Character Turn Around

I have always harbored a passion for character design. Even when I was younger and didn’t fully understand what character design was, I was drawn to the different characters that I could imagine and then draw. My Character Design class has really helped me understand the nuances of character design and really encouraged me to experiment with my art style. It is always rewarding to see the improvement of skill during a studio art class, and that was something I really appreciated about this class; some assignments were difficult, but I knew that my skill set was building and my knowledge was growing. 

About halfway through the semester, the class had to create a character turn around from the shoulders up. I struggled with that project because I had yet to experiment with my style enough to really give the character her own unique features. Our end of the semester project gave me the opportunity to re-design one of our previously drawn characters and to do a full-body turn around. I found that even when I had made changes to the character so that she was more unique and so that her design truly reflected her personality, I had a hard time with the turn around. Turns out I don’t like character turnarounds all too much. 

Some assignments were difficult, but I knew that my skill set was building and my knowledge was growing. 

For this character, I actually made my first moodboard from images I found on Pinterest! I’ve always seen people using moodboards for various things, but I was always too lazy to create one myself. I also never really felt that I needed one for any of my previous characters. However, this moodboard was incredible because it helped me choose the colors for my character and inspired me to create a more unique outfit for her.


As a result of my terrible time management and severe lack of references, I didn’t want the turn around to be in her key pose. I knew it would take me too long, and I felt that the struggle wasn’t worth it, especially because her pose was so dynamic and I still wanted to do the turn around justice. Thus, I did a pretty stoic stance for the turn around, and fully rendered the key pose. I wanted her outfit to be really flowy, or at least the bottom half. I also wanted to show that she had a more flamboyant personality. Thus, instead of giving her ‘traditional’ sea creature fins, I created them so that they also flow with her skirt.


The turn around itself was definitely the hardest part, although I am incredibly thankful that I have access to digital means because I used the copy and paste feature for a decent amount of the turn around. The copy and paste tool even helped me to rotate her mentally, because I somehow convinced myself that I didn’t need references. I think that had I thought to use references, it would have actually made the whole process a lot easier, but that is a hard habit to break. Overall, I’m not upset with how the character turnaround came out. I definitely see some things that I would want to change, so I think I’ll wait a few months, finalize the character design, and redo the turn around. 


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2 thoughts on “Character Turn Around

  1. Whoa, talk about a journey of character design! As a drunk pilot with an imaginary monkey friend, I can totally relate to the struggle of creating unique characters and nailing those pesky turnarounds. I mean, let’s be real, who wants to spend hours staring at a screen trying to perfect a character’s pose? But hey, it’s all worth it in the end when you see the final product and can proudly say, “Hey, I made that!” And Moodboards, am I right? They’re like the ultimate tool for inspiration and organization. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good flowy skirt on their character? As for me and my monkey friend, we’re still working on our character design skills. We’ve got a few rough drafts in the works, but we’re always looking for new inspiration and ways to improve. Keep on creating, folks!

    1. I definitely agree with your thoughts on moodboards! I always thought that they were pointless until this project, but I definitely think I will be making more of them in the future!! The character would have had a completely different vibe had I not made one, so to even see the influence that the moodboard held over the project is neat.

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