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The Quick Guide to Character Face Design by FionaCreates The Quick Guide to Character Face Design by FionaCreates
A very basic guide to combining elements to make unique faces.

To keep it simple I just used women in this tutorial but the same goes for male or otherwise character design.

Naturally I drew this tutorial the way I draw figures, but if you draw anime, or another style, you can use the same ideas about different jaw shapes, and lip shapes and nose shapes to diferentiate between characters.


SUPER SECRET INFO SHARING TIME
If you make each character have different features, then it's SUPER easy to redraw them the same every time. Like Reev has a thin pointy nose, and Charlie has a square face. Then all your consistanty issues vanish like they were never there.

If all your characters are drawn how your hand happens to draw figures today you'll have a much harder time making them the same every time.

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Some other tips

- If you like someone's eyes, or their nose, or their lips, their eyebrows their jaw (A celebrity or a friend or just someone you saw on the street) Do a quick sketch of that feature only. Keep it, maybe with a bunch of other lips, or eyes that you like etc. Then when you're 'stuck' desiging a character you already have all the shizzle you need right there.

-Not every character has to be 100% unique. A great way to show siblings or relatives is by using a similar face structure, even between males and females.

-You can also use a similar system for character's body shapes. Even amoung thin girls (who a lot of people tend to draw) there is a varity of body shapes. Pear, Apple, Hourglass. Every girl, every Person is unique.
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:iconcalypsoeclipse:
Calypsoeclipse Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is so very helpful! Thank you!
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:iconultimatechimerablood:
UltimateChimeraBlood Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Quick, simple and very easy to follow.
Really basic advice yet so many people miss it.

I thank you for this. Honestly, it helps a lot.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks :D I like to make simple tutorials where possible. Same Face is easily avoided after all by playing a little game of mix and match :D I hope you make lots of fab faces with many features from now on!
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:iconbrother-tico:
Brother-Tico Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You know, when you said "It goes for Anime, too", I remembered Cowboy Bebop anime series. I think that anime would be a good reference and inspiration for beginner artist.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
When I was a teen I was really into anime, and I just kinda fell in love with one face shape and used it over and over and over because I loved it. I didn't think much about 'grown up' stuff like character in features and such, and it's not wrong to draw the same over and over if you love it, but if you're looking for something different, you don't have to just stop anime, because, as you point out, anime itself has lots of variety. Unfortunately what people find most 'attractive' is a certain cutesy big eyed face shape and so assume that all anime must be one shape.

Bebop and other shorter storylines also seem to make much better use of face shapes and character variation, but you find when a series is short they have a little bit more time and budget. It's easier to rush out 400 episodes of Naruto/Sailor Moon/(insert prolific anime here) when characters have a simpler cuter more similar face shape.
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:iconthewhitejewel:
TheWhiteJewel Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
So helpful!
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks :D Hope it's of use to you.
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:iconpxlprincess:
PxlPrincess Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is going to prove to be super helpful. I hate when I end up drawing the same face over and over. Takes away any uniqueness the character may have had.

Thanks for the tut Pyro!
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
we all suffer same face syndrome because there's a natural way our hands move and we like to draw, it's the sign of dedication to put the effort forth to break that.
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:iconquezecotyl:
Quezecotyl Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Student General Artist
Now THIS is nice! :clap: :D This is so sooo helpful! I wonder... could you do one of these with male characters or should i just use the same idea :giggle:
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
Male characters, Anthro characters, Beatrix potter style animal characters... the same principal applies to all :D

The illustration I made with 3 sets of eyes, noses etc is more a representation of my visual library in my head.

If you like having an actual visual library to look at one way to go about it would be to find lots of photos of males (celebrities, models, friends, video game characters), or drawings of males that you like the features of, then draw all the noses on one piece of paper, all the mouths on another, all the jawlines on another, all the eyebrows on another, you get the picture. Then select from your own drawings the different features you think would be apropriate for your new character.
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:iconquezecotyl:
Quezecotyl Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Wow!! Thank you so much for that detailed answer! I'm going to use your advice straight away. :la: I usually love making a whole bunch of characters but then I realized that they're was something to all of them that was similar. This would usually happen in each story I'd come up with. But now I understand how to make each character much more unique. I'd love to show you as soon as I draw something new and used your advice. Thanks so much! :blowkiss:
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
It's an unfortunate 'default' that a lot of people who draw cartoons get sucked into because we tend to get stuck in a 'style'. Whether that be anime, or marvel or otherwise.

I've found myself more recently looking more at people in the street and on the bus and not just stealing their fashion or their hair, but their noses their eyes and everything else.
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:iconquezecotyl:
Quezecotyl Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Student General Artist
oh wait! i read the description! i'm good :D
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:iconmidsneypixels:
midsneypixels Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is why I always switch around with my noses and eye shapes.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
I like to think what feature personifies the character so their faces in a way reflect who they are.
ie Reev's face is sharp but with kind eyes, because she's short with people and opinionated and loud but not nasty.
Of course this doesn't work for all characters but it helps giving you a starting point.
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:iconmidsneypixels:
midsneypixels Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
me too. also, people may find this helpful: [link]
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:iconshinyaquablueribbon:
ShinyAquaBlueRibbon Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Student General Artist
*guilty of the new-hair-means-new-character thing.* >.<
Thank you for making this.
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
Variety is the spice of life :D

Like I said it also makes it easier to at a glance identify characters. One of the reasons some mangas annoy me (even professional ones) is I have no clue which character is which half the time unless someone is like wearing a nametag. It's annoying.
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:iconkittyface1717:
KittyFace1717 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very true! Nice tips! :)
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks :D
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:iconnaikopako:
NaikoPako Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow...only one comment. This deviation deserves more!
Also the tutorial is very simple, it has a lot of great tips for any artist! (Glad you included anime artists, as well!) It also motivates me to work harder on making my characters' faces much more different from one another. Thank you. :)
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks :D I was turning an old sketch I made for a friend who was complaining about the lack of distinction between their characters and decided to turn it into a proper simple little tutorial. Drawing characters is simple, if you steal things you like from what you see. I mean you could have unique character with Angeline Jolie's lips, Jennifer Anniston's lips and Liv Tyler's eyes, and already there you go XD

What I notice about anime is that a lot of people draw all their characters with the same eyes and face shape. When I can see there are thousands of ways of drawing eyes and noses, so it should be easy to have different eyes for different characters.
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:iconlontuku:
Lontuku Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Really nice ( :
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks :D
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