In this demonstration for Furries Furever, Tyson Tan will show you how to design two different furry rodent characters from start to finish. One is a boy from a sci-fi setting and the other is a girl from a fantasy world. You’ll learn how to use a character profile to guide you through the design process and to use colors, shapes and contrast effectively to generate visual interest.
How to Draw and Color Rodent Furries
Step One: Character Profiles
The character profile functions as a checklist reminding you what to include in the design and what not to. Here, I’ve prepared profiles for our rodent characters. They are brief descriptions, but nevertheless useful guides to our design process.
- The boy: A future warrior from some sort of resistance force. He is a cool but reckless fellow.
- The girl: A kind-hearted hunter from a wood elf village with a Chinese cultural background.
Step Two: Fur Color Scheme
I chose a dark-gray for the boy and a cuter bread-like color for the girl. The color on the chest and belly of the boy is lighter to create a stronger contrast. With his glowing cyan-eyes, he looks even sharper. The same area of the girl, however, is similar to her dominant color to create a weaker contrast that suggests a milder nature.
Step Three: Basic Clothing
As the characters are meant to be warriors, give them basic clothing suitable for easy movement and dynamic poses. We will gradually build up the complexity in upcoming steps.
Step Four: Color Mixing
Experiment with crossing one color into another. In doing so, you may find ways to increase the contrast of your character, or discover an interesting color combination that you can use later when you are doing a more detailed design. You may consider the results of the experiment usable already, but on the next page, I’ll show you how to take the design further.
Step Five: Costume Details
Give each character more detail to liven them up.
Step Six: Final Costume and Gadgets
In this last step of the design process, I accessorized the characters with a few gadgets. Gadgets give your character something to do or hold, so they aren’t just standing there lifelessly. Choose gadgets that reflect the character’s personalities, purpose and world setting. The design of our two rodent characters is now finished. Although we started with the same species, we ended up with two distinctive original characters. The profiles of our characters played an important role here as they gave us clear directions to follow during the design process.
Tip: Contrast, Repetitive Elements and Clarity
To enhance the visual impact of your character, you must learn to harness the art of contrast and repetitive elements effectively. Contrast is created by differences in color, shape, and texture, and can help make a part of the design stand out better. Repetitive elements are anything that re-appears in the design multiple times, like a specific set of colors, a distinctive shape, or an emblem. Repetitive elements help unify the design as a whole and establish a main theme. While it is certainly a virtue to make things look fabulous, your aesthetic communication is less than successful if the audience cannot understand what you are trying to describe. Make sure everything in the design is clear and easy to read.
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