For as long as I can remember, I have loved drawing the characters in my stories. They take up most of the pages in my sketchbooks.
Back in 5th grade, I had a character that I used to draw all the time, who my friends were very familiar with. This character always wore striped tops and beret. She was fun to draw and used to appear in some of my comic shorts, that I would make.
As I got older, and began writing novels I continued to draw my characters. I love to draw…it’s something that I think has always been with me. I don’t think I’m the worlds greatest artist or anything…I’ve never actually taken any lessons, and I probably use way too much gel pen, but it makes me happy and helps me capture my characters.
If you’ve ever read a manga, one thing that is commonly done in the author/artist panels are little character profiles. I actually did these for every character in my first novel series when I was 13. It was fun!
I still do create profiles for my characters and sketch them out, but I don’t do it like this example here, anymore. I have character info on a separate document and keep my drawings in my ever growing pile of sketchbooks.
Right now I’m working on a series of head shot type drawings of my characters, that I’d like to display later on my blog and website. I may need to redo one of them, and I’m still debating on whether or not I’ll colour them by hand or digitally.
I’m currently inking one.
Sometimes I record my drawing and colouring process and post it on Instagram. I’ve posted it on YouTube before as well, which is fun too.
This video I was doing a self portrait versus drawing one of my characters…but as you can see, I really like using glitter. I think after having it banned when my sister and I were little (after our older brother got us glitter glue pens…and we got it all over the carpet), as an adult I went on a bit of a glitter gel pen binge at the art store.
I’ve seen other authors do or get character sketches commissioned and I think it is so much fun! Since I’ve been working on my debut series since I was 17, my drawing style and techniques have changed, and so has how I draw my characters. The original sketches of them look so different. I actually did a few redraws of characters from my first series last year for a few friends who had read the series (it wasn’t published but a lot of my friends and classmates were following it). I still get asked about it a lot…and I WILL return to it someday. I just need to fix it.
When I wrote the first book at 13 I didn’t use chapter headings and it had way too many plot holes. I learned a lot writing that series for three year. Like, when writing by hand, use page numbers and chapter headings or your editing process will be an absolute nightmare!
Do you ever draw your characters?