Instructed Fundamentals of Character Design Course

With Stephen Silver

Includes one on one live critique meetups weekly


"I just want to say that these 8 weeks have been really informative. I've learned so many things from you about the way I've been making my art, and how I can improve upon that. Thanks to you, I now have a sharper eye to look out for parallels and evenly spaced details (ladders) and to add more angles and dynamic features. Thank you so much for your insight these past two months. " Jon Leslie


Course Focus: 

You will work through developing a set of characters based off a character description that I will guide you in creating from start to finish.

ENROLL NOW - JUNE 5th through JULY 24th 2023

10 + HOURS



Fundamentals of Character Design with Stephen Silver


Welcome to the SDA Character Design Course. This course was originally developed back in 2005 where it was the training ground into Character Design for thousands of students over a 15 year period. Many of the course students went on to have great careers and some are now leading designers in the animation industry.

A prolific and noted artist in the animation industry, Stephen Silver is known for his distinctive and unique designs, and for his work on "Kim Possible", "Danny Phantom", "Clerks - The Animated Series" and many other franchises. Among his clients are Disney, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures and many more.

As a character designer, you will be responsible for exploring new ideas through characters. Your role as a designer will be to create major and incidental characters for animated television, feature films, video games, and the like, as well as creating characters for your own intellectual properties.

Throughout this course, Stephen will share the creative process of drawing that he goes through and his personal techniques for producing successful character designs. You will learn to understand clarity and shape variation, as well as many other important principles and elements of design.

In his lectures, Stephen will provide you with a better understanding of the drawing and design process, and give you tools with which to constantly improve your skills. This 8-lecture course will build your confidence in drawing while inspiring you with new ideas that will help you grow continuously.


Instructor: Stephen Silver


• Weekly live one on one Skype meetup with Stephen to go over your assignments. (not a group meetup)

• Each week you will be given an assignment which you have 7 days to complete.

• You will gain access to the following weeks lesson each Monday, this way you don't jump ahead to quickly.

• This course lasts 8 weeks and you will have a total of 5 months in order to watch and rewatch the lessons.

• Recorded video critiques.

• You will have access to the SDA community where you are welcomed to share your work and also get the link to the weekly Zoom meetups I do with Academy members.

Cost $998

ENROLL NOW - JUNE 5th through JULY 24th 2023

What You'll Learn

Instructor- Led 8 Week Course

The 8 week course was created while I was in the thick of designing for the studios as an in house artist and has trained hundreds of artists many of which are now working in the industry. It is a separate program from the monthly streaming lessons with longer form videos and is guided all the way through. It's a course designed to walk you through the Character Design pipeline process to mimic what you would do in an animation studio environment as I had done for many years.  

  • Develop characters from start to finish
  • Developing concept ideas
  • Caricature
  • Drawing features
  • Clean up
  • Turnarounds
  • Posing characters
  • Expressions
  • Bonus assignments
  • Portfolio worthy artwork


"Taking a course with Stephen on character design changed the way I approached drawing characters. He taught me so much about the art of caricature which is the foundation for my design work. Stephen gave me the tools to improve my drawings, lessons that I still use to this day. He supported my tastes and instincts - never imposing a drawing style onto my work, but taking what I had and elevating it. I'll always point to my time with Stephen as an eye-opening breakthrough for how I design, you will not find a more passionate artist in the industry!"

Bobby Pontillas

Oscar and Annie award nominated Director and Character Designer.

Student Testimonials

• Watch the lessons

• Do the assignments

• Meet up with Stephen each week for the personal 1 on 1 live sessions to review homework



Your week one assignment is based off a character description I give you.

Your week eight assignment is for you to redesign your first assignment and see how you can improve it based off the lessons learned.

Left side - Before

Right Side - After

Stephen Silver Designs