Colour Theory in Character Design

For my Concept Project I had to take a lot into consideration when designing both Wrath and Sloth. Visual Fundamentals are absolutely necessary to consider when designing charcaters because the whole character has to be appealing to the eye but also portray the character’s personality/present them in a way that best expresses their style or energy. For this blog post however I intend to speak about how colour theory was an important aspect of the character design.

Wrath’s character is a rampaging king character who is responsible for massacres and destruction across the land. Because of the intensity of his character it was important that the colours chosen for both his final design and the final scene were very bold and strong to emphasise his angry and powerful characteristics. Red is a colour often associated with Wrath and anger and aggressiveness so I decided from the beginning that Red would need to be included within the colour scheme. When creating his colour scheme I researched some different kinds of colour patterns such as complementary colour palettes and achromatic ones. However I decided that what would be most effective would be a monochromatic colour scheme for him that was focused on red. And while a completely monochromatic design didn’t fit and complete the final design it was a large step in helping me move forward and come up with his final colour palette. For another test of his colour scheme I had tested a colour scheme that used the colours from an image of fire. Fire is associated with Wrath’s character and I thought it would make for an interesting palette. While it still wasn’t the final product it worked hand in hand with the monochromatic palette I had to help me move forward with my design.

For Sloth, after creating her design, I almost immediately new I wanted to use an Achromatic colour scheme for her design. She consists of greys and browns and pastels blues and the one break away from this palette was the darker shades of brown on her dress which were used to emphasise the heaviness of her posture. The Achromatic palette was perfect for emphasising her apathy and drowsiness. The use of neutral colours in her design meant that she wasn’t particularly bold and didn’t have much drawing the eye to her. For her final scene I ended up using colours that had a bit more depth than those that were on her character design so that they would frame her better in the scene and her pale palette would be more highlighted in the finished image!

Colour theory will always be an important aspect of colour design as the colours of the character can give a completely different feeling to it and change the imagery surrounding it. For an example, here are my to character designs with different colours. How different do they look now?

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