Character design is a complicated thing to master. It’s one of those tasks that seem very unpretentious when you look at them from afar and that turn out to be quite harder when you try your hand out at them for the first time.

Most of the characters you’ve seen along the years are extremely simple. Think about most cartoon characters, for one. Well, as it turns out, there’s a lot of work going on in order to properly design a character.

Avoid too much of colours

When you use many colors then people viewing your character won’t know where to look at as you’re providing them with too many points of interest at once. Ideally, one should stick to no more than three base colors and some value variation.

Get inspiration

All the greatest cartoon characters are stimulated by one idea and one idea alone. Everything about their design serves to further that idea. Know exactly what the main trait of your character is going to be and make sure everything you include in the characters’ design right from hairstyle, facial features and posture to outfit and accessories, serve to get this trait across.

Give shape

Personalize your characters’ body shape according to their personality and their main characteristic. For instance, if your character is mostly agile, you should make them small and wiry. If they’re exceptionally strong, you may want to make them look more like heavy-set characters. The illustration above is a great example of different body shapes properly used in character design.

Keep it easy and can be reworked Draw them in a few postures, seen from various angles and make sure that drawing them again and again isn’t tedious. As a rule of thumb, you should stay away from designs that include elaborate patterns on clothing or tattoos. Those will probably be impossible to duplicate and get right from all angles all the time.

Accessorize

You should definitely include accessories that are illustrative for your characters’ main features and their background.