Arts & Entertainment

Create Your Own Characters


Lesson time 14:39 min

Futura’s alien-inspired characters have taken his art around the world. Follow along with two character-drawing exercises, and let him show you how to draw characters full of personality.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Give Your Character Personality · Drawing the Pointman · Character Exercise: One Continuous Line · Character Exercise: Connect the Dots


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Another way to communicate with an audience in abstract art is through characters. Simple lines and shapes can be full of personality. So we're going to just walk through here now the creation of a character, how I do it. I always approach it differently. Sometimes I start with a hand. [PAPER RIPS] Sometimes I'll start with the head and the shoulders. Sometimes I'll specifically just start in the middle of the body, and then get to the hand. Once again, there's no mystery other than the fact that I always approach things my own particular way. There is no law. I'll just show you guys quickly. I mean, it's super raw, super, super young. But it's playful. Also, that's the other thing. I guess, essentially, this is a beginning of what we're calling Pointman, although this is FL 001, technically. I try so many different things. And I can say one thing-- I draw and I play with marker and paper and the development of characters a lot more than I actually paint, even more than any graphic application, I would say. So mostly, I'm messing around. You know, once again, there's not a lot of stress. I'm not like, oh my god, this has to be perfect. No, it just has to be fun. And once again, just to show you quickly. Very simple construction. Nothing too crazy. But then technically, once again, it's like, oh, do I want the guy holding a pen in his left hand? Do I want him holding a spray can? Do I want him holding a figure? You know, nothing is established here. It's just me drawing, you drawing, us drawing. And then, basically, after we've worked through the pad, it's kind of like the multiplicity in working on other things. You know, you've knocked out 30, 20. Well, now you can begin to look at them. And it's not like anyone has to be brought to the finishing line just yet. Just go about making your marks, your flow. And then you can always come back and start detailing, start coloring, start masking. A lot of times, I might draw something like this. I might use masking tape to cover the outer elements and spray paint him, or you know. So when I'm drawing specifically just to make new characters or whatever, like I said, I don't worry about much. I just keep going. Eventually, I'll find a guy. It's all about, like, maybe his face or something, a grimace, an expression. And I think that's when you can get into more detailing. So this guy here, he's been sitting around. It's the first guy I did. He's just a hand and an arm. But you know, he's, like, five minutes away from having a little personality. And then you could just begin to just draw all of this out. The heads in this case, my evolutionary guy, the original figure comes from also the early '80s. These newer guys with kind of-- I don't know what you could describe that shape as. But the figures have evolved, and I've probably drawn hundreds, hundreds, and hundreds of them. So for me also, it's not so much that th...

About the Instructor

A pioneering painter and street artist, Futura has exhibited at institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Supreme, and created album art for The Clash. Now he’s teaching you his signature, kinetic approach to abstract art. Learn how to express yourself and paint with color, dimension, and detail. All you need to create art is an idea and a can of spray paint.

Featured MasterClass Instructor


Pioneering abstract graffiti artist, Futura teaches you how to create art with a can of spray paint and an idea.

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