Want to watch this Tutorial?

Check out the about tab below and start learning on CG Cookie today.

Get Started

Focusing on Character and Creature Design

  • Software:Photoshop CS6  ·
  • Difficulty:Beginner

Piper Thibodeau - Piper is an up and coming artist that has a great sense for shape design/language and how to create characters that are insanely cute. She is a passionate artist that can produce quality as well as quantity. Follow her deviant art page for daily updates on a new piece or character design. Her tutorial is laced with humor and gives a great insight on using shape language to tell the viewer more about the character.

In her tutorial, she focuses on character and creature design for the entire process. She starts with a look at influences and how to approach designing stylized creatures and animals versus realism. Then she takes a look at shape design and how that affects the look and feel of your subject matter.


  • Circular shapes and cute appeal. How to achieve it and why this translates as cute.
  • Angular shapes and dangerous appeal. How to achieve it and why it translates as threatening.
  • Square shapes and strength/sturdiness appeal. How to achieve it and why it translates as sturdy


From there she goes into explaining silhouettes, negative space, static vs. dynamic, and expressions! Watch the tutorial to hear her thoughts in it's entirety! Below is her step by step on the process of creating her cerberus pug!

- The Final Cerberus Pug -

ShapeLanguagecerebussteps