Creating a character using simple shapes
When designing a character for a story, it is important to stay consistent so that the character becomes easily recognizable from one illustration to the next. This is one of the challenges of story illustration: consistency.
The best way to go about this is boiling the character down to very simple shapes—shapes that you can easily imagine from many different angles. We want to work with circles, squares, rectangles and triangles and use these shapes to create a basic skeleton for the character.
Step One: Notice how the figure is constructed from simple circular, rectangular and triangular shapes. This will be her “skeleton.”
Step Two: I add in some basic shading for hair, clothes and shoes. I am keeping her simple!
Step Three: Now I am adding in details, and, in doing this, I reshape a bit of the skeleton to give more shape to the body. I also add a few touches to give the character her unique personality!
And, here is one more secret to character design. When choosing the simple shapes for your character, work with shapes that match the personality of your character. Happy and friendly characters can be constructed from round shapes, as round shapes are more inviting. A wicked witch, on the other hand, might be made from triangular shapes, as these shapes signal danger. (Speaking of witches, Scoble did some tips on witches that you may also want to see! witches-for-the-waking-prince)
Give this method a try and see if it helps you to create a character that you can draw consistently in different scenes of your story.