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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Character Sketches

Exercise 3


starting this exercise was extremely difficult. Reading the brief over and over thinking, how on earth am I going to turn out 40 characters! Before getting started I had already built this exercise to being hugely time consuming. I didn't want to create terrible sketches of characters, I wanted to give it justice and in building this anxiety up, the task seemed unreachable. It actually blocked me from starting. It took a few attempts on different days to get this moving, and eventually it worked.


I marked the grids on two pieces of paper. Not only did reading the brief cause me overreacting stress, but seeing the 40 empty grids brought the thunder. Not only was 40 a big amount, the size of the box in which I had to draw them in was frustrating. Obviously this had to be simplified, and not a task that expected fully rendered high quality drawings. I repeated this in my head a few times and finally began the work.



The first 2 doodles I was happy with, though probably spent a little too much time on these. On separate piece of paper I had listed a bunch of jobs and sketched a few ideas down. I was also spending quite a bit of time trying to find reference images I could work from, which really added to the time. It was after the first two in my grid that I realised I was over thinking everything.


I wasn't confident to go straight on the doodles with pen, and so opted with my trusty blue pencil base to help guide the direction. Some of the earlier drawings were not the greatest, but I think I had stuck to a similar style throughout, which despite the challenging start, I was pretty please with.






I was half way through and feeling pretty good. I could so a few weak members in my first 20 characters which after completeing all 40 feel I could go back and improve. that said, for the sake of the exercise and the questions to reflect on, I left them as they were.


Part two now lacked the ideas for more characters and the jobs to draw. It was now another day and with the blank sheet in front of me with nothing but 20 tiny grids, I decided to go into a more relaxed "meditative" state to just draw what came. This page felt my strongest, and looks the most consistent.




Instead of searching pages of reference images, I opted to find the most basic image that would typical sum up each stereotype. Several characters required this, whilst others I had a pretty clear idea of what I was going for. Ones that required a little more technical information in the sketch, such as sumo, geisha, scuba diver, hockey player, Queens guards, Indian dancer and the judge had the basic limited search on reference. I used Google images for this to really speed up my time browsing, as Pinterest usually leads me into rabbit holes of hours spent searching.




Once all 40 characters where put together, I felt I had done well in keeping a consistent style across the board. I can see the weaker characters that could be done again, and I can see a few favourites. My least favourite are, the race driver, the DJ, the artist, and the pilot (which I'm sure you'll not see which this one is at first...)



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