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Designing and Rendering Fantasy Characters in Pencil

with Wayne Barlowe



This demonstration offers aspiring character designers a glimpse into the thoughts and processes of leading film character designer, Wayne Barlowe. With a focus upon the centuries-old traditions of pencil drawing, Wayne discusses the various graphic mediums associated with non-digital drawing. He then takes the viewer through the step-by-step process behind executing a typical character design for feature film, addressing the mind-set behind creating original, thought-provoking designs. Wayne begins his demo with a set of thumbnails, delves into the decision-making process, and then moves on to working up a finished drawing. As he draws, he offers his thoughts on work methodology, character creation and the technical issues of pencil rendering, including the various subtleties of line-work and shading, as well as the materials and their inherent properties. This title is geared towards novice and seasoned artists alike, presenting an introduction into the worlds of concept art and traditional rendering.

Duration: 129 minutes

Format: HD 1920x1080

Wayne Barlowe


Wayne Barlowe is an author and illustrator who has created images for books, films and galleries. After attending Cooper Union, he executed hundreds of paperback book covers for all of the major publishers as well as illustrations for Life, Time and Newsweek. He is the author and illustrator of Expedition, Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials, Barlowe’s Guide to Fantasy, Barlowe’s Inferno, Brushfire: Illuminations from the Inferno, The Alien Life of Wayne Barlowe and An Alphabet of Dinosaurs. His character designs can be seen in Blade 2, Galaxy Quest, Hellboy and Hellboy 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Avatar, The Hobbit and Alien Planet, a Discovery Channel special based on Expedition. He contributed many designs for EA’s Dante’s Inferno. Currently, he is writing the sequel to his first novel, God’s Demon, entitled The Heart of Hell.

  • " Watching Wayne Barlowe draw is an intriguing experience. Wayne sets down the lightest of pencil lines as a guide and then, without hesitation, begins the meticulous process of rendering the most astonishingly detailed pencil drawings. As his preparatory lines are so light as to be practically invisible, watching the drawings materialize is akin to developing black and white prints. They simply appear, as if the pencil was a scalpel, cutting away the paper to reveal the images underneath.For someone like myself, who has not the slightest clue where a drawing is going when he begins, there's something alchemical about Wayne's expertise."

    - John Howe