Unlock the secrets to creating iconic characters that live on with your readers and fill your stories with life

Have you ever felt lost creating a character? Have you ever wondered how to take your character designs to the next level, and really make them pop? Or do you just want to bring an extra dimension of magic to your drawings? Readers fill their lives with their favorite characters, and good character design principles can help you make a compelling, memorable cast.

In this course, professional children’s book illustrator Anna Daviscourt offers a framework to build your character from the ground up, with different tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you put pencil to paper to create something unique. She covers every step of the design process and guides you through your own draw-along project.

This course will help you design an interesting and diverse cast for a story, with demonstrations and examples from Anna that illustrate her design and decision making process.

In this course you will create a line up of 5 distinct characters.

In this class you will learn:

  • How you can bring your distinctive voice to a classic source material

  • How to push your shapes to breaking point and find the golden median

  • Why proportions can make or break a character lineup

  • Which types of costumes work, and which don’t

  • How to add subtle details to communicate information and build up the world of your story

  • How to “bank” ideas for later during the brainstorming process

  • How to know the impossible — when your design is done

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About the Instructor


Anna Daviscourt

Anna Daviscourt is a nerdy dog lover from Portland, OR. She is a published children’s book illustrator and full-time freelance artist. Her style is whimsical and loose with fantastic scenes, rich textures, and magical characters. She seeks to spread positive messages and represent diverse groups through her work. Anna is represented by Shannon Associates

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Introduction

    • Assignment 1

    • Story and Setting Reference

  • 2


    • Shape

    • Shape Demonstration

    • Assignment 2

  • 3


    • Proportion

    • Assignment 3

  • 4


    • Costuming

    • Costuming From Reference

    • Assignment 4

  • 5


    • Details

    • Assignment 5

  • 6


    • Conclusion

    • Final Assignment

    • Questions to ask yourself about your character designs

  • 6

    downloadable PDF assignments, and a PDF of reference to use for the course assignments.

  • 1.5

    hours of video instruction and demonstration by professional illustrator Anna Daviscourt


Character Design

Dawn Pope

Nice class. Helpful, Delightful instructor.

Nice class. Helpful, Delightful instructor.

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