100 Kids + Painting Tutorial

Inspired by Simona Ceccarelli’s “100 Kids” project, I thought I would challenge myself to explore and experiment with a variety of styles and character designs. So far I am only at No.3 and although I don’t want to spend too much time on each one I want to be able to learn something from each one I do.

Here is a short tutorial for one of the pieces I have created so far:


0 - With no specific design idea in mind I searched pinterest for images of kids in interesting costumes or poses for idea’s. I came across this one which I thought would be simple to illustrate, but also give me a lot of room to redesign it. (I can’t find the link to the photographer’s website, but will update this to link it when I do)

1 - I did a quick 3 minute sketch focusing on getting a more expressive pose whilst keeping the shapes simple and childlike.

2. Refined the initial sketch keeping the brush small and light.

2b. (Bottom Image) I did 6 different color studies to explore my options and see what would work best. I was initially going to choose the blue red and yellow color scheme, but it seemed too obvious and the goal of this project is to explore more so I went with the red and green scheme (these are 2 great complementary colors anyhow). I recommend checking out Simona’s YouTube video about exploring color studies which does a great job of explaining how to do them

3. Blocked in the initial colors with a hard brush (I used a opaque gouche Kyle Webster brush for this and tweaked the setting slightly)

4. Refined the block in and started adding in a color pencil sketch on top to give it a more traditional feel. I used my own brush for this, but it is simple to make (it’s a splatter brush with an oil painting texture overlay on from) and Will Terry has a great video about making your own brushes.

5. Further refinement and added in a blue light to the left side of the character to give him more form.

….and that’s about it. I wanted to avoid spending too much time on the painting too keep it loose and stylised and managed to complete the whole thing in around 2-3 hours. If you are doing a similar project I would love to hear about it and I will add your link to this post so that others can see them too!