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Fundamentals of Semi Realistic Character Illustration

Illustrator, Cindy Law

Class Details

Illustrator,CindyLaw Details


Class Intro
Illustrator, Cindy Law

"Failure is the first step towards success."

Have you been dabbling into character art
but not really getting the results you wanted?

Coloso Cindy Law Fundamentals of Semi Realistic Character Illustration

Push your boundaries by practicing
different facial expressions, gestures, compositions,
and create your own version of a portrait,
along with many more insights from Cindy Law.


Coloso Class Breakdown Details 1

Length: 24 videos
(Duration 25h 49m)
Difficulty: Beginner
Unlimited views

Coloso Class Breakdown Details 2
Video Details

Audio: English
Subtitles: English
(In Production)

Coloso Class Breakdown Details 3
Software Required

Adobe Photoshop CC

Coloso Class Breakdown Details 4

Follow along & HW exercises

Expert Illustrator
Cindy Law's Profile & Portfolio


Cindy Law

Hi! My name is Cindy but you may know me better
by my social media handle @cindrluv
which comes from a nickname I had as a kid.

I'm most well-known for my fun,
yet romantic artworks that range from
more fantastical subjects to the more mundane,
but really, I'm an artist that dwells on her obsessions.

Whether you're a beginner or a veteran,
I think that everyone has room to grow as an artist
and I'd love to help you along on your journey
just as many of the artists that
I've studied from have done for me.

So, if you're ready, put on your learning caps
and join me on your very own path to
becoming an art god!

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Coloso Cindy Law
Cindy Law

Freelance Illustrator

Projects & Awards

[Notable Work]
Recipient of the UC Davis Film Festival 2022 Best Animation and Audience Choice
Collaboration with Huion and Sticker App


18 Class Exercises

Exercises to Get You Started

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Create Your Own

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Facial Feature in Various Angles

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Male & Female Version of Your Own Character

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Practice Facial

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Practice Gesture Sketches

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Practice Hand Sketches

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Practice Common Compositions

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Develop Skin Palettes

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Apply Lighting in Skies

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Add Unique Bits to Your Character

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Paint Character Silhouettes

Cindy Law Class Exercises

Paint Clothes of Different Textures

Exercises for That Extra Magic


Class Highlights

Build a Solid Drawing Foundation and Expand Your Visual Library

Learn to draw what you see and not what you "think you see." This will help you better utilize your references and allow you to better break down complex forms and be able to paint even the most complex buildings. This in turn will help you develop your visual library so you won't need to look up as many references which will expedite your drawing process.

Coloso Cindy Law Introduction

Develop Your Storytelling Skills

Understand how to use color, composition, posing, and clothing to communicate a particular story about your character.

Coloso Cindy Law Introduction

Create a Full on Illustration That Combines All the Fundamentals

Create a full on illustration of your own with a character that we design in our class. Know how to critique/evaluate your own work from the thumbnail stage to the final touches.

Coloso Cindy Law Introduction

Class Details
You'll Learn

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In Depth-Look

SECTION 01. Orientation

01. Orientation

  1. Introducing Cindy Law
  2. Class overview/workflow
  3. Helpful websites, software, and alternatives (where to get the brushes I'm going to be using)
SECTION 02. How to Get Started With Portraits

02. Photoshop (For Dummies Like Me)

  1. Overview of various tools on Photoshop & finding and creating keyboard shorcuts that work best for you
  2. Good digital art habits (save often, multiple layers, etc)

03. Getting That HD Image Quality

  1. How canvas size translates to printing or posting online
  2. Effect of certain file formats on your computer's processing power
  3. Best format for printing
SECTION 03. The Foundations

04. Portrait Basics

  1. Basic proportions of facial features & their placement
  2. Simplifying facial features through wrinkles & edges

05. Zooming In on the Money-Makers

  1. Eyes and eyelids
  2. Lips
  3. Noses
  4. Ears
  5. Hair

06. Male vs Female Features

  1. Typical male vs female faces
  2. Variations from the typical (androgyny)

07. Expressions, Expressions, Expressions!

  1. Eyebrow and eye's influence on expressions
  2. Exaggerating expressions in a cartoon manner yet maintaining a sense of realism

08. Moving Those Bodies

  1. Demonstrating how I measure bodies and their poses using reference photos
  2. Power of gesture drawings in quickly building your visual library
  3. Creating your own poses and breaking down body parts into geometric shapes

09. Looking at Hands and Feet... But Not in a Weird Way

  1. Break down the hands and feet into simple shapes (again)
  2. Learn to draw common poses from memory
  3. Practice drawing more complex poses through references

10. How to Frame Those Bodies of Ours

  1. How to do thumbnails
  2. The impact of storytelling
  3. Common compositions: the golden rule, 2:3 ratio
SECTION 04. A Touch of Life

