What's the way to creating my own characters without learning how to draw?

I want to create my own characters which means reference images, but I don’t know how to draw to draw these reference images. How can I create my own character without learning how to draw?
Thank you!

why don’t you want to learn how to draw? drawing is a lot of fun! :slight_smile: it will help you a lot.

you could also just model your characters on the fly from your imagination but i don’t think there are that many modelers who get good results that way.

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You can use concepts from other creators (ask them please) or recreate your favorite characters first to practice. Using websites like artbreeder to sort of create your own concept can help too. Or commission a concept artist to make you one.


You have it backwards.
You don’t NEED to be able to draw in order to create your own character. In this context drawing is just the process of manifesting your idea/imagination into a media just like modelling/sculpting is.
You need to be able to be creative in the purest sense, you have to have an idea and you have to be able to imagine it.
No amount of ability to manifest (into any media) will help you if you lack ideas and the necessary imagination. That is what you need to work on, not the practical ability of manifesting.
If you lack imagination then you have to use workarounds.
Get references of as much characters as possible with a wide range of features.
Look at them, study them and then try to synthesize from what you see.
You want this kind of body type, with this kind of head shape, with this kind of nose and this kind of eyes, etc…?
If narrowing down your desired character features into a selection of images you can draw from isn’t enough, you might want to use photoshop or gimp and create a very crude collage of things.
Just cut out pieces of images and throw them together into an frankenstein kind of monster.
Seeing those features together might do the trick - if it doesn’t, I fear you problems to imagine are more fundamental and you need to put some serious effort into this in order get this ability.

That is wrong. Think about it, modelling/sculpting from imagination is exactly the same mental process as drawing from imagination. The only difference is the transformation of the imagination, the source is the same.
The only reason people prefer drawing is because it is much faster and drawing can be done quasi unconsciously (without thinking about the technicality of the drawing process).
Thinking and being aware of the technicalities of creating in 3D gets in the way of the flow and many people try to avoid that in order to concentrate purely on the ideas instead.


Thank you for taking the time to write this!

No problem. Good luck to you and keep on pushing. If there is a will, there is a way.
And there are many other ways too. Have you thought of downloading and using DAZ3D or any other character creation program?
You could use it to get a rough idea down pretty fast and then go from there. Sculpting and deforming an mesh that has all the features in place is much easier than starting from scratch.
i don’t know why this idea just came into my head now, its quite obvious and more effective than doing a 2D collage.

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I haven’t heard of this software.
“If there is a will, there is a way.” Thanks! That’s right!

that’s what i meant though. this manifestation you are talking about works much quicker with a pencil on paper than with 3d mesh modeling tools (or even a photoshop collage). a bit of an exception maybe is sculpting but i would almost count sculpting as drawing. :slight_smile: if you are good at sculpting then probably you are also good at drawing.

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Most sculptors are not good at drawing and proportions despite what other artists think. Yanal Sosak even have a video about that. This is because drawing is 2D while sculpting is 3D

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This is the link for the video if you’re interested in checking it:

thanks for the video! it brings up some good points.

hm… for me the biggest difference is that with sculpting you can push around and correct stuff until it looks right. with a pencil on paper this only works to a certain degree. your brain has to do more pre-visualization. :slight_smile:

still… in my experience people who are good at drawing are better and quicker modelers.

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I read some art book once (seemed old, because Art and Nature always started with capital letters), where the author expressed an idea that everyone should be able to draw. Not necessarily paint masterpieces but at least be able to get a point across. As in: it should be a common motor skill like handwriting.
Drawing a concept reference for design purposes shouldn’t be treated the same as drawing a finished artwork. As I understand, it’s a form of taking notes really. It has to make sense to the modeler not look pretty (which is a welcome bonus nevertheless).

It can be pretty much the same in digital drawing/painting though: just paint over and over (until you can’t tell good drawing from bad anymore =D)

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yes! i know many people who say they can’t draw but they expect to draw like michelangelo or something. :slight_smile: with some practice they actually wouldn’t be that bad and it would help them a lot.

i meant digital sculpting (and maybe sculpting with clay). :slight_smile:

but with something like mount rushmore… they took the exact dimensions from smaller models and then the workers (no artists but miners!) copied the scaled up dimensions.

Physical media like stone though has no undo button, no mirror mode, no autosave/file saving, no brushes, ect… There is a reason why the concept of the ‘happy accident’ and rolling with it is a thing.

I would guess a lot of digital artists would deeply miss things like file saving and undo if they worked with paint or clay. Not having those things would feel even more dreadful with a medium that is a purely subtractive process like wood and stone (at least if the final result is to be from a single block).

Yes. I heard that “David” was supposed to be an elephant. :upside_down_face:


A similar aproach has been used by many artists over hundreds of years, especialy during studies.

Take your reference image and place a square grid on it. Then you can translate that grid onto you “canvas” and it will help to give your drawing the correct proportions.

Before the days of photographs artists constructed physical grids with a mark and string for the grid lines to place in front of the subject.

Leonardo da Vinci has drawings on grids and “construction lines”.

A simplified version of this is to hold your thumb up!

For the OP when you practice sculpting you are also practising drawing in a way and vice versa.