Pro-Tip #2 comes from the drawing board of character designer and animation artist Nate Gaul. When designing a character it is important to understand visual language.  An ideal way to accomplish this is to gather reference images. For an example let's pretend I have been tasked with designing an elderly reptilian merchant who loves to eat mice.  I would want to make sure I am familiar with the necessary visual language.  What do merchants look like?  What makes someone look old?  What makes a reptile look like a reptile?  What do mice look like? The goal isn't to copy aspects from the reference exactly but to familiarize yourself with the imagery which will convey the proper information to the viewer. Sometimes it helps to sketch the reference images before beginning to sketch the character as seen in the ant eater images.   Nathan Gaul is an Ontario born artist who has trained in animation (2d and 3d) and design.  Nathan successfully completed the Animation Portfolio Workshop, studied animation program at Seneca Animation Arts Centre and then at Schoolism.  In addition to his experience in the television animation industry as a flash animator and character designer, he has recently been working as a 3d generalist in the video game industry.  After working as the Art Director at Dark Matter Entertainment in Toronto Ontario, and developing "World of Trinketz" a massive multiplayer game launched on Facebook in late December 2012, Nate continues his work as a 2D artist at Dramaforum OY in Vancouver BC.   Contest Rules