11. It’s Alive! Bringing Color to Your Creations

  1. Quick color theory on light and shadows
  2. Common skin palettes (learn from the masters and exaggerate your vision)
  3. Common artist tricks (what works and what doesn't)

12. I Can See the Light!

  1. Go through the most common lighting setups
  2. Rim-lighting & back-lighting
  3. The power of light: How limited use of light can create a more dynamic composition
SECTION 05. Character Design

13. It’s All About That Story

  1. Extract the key traits that define a character
  2. Experiment with shapes and learn how to choose the most effective one

14. Character Tropes

  1. Understanding how to use simple shapes to represent a character's overall personality
  2. Effective posing that demonstrates personality (power poses)
  3. Choosing good color palettes to represent the overall character

15. Time to Play Dress Up

  1. Folds basics (light and dark areas)
  2. How to visualize the light source
  3. How to imitate different clothing
  4. Using references effectively when all else fails

16. Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

  1. Maximize brush usage
  2. Take advantage of preset photoshop textures
  3. Visually isolate the key components of a particular texture into lights and darks (furs, hair, wool, etc)

17. Wings, Tails, and Other Non-human Shenanigans

  1. Use real life animals as reference
  2. Demonstration of common otherworldly features like devil wings, angel wings, horns, tails, claws, etc

18. Props!

  1. Treating props as an extension of the character and the composition
  2. Finding references and mashing them together to make your own version

19. Meaningful Backgrounds

  1. Impact of flat color backgrounds versus a more detailed one
  2. How to add interest to a flat color background
  3. Using storytelling skills to plan out a meaningful background

20. Shortcuts to Cool Effects

  1. Explaining the purpose behind the various layer styles with examples
  2. Demonstrating how to create cool effects through filters (holographic, lens blur, warp, etc)
SECTION 06. Putting It All Together

21. Demonstration of Me Painting an Actual Illustration Pt.1

  1. Learn how I put all these previous elements together to create an illustration for a character that I designed

22. Demonstration of Me Painting an Actual Illustration Pt.2

  1. Learn the common tricks I use to make a piece look "finished"

23. Using Each Work as a Stepping Stone

  1. Accepting failures/non-satisfactory work
  2. Knowing how to target weaknesses and pushing past it
  3. Where to find inspiration

24. Outro

  1. Tips on starting a career in digital art
  2. Challenges of a freelance artist & how to overcome them
  3. How to brand yourself (finding your own style, making a social presence, communicating with followers)

* Curriculum details may change before or after the video is released.

with Illustrator Cindy Law

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Is There a Specific Reason Why You Chose This Specific Topic/Themes?

The human form is such an interesting topic for many artists yet because it's such a beautiful and organic form, it's one of the hardest to perfectly capture on paper. I want people to be able to just enjoy the process of designing of a character rather than worry about all the technical aspects which, even for me, can get extremely frustrating at times. Moreover, many of my followers have often wanted a better insight into my process of creating an illustration and because a timelapse can only teach so much, I think this class will provide more detail and better explanations.

What Makes Your Class Different From Other Classes?

I'm here to be your peer, not your boss. My class revolves on me providing my perspective on how I do things, but by no means, does that mean you are bound to paint only in that way. Perhaps some of these tips will click with you and you'll add it to your repertoire or maybe not, but that's your prerogative. You're getting the full clown experience where you'll see me work my magic but also flop in some areas (especially when it comes environments) but that's ok! Failure is but the first step towards success and so if you join me in this class, you'll never be alone when it comes to falling short of your own expectations. We all got to start somewhere, right?

Could you please share how you started your journey in the industry?

My first steps towards becoming a freelance illustrator started with me posting my work basically everywhere. If you can name it, I probably posted there-- from Facebook art groups to Reddit. I was trying to find a community that matched my interests and honestly, it's just more fun when there's people to joke with in the comments section. Obviously, there wasn't much attention at the start, but I didn't focus too much on the numbers. Instead, I turned my attention towards improving my own art by learning from other artists and doing studies. These efforts would be worth it because I finally had my first big break with my Squid Game fan art post. At this time, I was also entering contests hosted by other artists or pen tablet companies which in turn also got me more exposure and I had the opportunity to work with Huion on a sponsorship post. Slowly, but surely, all these small steps got my foot in the door to this industry.

What do you think is the most important trait(s) to success in your industry?

Consistency and willingness to fail! I've definitely made a lot of art that I've hated but it's only then that I learn some new methods or new styles that I might try to incorporate into my art. A saying I follow religiously comes from an artist I love, called Istebrak, and she places a great emphasis on not making masterpieces. As a growing artist, if we're too concerned about making masterpieces, we're less willing to push our boundaries and try new things. I definitely think by focusing on yourself and consistently improving ourselves, we're more than likely going to start reaching people who are also on a similar path and open the door to new opportunities.

Required Programs

This course uses Adobe Photoshop. Please purchase and install these program(s) for an optimized lecture experience.

*These programs and/or materials will not be provided with the lecture.


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