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Character Design Tut: Markings by AddictionHalfWay Character Design Tut: Markings by AddictionHalfWay
Part two of my character design tutorial/guide/thing.

Just a little add-on, I happen to prefer designing very simple designs. That's just my personal preference. There's nothing wrong with enjoying complexity and there's nothing wrong with enjoying simplicity. But yeah, in this tutorial you'll see the animals I drew throughout rarely have complex markings. That's just how I roll :shrug:


Also, yeah, I happen to look at natural designs and unnatural designs equally. I've seen shit on both sides and I've seen greatness on both sides in equal proportions. There's nothing wrong with "sparkledog" designs. Alright? Alright. Enjoy the tutorial :D


Part 3 will probably come out tomorrow or something btw.

Photoshop CS3
Art, tutorial ~AddictionHalfWay
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:iconferalcider:
FeralCider Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Student Filmographer
interesting i never really thought about what to focus on  , though i entirely believe theres no such thing as a bad design , each to their own as i say because its bad to someone else does not mean another person thinks so. theres not really a line when it comes to art ^^ if people want to draw it that way its up to them,people should not be drawing to make others happy but themselves ^^

i like the idea of focus though i could see this helping me when im stuck in my character design ^^ figure out what i want to be the focus of the character 
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:iconsleekyscool:
sleekyscool Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
i love ur tutorials
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:icongsnail:
GSnail Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I didn't know sparkledogs were just unnaturally colored dog characters, but a derisive term for an overcomplicated dog design attempting to make up for lack of other vairance.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
I think the definition changes from person to person. When people say they like sparkledogs they're including a wide variety of things. When people say they hate sparkledogs they're overgeneralizing sparkledogs, assuming that there are no sparkledogs but overcomplicated designs.
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:iconrg116:
rg116 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Artist
very helpful tutorial.
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:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't have the patience mfor complex markings. XD I may have some "weird" ones now and then, but if you notice I don't draw my characters with spots or stripes (namely, my hyenas) very often. XDDD
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:iconakatsukisakuya:
AkaTsukiSakuya Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually quite like the natural bad wolf's markings... just not the color combo... It doesn't look good on this style, but it would in the one I often work in--highly detailed, lineless, semi-realism. I would say that style is also a defining factor.

Have I told you about my odd situation? I try to design sparkledogs (though I don't laze about it), but no one has ever accused me of besparkling my canines XD I'm still waiting...
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
lmao well designs are very much up to opinions. Good or not, i'd still consider it a non-memorable mess that won't resonate :shrug:


I imagine it's because your style isn't that stereotypical sparklesparkle preteen-animu-wolves-off-to-save-the-world style. Or the last time i checked anyways :lmao:
Or you just lucked out.
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:iconakatsukisakuya:
AkaTsukiSakuya Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It'd say it's more non-memorizeable XD Like you'd need a mapping of the body to know where to place all the markings for the whole first issue if it happens to appear in a comic.

Probably lucky, cause they do fall into the stereotypical elemental animals created by and escaped from humans >w<;
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 6, 2011
Not memorable or memorizeable is a problem if you're attempting to have it appeal to other people :giggle:

xD
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:iconakatsukisakuya:
AkaTsukiSakuya Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm considering making a short animation. Sad thing is, unless it's 3D animation, I'd have to simplify the characters' designs. Sad sad...

I do, however, have the patience to do complex markings in a comic over and over XD
I've been doing it for growing and recolors, after all ;3
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 7, 2011
Aw @o@ I mean I guess you could keep the markings complex, but I guess you could also whip yourself with a computer cord too and neither sound that appealing xD

I honestly don't know how one can have the patience for such things xux The tiger in my comic is my limit of complexity for comic pages methinks xD And I still have an african wild dog to appear later \o/
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:iconakatsukisakuya:
AkaTsukiSakuya Featured By Owner May 7, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Exactly :lmao:

=O
Well, patience is not a virtue, it's a learned skill. There are plenty of ways to learn it--I learned it the wrong way, exposing myself to it XD; But it still works.

Here's one I managed to keep decently consistent throughout its aging (there's a pup stage too, with only it's tail different--that's more of an accident than laziness XD;):
[link]
[link]

If you need help, speed or are just not up to coloring, you can give me a call and I can keep your complex characters consistently marked ;3
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 8, 2011
Yeaah that's very true @_@

nicely don o0o
Bah, I prefer to do it myself, besides it's like you said. The patience is a skill and I ought to learn it @_@
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(1 Reply)
:iconiveya:
Iveya Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
this *-* thank you for doing this! it's really great!
And at the end , the sparkle dog story :)
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
Thanks, I'm glad you like it ouo
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:iconsailorknightwing:
SailorKnightWing Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
A good design tool is the black and white test: if you put your character in grayscale, is he or she still recognizable? If not, you may need to rethink it.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
Yeah that's true owo
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:iconkwartzkitten:
KwartzKitten Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Student General Artist
I've heard this a lot; "keep it simple, keep it reasonable". Again, great points!
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
Thanks ouo
Yeah it's kind of like fashion, I guess. Add too much and things get tacky.
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:iconkwartzkitten:
KwartzKitten Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Student General Artist
Been there, seen that.
Reply
:icondemonic36:
demonic36 Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
sadly i like brown so i think the natural colored one looks better opposed to the other...yeah i got distracted right after that part though
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
I'm not entirely surprised because designing is entirely up to someone's opinion xD
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:iconelsarose:
elsarose Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Even your 'bad design' examples are so much better than a lot of what is out there. You still gave them at least some symmetry and their markings follow the shape of their bodies.

