A Character Step by Step - from guest blogger Courtney Davis

A Character Step by Step - from guest blogger Courtney Davis

Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s Day post about self-love. This week is actually my dad’s birthday, so I wanted to do a birthday card for him. One of my favortie childhood movies is Disney’s Robin Hood. This is because of the rooster character, and the whistle song he does at the beginning of the movie. My dad is a fantastic whistler; he would whistle the tune around the house all while growing up. Even when I visit now, I’ll hum the tune occasionally to get him to whistle the tune around the house.

So for his birthday, I painted the rooster from Robin Hood for this birthday card. When I do character sketches like this I like to have a photo of the character in front of me. I then look at the character in parts. For the rooster, I took a look at his head and neck. I then break it down into basic shapes. The top part of the head is a small circle, and the beak is a basic triangle. I then do an oval shape that’s squished a little bit on the bottom under the circle, for the neck. I then do small rectangles with one of the short sides longer than the other side, for the shirt collar. 

I then move on to the left wing. I do a rectangle with an oval for the left wing. I then do a large circle off to the side of the wing for the shirt. I then do an oval under the wing for the lute and a skinny long rectangle for the neck part of the lute, then I sketch out a square that has a longer side, like in the photo. 

I then draw the letter C under the body of the lute, for the bottom of the shirt. I then draw a big C shape sideways for the lower portion of the sleeve on the right side, then I do another sideways C smaller a little bit above the bigger C. I then connect the two sleeves by doing a curved line. From the top of the small C, I do a curved lineup and make a shark fin, on top of the lyre. 

I then do an angled U shape for the left leg, then I sketch another u shape for the right leg. Instead of the curved bottoms of the U, I straightened it with only a slight curve. I then sketch out a rectangle shape below the right leg. I then do a rectangle with a curved short side for the bottom of the heel. I then do a slight oval on top of the toe, for the other toe. I then do another shark fin on the back of the long rectangle for the leg. 

I then do another long rectangle for the other leg, and I then draw two curved lines for the toes. For the heel, I sketched an oval, then erased the part going into the leg. I then draw another shark fin for the leg. For the tail feathers under the shirt on the right side I draw ovals for the feathers. I then draw ovals for the tail feathers on the left side with bigger centers and do them in different sizes. 

I then go in and do more of the detailed parts, like the beak, with more curved parts, and for the two dangles on the neck, I do two long ovals with the bottoms more curved out.  I then do a circle for the eyeball. I then sketch out the top part of the crown, I do a curbed rectangle, with ovals on top. I then go in and sketch out the individual feathers in the hands. I then do the stripes on the shirt and the buttons on the pants. I also add the lines for the eyebrows, legs, and details on the lute. 

Once I have all of that sketched out, I then ink everything out in an alcohol pen so the ink won’t smudge when I use the watercolor paints. I then go in with my paints and fill in the I start with the lightest colors, then go to the dark colors. Once I have the rooster painted in, I go in with a light tan color for the background. 

I then have the words oo-de-lally, and Happy Birthday pulled up in a font I like. I then copy the words with how they look onto the card, with gold paint from the smiling hippo watercolors. I then go in with three different gold colors from the smiling hippo for a dot pattern in the background. 

Once everything dries I then go in with my pen again and outline any parts that need to stand out. I then take a fine-tip pen and do the strings of the lute, and the stripes on the shirt. I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know what you’d like to learn next, message me on my Instagram page at watercolors by courtney. Until next time, stay safe and be kind to one another! 

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