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Draw Great Characters 75 Exercises for Comics & Animation by B Johnson

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Draw Great Characters

75 art exercises for comics and animation by Beverly Johnson

Everything you need to know about drawing characters with confidence.

Beverly Johnson’s book is packed with scores of fun exercises that will really motivate young beginner artists who are just getting interested in drawing for animation, comic book art, or just for pleasure. In a series of beginner-friendly exercises, she explores how to conceptualize wonderful, convincing characters and shows how to translate ideas into great professional-looking drawings. The book is organized into key chapters associated with what makes engaging, three-dimensional characters. Read the advice and then work your way through the exercises and you will get to the end with a portfolio bursting with wonderful creations.

This book demonstrates how to create diverse characters with strong personalities, unique mannerisms and interests; how to understand their motivations, find their passions and make them come alive. Split into 75, easy-to-follow and fun exercises, Bev leads the young reader through the techniques and skills needed to create their very own characters.

Table of Contents

Welcome to my World

Chapter 1: The Tools I Like to Use

Chapter 2: Shape Language

How to diversify and use shapes in your designs.

Chapter 3: Personality

How design can help define a character’s personality and temperament.

Chapter 4: Faces and Expressions

How to draw expressive characters and convey particular emotions, as well as diversify faces.

Chapter 5: Body Language

How a character’s body language can show their inner thoughts and mood.

Chapter 6: Character Interaction

How to illustrate a compelling relationship between characters be it friendship, romance, hatred, or rivalry.

Chapter 7: Costuming and Props

How to create clothing and props that emphasize a character’s personality, not distract from them.

Chapter 8: Drawing from Life

How to incorporate your own experiences and observations into characters.

Chapter 9: Drawing Techniques

A mini crash course in key drawing techniques, such as using drawn media, using color, working with pens, understanding tones and shadows.

Index and Credits

About Beverly Johnson

Beverly Johnson is an illustrator based in Burbank, California. She draws for a living, including children’s books, storyboarding, and character design. She has worked for Lucasfilm, Houghton-Mifflin Publishing, CollegeHumor, Adobe and Character Design Quarterly, among others. This is the book her 111K Instagram followers have been waiting for. Find her online at and, as well as on Instagram as @beverlylove.



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