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Character Design

Character Design

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Christyan Fox


Join our Character Design short course and learn the stages of character design and development, from an award winning writer and illustrator.

By looking at examples of illustration styles, including children’s picture books, advertisements, packaging and animations including cartoons and gaming, you will learn about model sheets and examine how to give life, expression and movement to your characters. Beginning by conveying emotions using the simplest of illustrations you will quickly progress to explore how your character will move in a variety of situations, explore the best body proportions for your drawing style and character consistency.

Please note this course is taught in a studio and does not include digital software or animation skills.

Topics covered

  • Character Design Research
  • How best to suit your illustration style to character
  • Designing for different age groups
  • Model Sheets
  • Exploration of expression, emotion, body-language movement and consistency
  • Drawing skills
  • Inking and Rendering

Course outcomes
You will have developed your character design skills to help you hone your talents on the road to success. You will have the opportunity to produce a series of character facial expressions to explore emotions, and character drawings showing how the whole figure can convey emotion and movement in a variety of situations.

Who should attend
This course is aimed at illustrators wanting to know how to apply their skills most effectively, whether for the task of creating a children's book, packaging, graphics, animation, film, TV, gaming and theatre design.

All Levels Welcome

Tutor Description

Christyan Fox, since graduating from Middlesex University in 1986, has worked as a freelance illustrator and writer creating over 50 children's books – both with and without his wife Diane – as well as packaging design, greeting cards, graphics, magazines and advertising. Winning awards including the Southampton Books to Share award 2006 and 2004 Times Educational Supplement award 2002 and Stockport Schools Book Award 2001. For the past 4 years Christyan has taught very successful short courses on creating children’s books as well as small group, one to one sessions and schools covering areas in more depth. Christyan and his wife are currently developing an online version of their course. Clients include Faber and Faber, Quarto, Words and Pictures, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Books, Orchard Books, Gullane Children's Books, Macmillan, Egmont, Campbell Books, Scholastic, Piccadilly Press, Bloomsbury Books, Frances Lincoln, Little Tiger Press, Handprint Books, Ted Smart, Koala Books, Walker books, Usbourne books. Conran Octopus, Oxford University Press and the BBC.


Please bring the following:

  • A3 Layout pad

  • Pencils, pens or drawing materials of choice

  • Note pad and pen

  • Examples of any previous work

Please note that most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates