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with Doreen Mulryan
Online Class

People in Picture Books: Developing Your Main Character

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Create strong picture book characters for your stories! With picture book illustrator Doreen Mulryan as your guide, you'll start with finding inspiration for your character by building a mood board. Next, learn to draw your character's basic anatomy in a variety of poses and get tips for adding facial features, hands and feet that look just right. Make your characters unique as you establish their body type, select their clothing and explore different aesthetic styles. Get to know your protagonist's personality through a character sheet and create a turnaround that will help you draw characters from any angle. Plus, build confidence telling your story visually and get Doreen's tips for using color to bring your character to life.


  • intermediate
  • 7 episodes
  • 2h4m

Included in this Class

1. Warm-Up

1. Warm-Up

Meet Doreen Mulryan, children's book illustrator extraordinaire and your guide to developing a strong main character. In this first lesson, you'll learn all about how to get started. From picking the right materials to brainstorming your character's personality traits, Doreen has you covered!

2. Basic Pose & Construction

2. Basic Pose & Construction

How your characters move around goes a long way toward explaining who they are. In this lesson, Doreen gives you a step-by-step guide to drawing basic anatomy and shows you how to create more dynamic, interesting poses that add drama and personality.

3. Faces, Expressions, Hands & Feet

3. Faces, Expressions, Hands & Feet

Doreen was once intimidated by hands. But now she's got tips to help you draw them, along with feet and the all-important facial expressions that will help give your character personality. By the end of this lesson, you'll feel comfortable drawing some of the more challenging body parts.

Recommended with this class

  • Standard art supplies: pencils, pens, surfaces, kneaded eraser
  • Watercolor paints, watercolor brushes
  • Colored pencils