1001: character design

The main project of the first term is to place a historical figure in the modern Olympics.

I sketched Frida Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe before deciding on Queen Elizabeth I

I started by looking at a variety of reference images and seeing what features commonly appeared.

My first sketches were very basic, I was testing recognisability and if the character suited the sport I chose- weight lifting

These designs are really simple and I was going to use them until a week later I saw how weak they were. I wasn’t able to put any expression on the face with the style I’d chosen and the features easily got lost. I decided to trial random expressions and see what style emerged at the end.


From these I had a better realisation of the type of face I wanted the character to have. I then tested out face shapes and constructions.


I flipped the images to see which ones worked out both ways and also broke them down into basic shapes. I decided I liked number four best so I analysed it more.




The more relaxed I was when drawing the face the easier it was to get the style I wanted, so I changed my brush settings and looked at more reference pictures.

I also created a turnaround sheet


I’m really happy with the character design. I think the design is cartoonish enough to suit the prompt but also features enough recognisable features to make it clear to the audience who the character is.

I want to try weightlifting poses next with the character. I realise because of the dress walk cycles and leg animations are going to be difficult but it will be a fun challenge to work around the limitations of the design.


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