Working on character development is like making new friends. You spend time getting to know more about them and what makes them tick. What are their interests? What makes them laugh, cry? Of course there’s very often the influence of physical appearance that determines whether one is drawn to a character or not.
Author Tom Pawlik makes mention of the appearance factor in his conversation on The 9 Ingredients of Character Development. In his clever acrostic: CHARACTER he notes that Appearance: is one of the lesser ingredients in character building, which is probably more relevant in writing for MG, YA and older. He points to the fact, in similar language, that there are more frogs and toads out there than princes and princesses. Which is not a bad thing, as it is those who have faced adversity that make the more interesting characters, and often the more endearing.
In children’s stories I think it is a little more important to consider the character’s appearance. Is the character familiar enough to let the reader see themselves in it. Depending on what kind of character is being portrayed, does it look like someone a person would like to cozy up to, be buddies with, or keep a safe distance from.
The watercolor and colored pencil character study that I’m posting is of two buddies who don’t have a lot in common, but are always there for one another.
That can be one of the best qualities a character can have.