Tag Archives: character design

How to Draw Where’s Wally/Waldo? Children’s Book Illustration Character Analysis

Wally appeared in the UK in 1989. He soon travelled to the USA and changed his name to Waldo. As he became more popular he acquired new names in new countries and his looks began to change.

Children love to look for hidden things and get a buzz when they find them. 

Waldo marches across full page spreads that are filled with tiny people doing the most amazing things. Your job is to find him! Not easy. Wadell  gave Wally a red striped t-shirt, which sets him apart from all the other characters, but you will often find people and objects with red stripes to confuse you – and there are just so many other people on each page – up to 500! – for Wally to just disappear amongst them.

But the thing that made Waldo or Wally a superstar was the fact that he is an instantly recognisable character.

Over the years, with all that walking, Wally/Waldo has lost a bit of weight. As the franchise has grown, his design has been refined into a simple image that can be recreated anywhere and be instantly recognised. Basically, he never changes so there is no doubt who it is in the picture.

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Where’s Wally is owned by the Entertainments Right Group. Images are used under fair use rules for purposes of educating the next generation of illustrators.

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Create Characters by looking at real life animals and insects

Be inspired by real life to create truly original characters.

A beetle crossed my path on a walk the other day. I filmed it and took photos. When I enlarged the photos, there were elements of its design that inspired me to sketch out some ideas.

A triangle theme emerged and I developed that further, each time trying to simplify the character to make it easier to draw again and again.

Consistency is the secret to drawing characters – you have to recognise them in each frame of animation or page of book. So, simplicity and definite character identifiers are really important.

It’s difficult dreaming up new ideas from your head. Go out and look at what nature has already designed and work with those shapes and ideas.

Have fun and good luck! If you have drawing or illustration questions you would like Shoo to answer – put them in the comments box below through the contact page.

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How to create new characters – Meet Penni and Benni

Lots of watercolour painting in this video as I introduce the characters and concept of my new project – Penni and Benni.

This has been a long time coming and I’m going to use my new characters, Penni and Benni, to explain lots of things about character design and illustration.

It started with a book idea, but the characters have changed and developed and grown with me over the years and I have now decided to get them launched.

Starting with their Website – http://www.penniandbenni.com – and their instagram http://www.instagram.com/penniandbenni

In this video I show you how I draw and paint Penni and Benni whilst chatting and explaining some of what the project is all about.

There will be more about Penni and Benni in the coming weeks as I love towards launching them as a picture book kickstarter project.

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