you to think in broad, general terms and not get hung up on the details. When you are just concerned with the overall shape, your thought process can flow and brainstorm. The goal isn’t to do terrific sketches, its to get a lot of ideas onto the paper so that later you can develop the best ones. It’s a great exercise and I highly recommend it. In the future I hope to make it part of my process when designing characters for clients projects.

Here’s what I turned in: