Here are the five phases from The Silver Way book:
Phase 1: Story:
Learn as much as your character and his or her story and world as possible - including what motivates your character and what effect you want the character to have on the viewer.
When designing a character you might get a short one-line description such as this:
"SALTY STAGWATER, A 60 YEAR OLD BURLY LONGSHOREMAN WALKS IN THE CANTINA. HE'S A MOODY GUY WHO HAS VERY LITTLE PATIENCE FOR ANYONE."
So remember the questionnaire from the earlier post? Fill them in before starting this process so you know who your character is.
Phase 2: Gesture:
Based on the character's profile, create a gesture or feeling that tells a story and gives a sense of the characters attitude. It comes down to depicting movement even though your character may be standing still.
GESTURE GIVES ART LIFE.
Is your character sitting because s/he is tired? Or Hurt? FIND THAT GESTURE!
The Thumb-nailing process:
CLARITY AND VARIATION OF THE BODY PARTS: HEAD, TORSO, LEGS
Phase 3: Design:
Develop the right ingredients for the design starting with pushing shapes around in order to determine the ideal organization that represents the character. Also start to design the character's clothing, hairstyle and accessories.
In this DESIGN stage - start playing with different thumbnails and take them though to a rough representation.
A rough character lineup:
Here are some ideas:
Break shapes into a simple shape mass. This gives a clear sense of proportion and variation.
Use the head as a measuring device to help determine your character's general height and width.
Costume Changes and Special Poses: