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Character Design Resources

Clothes don’t make the man, and similarly, the tools you use in creating artwork is never as important as your ability. Still though, I’ve received enough questions about what I prefer to use that I’ve assembled a handy list of tools and supplies.

Art Supplies

For me, nothing beats the soft and waxy stroke of a Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil. I’ve used this erasable colored pencil in place of the No. 2 for a few years now, and after trying a few different colors, I’m partial to Green.

For sketching, I have to have something with me at all times, to record stray ideas. The Moleskine Sketchbook below is durable and doesn’t look out of place at your side in any circumstance. I like drawing at a large scale as well, so the Strathmore 11”x14” ringed pad gives you a lot of real estate on pages that won’t separate easily, like a glued binding notebook.

Digital Art Supplies

As of December 2016, I’ve changed my digital art workflow to a completely new set of tools. While it took some time to get used to after using Wacom+Photoshop for years, the portability, accuracy, and ease of use afforded by this setup gives it a leg up:

My digital setup for almost 10 years has primarily been a slightly older Wacom Cintiq 21UX paired with Photoshop. While Cintiqs are a great choice for established working artists, they aren’t cheap. Any Wacom Tablet is a great solution for digital artwork.

For digital art, things again come down to comfort. Photoshop has been a long time standard for digital artists, and does everything you’ll need. Note that while Photoshop offers newer versions of their app, including the subscription based Photoshop Creative Cloud, Photoshop CS3 and up has everything you need for digital art.

Also known as Manga Studio, Clip is honed for comic making, including tools that speed up comic production that Photoshop can’t. Also decent for digital painting.

SketchBook is intuitive, and is a lighter art app with tools like guides, including rulers, adjustable ellipses, and french curves.

Character Design Survival Guide

Character Design Survival Guide

A helpful guide to developing characters!

  • Help for when you're struggling with a design.
  • Develop a complete profile for your character.
  • Template for turnarounds and character sheet included.