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Character Design: Swift Shock Concept

Creating a Congruent Design & Working With Clients

In today’s tutorial we’ll be sketching up another comic book character design for Rob Arnold’s ‘Replicator’. 

For more on Rob Arnold’s Replicator series click this link:

You’ll watch as I develop this character design from scratch, starting out with a solid foundation that’s used to establish the pose, proportions and placement of the figure. And’s it’s the pose of this character that’ll help to convey who they are, their personality and attitude – which is one of the key focuses of today’s video.

As a comic book artist or character designer, your job goes beyond describing the character’s aesthetics. Through the way in which they look, we must also give the audience some idea as to what this person would be like if they came face to face with them. We want their personality to come through in the way they stand, their hair style, weaponry and the kind of clothing they wear. 

All of these visual elements lend to who this character might be not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. That counts for a lot, because if we’re able to convey the personality, emotional and mental state of that character effectively, it’ll make them that much more convincing.

A convincing character design makes them instantly relatable and holds the reader in the story longer by suspending their disbelief. If the character’s outside visuals aren’t congruent with who they are supposed to be, then there’s a disconnect. All of a sudden, the viewer is snapped out of the story and the immersion within their experience reading it becomes squandered. 

Our job as a character designer is to prevent that from happening by being an excellent visual communicator. Like any other language, we need to make sure that what we’re trying to translate through our art is being interpreted by the viewer accurately. If our intention for the character, doesn’t link up with their understanding of them then we haven’t done our job effectively.

Throughout this tutorial we’ll also talk about the key things to keep in mind when working with a client. This demonstration presents an excellent opportunity to discuss this topic since Rob Arnold commissioned me to create it!

Communication is a huge deal when it comes to working with clients, for a couple of reasons.


Oftentimes, the client doesn’t necessarily know what they want from you, but they certainly know what they don’t want, which is why it’s so important to check in with them regularly to make sure you’re on the right track. There’s no such thing as too much communication when it comes to collaboration, and that’s essentially what you’re doing here. You’re collaborating with the client, to deliver a visual representation of their idea that exceeds their expectations. 

Beyond that, when you’re negotiating the terms of your working relationship with a client it’s not going to be the same for everybody. Each situation is different, and ideally what you’d like to try and do is come to a happy compromise that satisfies both parties. Again, your ability to communicate here is just as important as your ability to draw.

I hope that you enjoy this tutorial and that you get a ton of insight out of watching the demonstration. Thanks for checking it out, and if you find the info shared in this video useful, be sure to pass it along to your artist buddies. They’ll be thankful you did, and so will I – the more aspiring artists that these videos can inspire, the better!

Until next time, keep on practicing, and keep on creating.


Software Used: Manga Studio


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