80 Level Ratings: Best YouTube Channels on Designing 2D Characters

This time we've compiled a list of YouTube channels where you can watch tutorials on how to create original characters in 2D.

2D Animation

1. Olof Storm

Olof is a digital artist and animator based in Austria. Olof has some great tips on creating original characters for 2D animations, from finding your character and exploring it to creating anatomically accurate dynamic movement. Moreover, the creator talks about combining 3D and 2D, designing 3D characters for 2D movies, and finding the right balance between the two formats. Olof also touches upon the process of creating an animated movie and explains how to create backgrounds, props, and VFX in Clip Studio Paint, Adobe Photoshop and After Effects.

2. Saultoons

Liam Saul is a UK-based animator and independent game developer focused on pixel art. Liam talks about the basics of cartoon-style character design for animation, discusses the essentials of creating pixel art characters, and explains how pixel art motion differs from the regular 2D character movement. The artist also has some useful beginner-friendly tutorials on using Aseprite to create pixel art. You can find a few videos on designing environments on Liam Saul's channel as well.

2D Illustration

1. Cosmin Serban

If you are looking for tutorials on 2D character design for illustrations, Cosmin's YouTube channel is a perfect compilation of easy-to-follow tutorials on creating stylized characters. The author mostly uses Adobe Illustrator to demonstrate the basics of 2D character design. Cosmin talks about linework, shading, texturing, stylization, and colorwork and shares some of the essential tips on creating flat 2D characters. The artist also talks about Adobe Illustrator tricks that can help you improve your workflow.

2. Ross Draws

Ross Tran is a US-based illustrator and concept artist whose character design tutorials are one of the most popular ones you can find on YouTube. Ross talks about stylization, mastering the anatomy of 2D characters, finding and creating the right facial expressions, designing clothes, and more. The artist shares great tips on creating original characters and explains the most common mistakes made by character artists. Apart from tutorials, Ross shares some fun challenges designed to improve your creative skills (redesigning famous cartoon characters, turning everyday objects into characters, etc.)

3. Bobbo Andonova

Bobbo is a character designer and illustrator based in Bulgaria. Bobbo's channel is probably one of the youngest ones on the list, but it already has over 100K subscribers who come to watch the artist's tutorials on character design. The illustrator uses Procreate to draw the characters and has some great tips and tricks on optimizing the workflow in this app. Bobbo has detailed tutorials on designing characters' faces and creating different hairstyles, from short straight hair to 4C curls. 

4. Kesh

Keshav Rathnavel is an Indian Artist, Illustrator, and Video Producer. Kesh talks about different methods and levels of designing original characters. The artist talks about the basics of drawing stylized characters and caricature portraits using the knowledge of human anatomy. Kesh also talks about mixing traditional art with digital tools and shares the behind-the-scenes of making 2D animations. Additionally, the creator discusses the issues any artist might experience at a certain point (ah, the good old 'creative block') and gives advice on how to overcome them.

5. Whyt Manga

Odunze Whyte Oguguo is a Nigerian Comic Artist and Manga Creator. Odunze explains the entire process of creating a solid manga piece, from designing original characters and writing their backstory to developing the entire storyline full of mind-blowing twists. The artist talks about the anatomy of stylized 2D characters, focusing on manga-specific methods of drawing faces, bodies, hair, and clothes. Odunze uses both the traditional drawing materials and digital art tools and shares some useful tips on creating characters both on paper and on a computer screen.

6. Marc Brunet

Marc is a US-based Character Artist who creates digital art. The artist's YouTube channel is full of all sorts of tutorials to help you become a confident character artist. Marc talks about the differences between male and female anatomy, explains the basics of proper shading and coloring, and shares some useful tips on designing clothes for the characters. Apart from that, you can find videos on designing backgrounds, props and weapons, and other supporting elements for your character art.

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