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Character Concept Design [expanded!]

Learn how to design characters for games and film!

Skill Level: Intermediate

Duration: 8 weeks

Begins: Oct. 3rd, 2023

Lessons: Recorded lessons with live feedback
Price: $695

Instructor: Diana Cearley



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Those who want to...


  • Build skills to create characters for games and film

  • Learn industry-standard workflow for character concepts

  • Effectively use references to improve their characters

  • Create new images for your gallery

  • Improve faster with tailored feedback from a professional


In this expanded class you’ll step into the role of being a character concept designer at Swatches Studio where you’ll be presented two different (fictional) game projects. Each project comes with its own style guide and character description lists to choose from then progress the concept a week at a time following the “client’s” requests, with professional guidance of course. The class is full of example images, demonstrations, annotations, and chances to ask questions.This class is streamlined to teach you how to design full-body character concepts for games and film as efficiently as possible while giving you a glimpse into the career of being a designer. You'll be taken through a professional workflow from sketching and gathering references to finishing the image and layout presentation.

This class has been updated with expanded teaching on anatomy, improved example images and annotations, teaching on fabric and folds, project style guides and descriptions, and more!

Diana brings her extensive experience teaching character design at Syn Studio Concept Art School with live teaching, demonstrations, paint-alongs, and personalized feedback on your assignments. This class will focus on human characters for an existing I.P. in the genre of your choice.


Tuesdays 7pm - 9:30pm

Oct. 3rd - Dec. 5th (no class Nov. 7th)

Live sessions prior to Oct. 29th are in GMT+1 time zone, later sessions are in GMT. The first recorded lesson will be delivered Oct. 3rd, and the first live homework review session is the following week on Oct. 10th.


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Catch the recorded 1-1.5hr teaching in the class Vimeo showcase. Review the slides PDF information and homework assignments.



Complete the provided assignments then upload no later than 12 hours before the next class. Allot 15 hours per week to complete the homework to reach a satisfactory level.



The instructor will review your homework during the following week's live Zoom session. Feedback may include a drawover, paintover, or discussion.



Diana has created concept art and illustrations for various video game, comic book, tabletop and publishing clients including Hex Entertainment, Aethera RPG and has also been featured in ImagineFX, Infected by Art, and is an illustrator for Magic: The Gathering. Diana has previously served as an instructor of digital painting, life drawing, character design, as well as the Director of Studies at Syn Studio Concept Art School.

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Co-Founder and Senior Instructor


This class is designed to build necessary skills for those aiming to be professional concept artists. As such, this class will require moderate intensity and focus from the student to complete. The teaching and skills being taught will only be gained with hours of intentional practice on the homework assignments and following the processes that will be exampled. Serious art students should find the class and homework enjoyable, educational, and challenging. Hobbyists are welcome but they will likely find the homework assignments more intensive and regimented than they are used to.


This class is intermediate difficulty, meaning that students should already have foundational drawing skills and knowledge of basic shading, as they will not be covered. This class will focus on design which is an advanced skill and not suitable for beginners. Students should have experience with digital painting prior to class. Note, Diana will be using Photoshop but you may use the art program of your choice. For a guide of the tiers, go here: Tier Examples

If you are unsure if you have the skill necessary for this class, please contact Diana at and include a link to your online gallery, and we will let you know.


Students will also receive access to a variety of resources and upcoming events!

DISCORD: You will have access to two private class Discord rooms on the Swatches server ( where you can socialize with your classmates whether through messages and images or video chat.

PDFs: In addition to the recorded lessons, every week you'll also receive a PDF copy of the class presentation for future referencing and saving.

PORTFOLIOS: Receive free access to two upcoming live presentation on portfolios: Concept Art Portfolio (Dec. 12th) and Illustration Portfolio (Dec. 14th). For Concept Art Portfolio you'll join Diana Cearley for a presentation where she'll address a variety of topics on building a concept art portfolio including choosing a direction when you're starting out, personal artwork vs professional artwork, what to do if you aren't finding work, and practical info on types of files to use and how many images to include.

For Illustration Portfolio you'll join Clint Cearley as he addresses common issues on building an illustration portfolio such as what skill level you should be at before looking for work, how to build a starter portfolio that can get you work earlier than most, what kind of images should and shouldn't be included.

CAREER: Students who complete their assignments on time and finish the class (whether joining live or absent), will be invited to attend a bonus Career Discussion (Dec. 10th) with Clint and Diana Cearley. This will be a practical and candid discussion on making a living as an illustrator and concept artist in the today's industry. Topics such as income, finding clients, and pitfalls to avoid, will be covered. Questions will be welcomed.

FAQ: Read the most frequently asked questions about classes here.


Student work created in this class:



Time: Based on student feedback, this class requires an average of 10-15hrs per week to accomplish the homework to a satisfactory level.


Subjects: The homework assignments are subject to change from term to term in order to keep things fresh and interesting. You may not practice the exact same exercises you see in the student gallery.


Discord: Every student will have access to their classes' private Discord room where they can chat with classmates, share images, and see relevant class updates from your instructor.


Setup: Students will need HD video streaming speed internet, Adobe Photoshop (or similar digital painting program), and a drawing pad and stylus (like Wacom or Gaomon). A microphone and webcam are also recommended if students plan on joining the Zoom lessons live.

"Clint and Diana's feedback is very objective and professional, yet very kind and friendly that not only makes you push yourself and your skills beyond what you think you could do, but also makes you feel good and encouraged to work while receiving feedback. I can see a noticeable leap in my skills before and after their class, and I'm more than grateful for that."

-Student feedback for Fantasy Illustration

"Industry professionals who will meet you at eye level and will take the time to answer any question, provide their knowledge and an industry proven workflow which will give you any tools you need to complete the course with portfolio ready illustrations. What do you want more?!"

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