Last week I reviewed Body-Kun models for artists and as promised this week I’ll be showing you how to use them. As I’ve been experimenting with children’s book illustration lately I’ll be creating a character in this style.

The instructions that come with some Body-Kun sets show one way to use the sets but I like to use them just as direct references. You can take a photo using your phone then upload it to Photoshop and go from there (there are plenty of videos on youtube showing this) but I’ll be showing you how to develop a character in a more traditional way.

Start off by getting your model in to your desired pose. Body-Kun dolls are just the right size to be used with dolls house furniture, so you can use props. You can use the stand if you’re using a flying or standing pose, but as mine was able to balance on its own I didn’t use it.

NB: Apologies in advance for the not so great lighting!

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Once you have a pose you’re happy with, place the doll at the right height depending on what perspective you want. I wanted mine straight-on, so placed it at eye level.

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This is your reference, so now you just start drawing! Don’t worry about clothing etc at this stage, just draw what you see. Below I’ll show you the steps I went through.

 

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Once you’ve finished drawing out the basic shape, make your lines more fluid. I think that when it comes to children’s illustration the lines are much more soft, less angular. I’ve just drawn some guidelines on the face, though with children’s illustration characters don’t have to adhere to any real measurement rules.

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Once you’ve smoothed off your silhouette, rub out the inner lines and begin drawing in your clothes. I’ve decided my character will be a gardener.

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Keep adjusting as you go along until you’re happy with the shape and how the clothes sit.

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Once you’re happy with your body/clothes you can add your face and hair. Don’t forget to rub out the inner lines.

 

 

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Once you’re finished with the drawing stage you can begin to add colour. I decided to outline mine with fine liner first.

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