While this may seem basic to others, here are some short pointers. 1. Know character archetype. A certain fantasy archetype follows a particular design. Some may be easily be identifiable, others bypass logic. But for the purposes of this discussion, you might want to try to stick to the general formula until you have mastered all of the visual information of the basic archetypes.
Knight: Heavy Armor+Sword
Wizard: Robe+ Staff/wand
Ranger: Light Armor+ Bowtest your designs! 2. Research culture and timeline. This makes design difficult, and fun at the same time. Learn and research the places and timeline that mainly influenced the fantasy genre, what they wore, how they behaved, how they look, and what makes them unique from the others. While it is nice to incorporate and mixing designs, remember that the design must represent what kind of timeline the character belongs to. Mix but be careful. 3. Establish personality and character. One small extra line in the the shape of the mouth can totally change/alter the look of the character. So it's very important to know what kind of personality your character has. Whatever you put on the head or anything on the face, or any sort of expression will be attributed to your character. Here are a few samples, same attitude (serious knight) but remains different because of some elements used.
a.Veteran Warrior b. Emo Knight? haha c. Twilight Knight? lol!I realized that in the span of time we artists burn hours and hours in drawing, we turn on autopilot, and I think, this is when we are most vulnerable to mistakes. So it's important to plan ahead to have a strong sense of direction. These three simple steps, will help you establish a systematic approach for your designs. Hopefully, it will help you, as it helped me, conserve time, be aware(research!) of design elements all around, and get a better output. While there are many other advanced design tips out there, I hope that these simple steps will help you along the way. Happy drawing! -Jazz Siy