Monthly Archives: April 2015

Creating Characters with Personality by Tom Bancroft

This is the first review, so it has to be a good book. Of all books about drawing, designing, painting etc. this is my favourite one. It is a book about character design written by Tom Bancroft a former Disney animator and character designer. Personally I have a special interest in character design and I was always a huge fan of Disney movies and generally traditional animated movies. Finding good resources on the subject is tough however and before this book came out in 2006 there wasn’t a single book devoted to character design specifically.

At the beginning of the book Tom sets a up a briefing to design different characters for a cowboy theme. Troughout the book you will see the different character designs and approaches by many different professional artists which is also very interesting, but not the main reason I like it so much.
The reason I like it so much is that “creating characters with personality” teaches you the CORE principles of design. It talks about shape, variety, size and proportion, placement, symmetry, straight vs. curved, negative space, silhouettes, recurring shapes etc…
For a beginner that sounds like a lot, and it is, but the book makes use of simple language, good structure and simple concepts that build upon each other.
The art in it is brilliant and very appealing. Now, not a single book in the world can teach how to draw or to become a better artist, cause it still takes years of good pratice, but for me this book gets as close as it can get.
To get a sneak peek of the content, you can watch this flip-through video of the book: