Successful Character Design with Leslie Tran


Not currently in session, select the spectate option for lifetime access to recordings from last term!

In this 8-week course, students will learn the fundamentals and insights to creating successful character designs. This includes being able to master the use of design theory such as shape, color, line, expression, and much more. Character design is not just being able to draw well but also being able to tell their stories and present it in a successful way to the viewer. In the course you can expect to have hands-on-teaching, examples based on experience in the industry, and of course, tons of fun.

Week 1: Teacher, student, and course introduction & overview Costume design
Lecture: Gathering & organizing reference intro to costuming
Demo: Drawing & costuming from reference & Q&A
Week 2: Introduction to design theory
Lecture: Design theory and importance to character design
Demo: Drawing using basic theory
Week 3: Shape design
Lecture: Shape & silhouette design
Demo: Designing with shapes
Week 4: Color theory and design
Lecture: How to design color schemes using color theory
Demo: Coloring characters
Week 5: Anatomy, gesture, and drawing
Lecture: Key anatomy & drawing skills
Demo: Combining anatomy, gesture, and stylization skills
Week 6: Stylization and expression
Lecture: Importance of stylization & expression
Demo: Successful stylization & realism vs ‘stylized’ art
Week 7: Rendering & Line
Lecture: Rendering vs line
Demo: Levels of finish using rendering vs line
Week 8: Presentation skills & portfolio
Lecture: How to present your design successfully and create a
successful portfolio
Demo: Creating a pleasing character sheet

Duration: 8 weeks
Date & Time: Every Saturday, starting the 19th of August at 3pm-7pm EST
Skill level: All skill levels welcome
Tiers: Receive feedback and participate or spectate (Spectators will usually have time to ask questions at the end of each class)
Format: Weekly 4 hour live class (30 minute break) with combination of lectures, demos, and feedback. Every week will include 6 hours of bookable office hours for additional questions or if you just want to talk!(Critique session students have priority). Recordings will be provided within 24 hours of each class.
Materials: Any materials that can be drawn on. Class will be conducted using Photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq.


Leslie is a freelance concept artist and illustrator with 5+ years of experience working with studios such as Singularity 6, Netflix, and Massive Black. Main focuses are 2D visual development, character design, costume design, and prop design.