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[Summersplash]Illustrator,JonatanCantero Details


Class Intro
Illustrator, Jonatan Cantero

"Create stand-out characters that serve as
an impressive piece of any project."

Want to learn the principles of character design
and bring your characters to life?

Coloso Jonatan Cantero Creating Unique & Expressive Characters

Learn the basics of translating complex volumes
into simple shapes, and acquire an understanding
of caricature, shape language, exaggerated poses,
and more.



Length: 21 videos (Duration 8h 13m)
Difficulty: Basic
Unlimited views

Video Details

Audio: English
Subtitles: English
(In Production)

Software Required

Adobe Photoshop CC


Practice exercises

Expert Illustrator
Jonatan Cantero's Profile & Portfolio

Coloso Jonatan Cantero Creating Unique & Expressive Characters

Jonatan Cantero

Hi, my name is Jonatan Cantero.
I'm a Spanish illustrator,
focused on character design and visual development.

I've worked with notable clients like
Cartoon Network and Rovio,
and have also garnered experience
through my work as a comic artist
and on children's book illustration.

When you think of your favorite animation shows,
video games, comics, or illustrated books
the first thing that comes to mind
is usually the characters.

That's why I chose to cover how to create
compelling and unique characters,
as they are highly valued in this industry.

Background Images
Coloso Jonatan Cantero
Jonatan Cantero

Freelance Illustrator & Character Designer (2013 - Present)
Character Design and Illustration Lecturer at Joso School and Iboix School (2016 - Present)
2D Animator and Character Design at Plug-In-Media Ltd (2019 - 2020)

Projects & Awards

2D Artist at 5 Ants (2010 - 2013)

Character Designer for Rovio, Cartoon
Network, Baobab, and Studio Poink

Silver Award in Japan International Manga
Award (2020) - Korokke and The girl who said no

Korokke And The Girl Who Said No (2019)
Korokke and the Spirit Beneath the Mountain (2022)


9 Class Exercises


Class Highlights

Push the Limits of the Human Figure For Expressive Designs

What are the boundaries of a "human body" in character design? Learn the breadth of what is considered a human body and what is not, and how to modify characters to make them more expressive and unique. After taking this class, you will be able to achieve this while also creating characters that exude an aura of relatability.

Coloso Jonatan Cantero Introduction

Bring Your Characters to Life

A compelling character needs to have a resounding sense of movement and life to them. Learn how to implement facial expressions and gestures that help make your characters more persuasive, as if they have a life of their own.

Coloso Jonatan Cantero Introduction

Create Compelling Final Art of Your Character

Character art is not just about creating cool looking characters. They need to convey the inner workings of a character. You'll learn tips and tricks to visually show how they fit into a story.

Coloso Jonatan Cantero Introduction

Class Details
You'll Learn

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In-depth Look


01. Orientation

  1. Introducing your instructor
  2. What you will learn
  3. Helpful websites and software
SECTION 02. Introduction to Character Design

02. Exploring the Basic Principles of Character Design

  1. History of character design in animation
  2. The relevance of appeal
  3. Broad explanations of character design principles

03. Fundamentals of Drawing

  1. Observation of reality and understanding simple shapes inside them
  2. Volume
  3. Proportions and human anatomy
SECTION 03. Creating Expressive Characters

04. Contrast and Exaggeration

  1. Exaggeration
  2. Contrast
  3. Understanding the figure in simple shapes
  4. Modifying those shapes to create appealing figures

05. Shape Language

  1. What the 3 basic shapes are and their psychological connotations
  2. Shape Insights: Combine them and use them to subvert expectations
  3. Shape Psychology: Wide-thin, stable-unstable, compact-loose, etc

06. Silhouettes

  1. The relevance of an easy to read silhouette
  2. Rhythm
  3. Repetition and variety

07. Let's Move It

  1. Line of action
  2. Gesture drawing
  3. Balance
  4. Weight

08. Acting

  1. The expressivity of different parts of the body
  2. Straight lines and curves in postures

09. Designing an Appealing Face

  1. Anatomy of the face
  2. Exaggeration, contrast, and shape language applied to faces
  3. Using facial features to modify personality

10. Facial Expressions

  1. Basic emotions and how facial muscles move
  2. Eyes: The main tools of expression and empathy
  3. Exaggerating expressions for greater clarity

11. Synthesizing to Create Simple but Interesting Figures

  1. History of UPA style, a character style that pushes simplicity
  2. How to push simplicity to different levels

12. Improving Volume

  1. Understanding character volume so you think on It as 3D
  2. Tools used to add volume in drawing: Overlap and surface lines
  3. Tangents
SECTION 04. Giving a Character Personality Through Their Design

13. The Creative Process: Create Compelling and Unique Characters

  1. Things to keep in mind when getting ready to design your characters
  2. Practice how to train creativity and overcome art block

14. Characterization: Clothes, Hair, and Props

  1. Things to keep in mind when adding accessories
  2. Designing props

15. Telling a Story With Your Design

  1. Designing from keywords (objectives, adjectives, feelings, etc)
  2. Symmetry and asymmetry
  3. Showing backstory through your design

16. Creating a Group of Characters

  1. Creating 2 characters that function together so they define each other by contrast
  2. The lineup: Creating a common style for different characters in a project, but at the same time making them distinguishable
SECTION 05. Create Appealing Non-Human Characters

17. Animal Characters

  1. Understanding volume and shapes of non-human bodies
  2. Use of exaggeration and contrast
  3. Making them expressive and relatable

18. Monsters and Animated Object

  1. Creating clear and expressive creatures even with non-anthropomorphic characters
  2. Making them relatable: Line of action, face, etc
SECTION 06. Cleaning Up the Design

19. Introduction to Color

  1. Basic color theory
  2. Value: Use of light and darkness
  3. Color schemes and how to use them for contrast and rhythm
  4. Color Psychology
  5. Developing a palette that fits the character and project

20. Creating a Compelling Final Art Style

  1. Using different line art and color styles for expressive reasons
  2. Example of a clean up style and color process that keeps the focus on the shape
SECTION 07. Conclusion

21. Starting a Career in Character Design

  1. Personal tips on work discipline, routines, and attitude
  2. Tips on developing a portfolio for the animation industry
  3. Goodbye and good luck

*The release date of this class, curriculum images, and associated content can be changed without prior notice.

with Illustrator Jonatan Cantero

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

I've worked in a variety of fields in the art industry, but I've always known that the best hook for an art product is a great character. That's why I focused my career on creating them and teaching aspiring artists.

What Makes Your Class Different From Other Classes?

Throughout this class, you will learn the principles of character design. But also we'll focus on something I think is not explained often: How to give your character a soul, and designs that look like they are alive.

Please Share Your Thoughts on the Job Market of the Industry

Character designer is one of the most important roles in movies, TV shows and video games. You go into them by their aesthetics, but fall in love with the characters. Also, being all about creativity, it's very rewarding and you will always have room to explore and keep learning.

Please Share Anything You Would Like to Add to Your Students.

I hope this class will help you to experiment with designing different shapes and colors of characters.

Required Programs

This course will use Photoshop (Adobe Photoshop 2021 recommended, but Photoshop CC 2015 and up also work).
Please purchase and install these program(s) for an optimized lecture experience.

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

Adobe Photoshop CC

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