Interested in purchasing art work? Please leave a comment with your email address. I'll contact you. Illustration work is available at ASA "Style File."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sketch "Why" for Character Design

Hi, Friends, did you have a wonderful weekend? Yes, I had! Hey, nearly at the end of 2012. Time flies like an arrow. Many annual exhibitions and next year competitions' invitations are coming. 

Now, this post is to answer for the Q , how to do draw figures alive and lively. Actually, these steps are for my character design for children picture books.
Friends, already you know, sketching is my hand's thinking. My brain thinks nothing.

Preliminary research = Observe WHY
With a great curiosity, I always look at people. Such as... why does that person behave so? How s/he picks up food and pays money over a counter. Why that person looks like a typical music player? Face expression, body language, emotion, movement etc, etc. My eyes seek a character.  
Sketch WHYs
When I find a why, I draw it. Often only ONE why is pinned down with two or three A4 pages spent per person. Quick! A few minutes is enough. Don't worry details. Only get a focal point. Rough lines make very lively people on paper.
Put Colour On the Spot 
Colour at once. I'm a very colourful person and so my work is. "Capturing a mood" is very the best advantage of direct work. Light, sounds, sensations, weather, etc, etc. Above all, a model's emotion fascinates me most. They are wonderful info to make settings to illustrate texts, which will involve readers well.
Then, my brain works from here in a studio.
Each sketch is categorized into files as references for use.
I look through collected references .... 

Analyze Collected WHYs
I always check social conventions and prototypical images in sketches.
Focused "whys" tell similarities and differences in same subjects   such as women. Analyzed common elements show the "features" of subjects. Collected differences reveal "individual uniqueness." Particularly, for picture book illustrators, it's very important to understand social schema and use them in work.  
Use Learned Features to Caputre Character! 
Social schema and learned features are powerful tools and subtle techniques to create a character. It convinces readers well. 

Playing up "features" creates a stereotyped character and an exaggerated personality. Making caricatures is a good idea to check what whys will work or not. After sketching the sax player, I enjoyed these cartoons.

If individual "differences" are concerned, a fine portrait turns out.

"Mismatch between features" makes quite a funny and unexpected image, but also it would be a very sophisticated joke, nice for political cartoons. 

Did you enjoy this post? So far, I've written on drawings that fine artists, too, can use for portraits. Furthermore, children picture book illustrators will work on given manuscripts and create characters in stories. If you like, I'll write on Character Design more in a following post.

The more sketch, the better hands and eyes remember. Daily training enriches techniques and improves drawing skills. A sketch captures the points and depicts what I feel in a model. A figure comes up lively and vigorous. At a glance, you can draw an interesting person smoothly. You can draw figures in a studio even by heart or from memory or based on photos, too. 

Sketches are golden assets for job. 
In my dictionary, creativity is another name of hard work that goes with fresh ideas hand in hand. 
Friends, enjoy daily sketching.
Happy Painting!!



  1. Hola Sadami,
    Eres una gran especialista en captar pensamientos y sensaciones de cualquier personaje y dibujarlos sobre el papel. De forma instantánea!
    Dominas tanto el lápiz como el color.
    Eso te hace una buena ilustradora de historias y libros infantiles.
    Te felicito!!!!!
    Sí, siempre disfruto con tus artículos en este blog!
    Un abrazo.

    1. Estimado Joshemari,
      Muchas gracias! Muy feliz de saber que disfrutes del post. "Compartir" es la clave para ser feliz. Estoy trabajando en el proyecto y disfrutar de ella, aunque ocupado. Vamos a disfrutar el dibujo y la pintura!
      Cheers, Sadami

      Dear Joshemari,
      Thank you very much! Very happy to know you enjoy the post. "Sharing" is the key to be happy. I'm working on the project and enjoying it, even though busy. Let us enjoy drawing and painting!!
      Cheers, Sadami

      >>>Joshemari said...
      Hello Sadami,
      You're a great specialist in capturing thoughts and feelings of any character and draw them on paper. Instantly!
      Dominas both pen color.
      That makes you a good illustrator of children's books and stories.
      I congratulate you!!
      Yes, I always enjoy your articles in this blog!
      A hug.

