What It Means to Draw Video Games
If you’re reading this, chances are, you are of the camp that believes video games are art (they are!). To prove our point, we’ll tell you about how video game art has some striking parallels with the world of traditional and classical art.
While game graphics and art have only been around as we know them for several decades, they have advanced to an impressive level, almost to the point of not meaningfully improving in the coming years. While the new systems are just around the corner, what will their graphic and art capabilities be, especially at the end of their cycle?
Where classical art evolved from cave drawings to the fantastic works of Monet and Van Gogh over the centuries, hardware has allowed game developers to kick game drawing and design into hyperdrive.
While video game graphics may soon experience a plateau in graphical capability, it has never been better to learn how to draw video game characters.
Design Questions That Give Your Creations Life
Creating a character can be pretty straightforward some of the time. You can create a generic space marine character, and his only motivation is destroying alien menaces. However, what if your character belongs in an RPG and needs some backstory.
Those who are familiar with Dungeons & Dragons will know the process of building a character’s backstory. Knowing how to draw video game characters also means you know how to ask questions of your characters:
Where were they born?
What did their parents do?
Are they impulsive, calm, or quick to anger?
While these questions aren’t necessary, it can make your video game character drawings more nuanced and exciting.
How Do You Create A Character Question?
Creating a character question is as easy as asking, ‘what’s your name?’ These can be pretty basic questions (or more complicated ones) that flesh out your character’s background and personality.
What Are Some Questions to Ask When Establishing A Character?
Some excellent character design questions are:
- Where are you from?
- Do you have siblings?
- Would you take a bullet for friends?
- What is your favorite food?
- What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?
- How did your childhood experiences mold you into the character you are?
What Is A Character Question?
Character questions are personal questions that you formulate regarding your character and their personality.
If it helps, imagine a character like Cloud from Final Fantasy answering questions about his life. You can get a better idea of his personality and background from them. A set of character questions map out the life of your character.
What Should I Know About My Character?
To create compelling characters, you need to know them. By being an expert in your character’s backstory, motivations, wants, and needs, you can bring an expert level of design to your proposed character.
It’s better to ask character questions and create a comprehensive, multifaceted, and nuanced character than just having a one-dimensional character. No one likes those.
How to Draw Video Game Characters
Before we get further into how to draw video game characters, let’s look at some character design that has influenced video games.
Comic book styles have evolved over the years. While the essence of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee has never truly left comic book drawing, new crops of artists have brought their unique spin to classical formulas.
- How To Draw – Comic book Heroes – Video
- This exciting video showcases how to model your character off of a brave comic book hero. It shows the basics of figure-drawing and unique superhero features to rival those of Stan Lee.
- How to Draw Comic Book Characters – Studying Proportions
- This tutorial shows you the proper proportions that superhero characters usually have.
Chances are, cartoons played a considerable part in your childhood development. They probably even influenced the way you look at art. Characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and more paved the way for what animation means in the 21st century.
- How to Draw a Cartoon People – for Beginners
- This video shows you the basics of drawing humanoid figures in a cartoon style.
- How to draw your own cartoon character | tips and tricks | Part 1
- This is an excellent beginner’s video. Learn how to draw different figures of all shapes and sizes, making your own unique character.
- GOOD vs. BAD Character Design: Tips and Tricks
- This video examines the subjectivity of drawing different characters. It goes to show you that easy characters to draw aren’t inherently worse than more complicated designs.
What is the Easiest Cartoon Character to Draw?
Some of the most commonly easy characters to draw are beloved figureheads of animation like Bugs Bunny, Peter Griffin, and notorious troublemaker Bart Simpson.
A Note on Concept Art
Video game drawings have never prospered more than from the talents of skilled concept artists. Concept art is a branch of a video game’s art department. The concept artist or artists take the concept of a game or work and give ideas life.
Some of the most famous pieces of concept art are works by Yoji Shinkawa, the extremely talented artist behind the stunning and gritty concept art of Metal Gear Solid.
All of our favorite video games have iconic character drawings and concept art. Concert artists also have to ask themselves game character questions when detailing the works of others. Concept art is some of the highest art within video games outside of the actual graphical capability of the game itself.
Let’s take a look at some solid video tutorials.
- How to Draw Video Game Characters
- This video tutorial series tackles all of the great video game drawing staples from your favorite games. Sonic, Funky Kong, Minecraft characters, and Sans from Undertale are all here.
- Drawing Video Game Characters from Mario
- Nintendo and Mario fans will love this tutorial. It gives you prompts to draw some classic Mario characters like Toad, King Boo, and Mario himself.
- Drawing Video Game Characters With Copic Markers
- This is a unique method for video game drawing. Copic markers are fantastically unique markers straight from Japan.
Top Video Game Drawing Books
Amazon has many great options for you to take your video game drawing skills to the next level.
- How to Draw Video Game Characters: How to Draw The Characters & Environments of Video Games (Drawing Basics and Video Game Art)
- How to Draw Video Games: Create Unique Characters, Worlds, Levels, and More!
- Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting-Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design
- Designing Creatures and Characters: How to Build an Artist’s Portfolio for Video Games, Film, Animation, and More
- How to Become a Video Game Artist: The Insider’s Guide to Landing a Job in the Gaming World
Best Character Creation Games
If you want to give video game characters drawings a spin, there are a few fantastic games where you make your character. Along with these are regular games that have a tremendous creation element to them. Both of these can better familiarize yourself with how to draw video game characters.
What Game Has the Best Character Creator?
There are also games with fantastic character creators in their own right. The games with the best character creators are:
- Fallout 4
- Mass Effect
- Dragon’s Dogma
- XCOM 2
- WWE Series – Create-A-Wrestler; and
- The Sims franchise
How Do I Create My Own Character?
You can pick up a sketchpad and pencil or log into your favorite game to customize rich video game characterization. Luckily, both choices give the creator a lot of options to choose from.
The Future of Video Game Character Drawing
You can totally start designing and drawing video game characters, keep all of these thoughts in mind. To flesh out your characters better, you can ‘ask’ your character design questions to get to know them better, consult drawing books on Amazon, and check out how to draw characters better.
With the newer generation of systems just around the bend, there is no better time to get your pens, pencil, or drawing tablet out and put your valuable ideas to the canvas.
By drawing video game characters, you not only broaden your horizons, but you contribute to the rich and storied tradition of creating art.