Character Development Series

I love teaching everything that I’ve learn about picture book illustration in my online classes.

Whether you’re thinking about self-publishing, designing a one-off character for a project or illustrating a picture book. My comprehensive classes walk you through every stage in character design.

Preview each class and if you like what you see, sign up using the CLASS LINK button to get one month Skillshare for FREE.

What is Skillshare

I would describe Skillshare as being much like Netflix or Spotify but for online classes. All classes can be viewed anywhere, anytime using a computer, tablet and/or mobile (iOS) phone.

Upgrade to a Premium Membership (billed monthly at around US$12 or annually at US$96). As a Skillshare Premium Member, and you’ll have access to all of my classes as well as over 2,000 other creative classes.

Body Works - Part One Draw a Circus of Character Exploring Body Shape and Proportion

The Art of Bunnies in Books is an Easter illustration celebration exploring the popularity and history of rabbits, hares and bunnies in picture books. From the early The Tortoise and the Hare fable to well-known picture books like The Velveteen Rabbit, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Miffy and more, this class will inspire you with a time-line of illustration styles and techniques. Explore anthropomorphic techniques while trying your hand at illustrating animal-like, human-like and toy-like bunnies. If you enjoy picture books, illustration and bunnies, then this class is a must!
Duration: 1hr

Body Works - Part One Draw a Circus of Character Exploring Body Shape and Proportion

First in a three-part Body Works series and designed for beginners and seasoned artists alike, this class walks you step-by-step through the character design process, guiding you through every aspect of drawing your own set of circus inspired characters. Teaching you the basics in body proportion and shape, this class is the perfect foundation class for any wanting to learn how to draw characters well.
Duration: 1hr

Illustration Masterclass Exploring Technique and Style

This class walks you step-by-step through 8 different illustration techniques and styles. With comprehensive instructions, printouts and a BONUS video showing how to transform your illustrations into a personalised gift card. Choose to illustrate your favourite style or complete the entire series.
Duration: 1hr 31mins

“I’m a huge fan of all Nina Rycroft’s classes and her artwork. Once more, I have to say that this is an awesome class! Nina is a great artist and teacher!” Ve Le Sage

How to Draw the Head from Every Angle Part Three

Learn how to draw your characters head from every angle, while creating valuable reference for any picture book project. Learn how to layer-in facial expression to bring your character to life.
Duration: 20mins

“Another really entertaining and helpful class by Nina. She makes everything look easy, so it can be frustrating when the time comes for me to put pencil to paper or to try and create my model, but it’s fun too. And I know that with practice I’ll improve. Looking forward to more classes from you Nina. Thanks!”  Heather MacDonald

How to Draw the Head from Every Angle Part Two

Second in a three-part-series, this comprehensive class shows how to make a clay polymer model of your characters head. Learn observation, construction and modelling techniques that will have you transforming your two-dimensional character sketches into a three-dimensional form. The model you make in this class is the perfect character reference when working on illustrations for a picture book.
Duration: 30mins

“Another great class from Nina!” Colo Alonso

How to Draw the Head from Every Angle Part One

The first in a three-part series, this class gives you the tools to draw the head from every angle. Learn how to draw the basic structure of the head. Explore the front and side view of a character and learn to draw a characters head rotating.
Duration: 15mins

“I’ve tried quite a few tutorials but had never been shown this kind of approach. It pays to persevere. I found this to be very helpful and will definitely try Nina’s other tutorials on drawing the head.”
Joanna Olson

101 Guide to Illustrating Picture Books

Learn what an illustrator needs to consider before starting work on a picture book. From thumbnail sketches, character design, storyboarding to the final artwork, I use my published titles to visually explain the process that I use to develop illustrations for a story.
Duration: 19mins

“…Nina is really an experienced children storybook illustrator, you can see it on how she provides us with framework of thinking in making a storybook. A very recommended class! Thanks, Nina”
Hanny Agustine

101 Guide to Drawing Eyes

Draw a series of the round, square, rectangular, down-turned, leaf and almond shaped eyes. Explore the shape, size and placement of the eyes on the face and see how this can dramatically change the look of your character.
Duration: 25mins

“I loved this class. I found it very easy to follow along and to draw my own eyes right along with the video.”
Sarah Turner

Emoji Me the Art of Drawing Facial Expression

Learn how to read and then draw the six basic emotions – joy, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust and fear. Branching out from the six basic emotions, discover a wider spectrum of emotional possibilities and see how subtle tweaks to the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth can transform your character’s mood. All levels welcome.
Duration: 23mins

“Loved this class, fun to use your own selfie as a guide! Thanks heaps!”
Lisa Melrose

Face Shapes Explore Character Using 9 Simple Shapes

Explore and draw faces using the kite, heart, rectangle, oval, round, square, teardrop, heptagon and oblong shapes. See how some shapes are more successful than others when trying to depict a specific age, gender or personality type. All levels will enjoy this class.
Duration: 29mins

“Awesome class! Nina is one of my favourite instructors on Skillshare!”
Wendy Nelson

Face Facts a Beginners Guide to Drawing a Self Portrait

Learn the basics in face proportion while drawing a self-portrait.
Learn about the shape, size and placement of the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and ears. Create a framework for your face, adjusting features adding hair and accessories to create true likeness of you. Beginners welcome!

“Very clearly explains some simple, yet effective basics to drawing faces. It has changed my life!”
Zoe Collins