It is so much worse when people pick dozens of patterns and colours and randomly place them all over the bodies with no sense of the shape of body they are laying the patterns down onto. That really bugs me.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
lmao xD

Agreed xux It usually isn't for very good reasons either... people should understand that just because it's "original" doesn't mean it's a good idea xD
Reply
:icondarkpheonixchild:
darkpheonixchild Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very nice. Now I see how a theme for a character can help make them far better I will be giving it a shot with my characters and seeing how it goes C: I hope I can get my unfinished character better looking and finished.

I agree with the 3-4 colour on a character I don't like seeing ones with more then 4 as they have a bit much going on and the more colours they have gets pointless in my eyes. I always find the character with a limit of 3-4 better looking when the colours and marking are done right. I also hate blue one at the top with the marking been all different kinds like that.

I also agree with what Blueharuka said about half of the other tutorials on character design as well a lot just seem to be them bitching about what they hate XD and are not useful like this one. It really gets annoying with all the Natural-Nazi say it is wrong it's not wrong you just don't like it that's all. Not liking something does not make it wrong.

I can't wait for the next part C:
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
Glad it helps ouo

Totally. A person needs to know when to stop designing xD

I know, right? :c
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:iconko0nafish:
Ko0nafish Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The designs that have yellow stripes and blue dots and orange zig zags and black stars with a lime green base coat bug the bejesus out of me. I do like designs with bright colors, but only in scheme with markings more r less similar.
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:iconfawnir:
Fawnir Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
I totally agree. I just cant stand people with hadgpodge markings that make no sense.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Yes @u@
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:iconblueharuka:
blueharuka Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is amazing.
you are amazing!

this is exactly what i needed since i always have a difficult time creating original character designs without them being too showy or too boring. you explained everything in a calm and cool manner and even gave some very helpful tips (unlike some tutorials i've seen).

i also liked how positive you were with the whole sparkledog thing, and that instead of bigging up the other, you balanced them out... unlike others you didn't have that ever annoying:

"all sparkle animal designs are wrong and hideous, and natural is always right no matter what." type of attitude as most tutorials on this kind of subject tend to have. besides, the ones ive seen had very little to do with coming up with great creative designs and more to do with the artist bitching about their over-obsessive hatred of sparkle animals.

but this, this is just genius. :)
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Oh god, I know, right? It bugs me how Natural-Nazi so many tutorials can be. Just because it ain't your cup of tea doesn't mean it's wrong, people! >:U

thank you c:
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:iconleonca:
Leonca Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I feel the same way about really complicated designs. :XD: It’s one of the things I dread about commissions, having to do a character where I have to get every little marking correct and there are a zillion of them.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
fffff TAT commissions of super complicated designs are evil x-x
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:iconmegeso:
Megeso Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Again, you've done a wonderful job. I love tutorials like this <3

Now I want to go draw...
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
yay Cx thanks
Reply
:icondemon-child-13:
Demon-Child-13 Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
I like this one. It has some good pointers in it. I couldn't make a sparkle dog to save my life; I'm just that bad at matching unnatural colors like blues and whatnot when it comes to them, so I tend to avoid those kinds of characters. You're right in that not all are bad, but there are some characters out there, both natural and unnatural, that can be a bit of an overkill. I think this was a great idea and a very interesting experiment to implement. ^^ Kudos for the psychology factors. You are very much right. (I adore my psychology class XD)
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Agreed xD ugh, I'm so bad at matching unnatural colors dlkldmfd

thank you <3
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:icondemon-child-13:
Demon-Child-13 Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
You're welcome. :)
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:icontwillyane:
Twillyane Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist
This is very useful, and I'm looking forward to the next part :D
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
thanks ^^
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:icondandypandy12:
dandypandy12 Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
useful! :D thank you!!!
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
glad it's useful c:
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:iconpeaceboner:
peaceboner Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful and you bring up a lot of good points! I can't wait to see more.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
thank you ouo
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:iconpeaceboner:
peaceboner Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! (:
Reply
:icondoeantlers:
doeantlers Featured By Owner May 3, 2011

I learned about theme through trial and error, and I just recently developed a passion for simple designs, but I recognize what you're saying here. I know that every once and a while I try to bend the rules, and it never turns out looking nice. But this is great advice and there's nothing like a good refresher to get someone back on their feet and make them want to design. <3
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Thank you ^^
Reply
:iconsatinmoon:
SatinMoon Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Brb. Redoing my genet character now.
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:iconaddictionhalfway:
AddictionHalfWay Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
xD
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