  2. What a fantastic post -- not only are you a wonderful illustrator you give freely your hard earned knowldege! thank you. I just accomplished 100 days of daily sketching and it has been a wonderful experience- I second your advice on daily sketching :)

    1. Hi, Meera,
      Thank you. Very happy to know you enjoyed the post. Congrats on your achievement of 100 daily sketching! Great! Keep up sketching. You'll enjoy it more and more.
      Kind regards, Sadami

  3. It 's always interesting to know the mind of an artist and how the artist translates thoughts into action and work!
    I'm very lucky to read this post written by you so brilliant,pleasant to follow, and instructive!
    There are not many artists who explain their thinking and their work with such clarity and enthusiasm!
    Thanks, dear Sadami!
    You show Superlovely watercolors works and you share precious words!Warm regards,Rita.

    1. Dear Rita,
      Thank you for warm cheers. If you could pick up something helpful, I'm very happy. "Sharing" is the key to be happy on the earth. Regarding new knowledge, We all know, "To know is one thing. To do is another." Learning a new thing takes time. Take it easy and choose well something helpful.
      BTW, I'm working on the project and enjoying it, even though busy. I'll make it happen.
      You, too, enjoy drawing and painting!
      Kind regards, Sadami

  4. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips for sketching people! You capture people so beautifully, because your way of looking at them is so loving! I need to do more sketching...

    1. Hi, Judy,
      Thank you! Each artist has each style. "Work on your style," our anthro tutor wrote on my submitted essay. But today, it enlights me in art. Let's enjoy sketching.
      Cheers, Sadami

  5. "sketching is my hand's thinking" true sadami ..beautiful pages and sketches

    1. Hi, Jane,
      Thank you for cheers! Been very busy and hardly have time to visit blogs, but I try!
      Best wishes, Sadami

  6. さだみさんへ


    1. Hi, Midori,
      Thank you very much! (so sorry, but no time to change words into Japanese by web). Your work gets better and better. Very happy that many people come to your blog and you are happy with 5th year!
      I'm working on the project right now. Deadline is in this month. The right hand has a health problem and I'll see the specialist soon. Been very busy and hardly have time to visit blogs, but I try!
      Go on, Midori. You are blooming out!
      Best wishes, Sadami

  7. Outstanding sketches and great tuition, Sadami!
    You are very kind with what you share xx

    1. Hi, Pat,
      Thank you so much! And you, too!!
      Cheers, Sadami

  8. A great post - look for the WHY of the scene!! Great idea to hold when sketching or painting - trying to convey the WHY, not just get the technique right. LOVE the lady horn blower!! And the froggie and cat (although they look like they are not enjoying her playing) :)

    1. Hi, Rhonda,
      Thank you very much! Yes, sense of humour saves our world, ahahaha! Let's have fun and share joy.
      Cheers, Sadami

  9. Es genial Sadami,
    tu blog es para mi un referente en ilustracion,
    me parecen fantasticos tus trabajos, divertidas y deslumbrantes,
    te animo a seguir asi, eres muy importante, y en el mundo hacen falta personas como tu,
    un gran abrazo desde Sevilla.

    1. Hola, Jose,
      Gracias por los ánimos! Estoy seguro de que usted, también, son muy importantes, y un precioso mundo te necesita, José! Sigamos juntos!
      Mis mejores deseos, Sadami

      Hi, Jose,
      Thank you for the encouragements! I'm sure, YOU, too, are very important, precious and a world needs you, Jose!! Let us keep up together!
      Best wishes, Sadami

      >>>Jose said...
      It's great Sadami,
      my blog is for me a reference in illustration,
      your work seem fantastic, fun and dazzling
      I encourage you to go on like this, you are very important, and the world need people like you,
      a big hug from Seville.

  10. your paintings always tell the story, Sadami...! I love all this advice....thank you!

    1. Hi, Celeste,
      Thank you for kind cheers! Your work, too, stimulates imagination well.
      Kind regards, Sadami