Hey Bob, I was wondering, what shapes do you generally use in your basic construction of your characters? For drawing heads, faces, bodies ect. I tend to keep drawing a variation of the same guy over and over. Are there any exercises or tips to break this habit?
Shapes on character designs are all about caricature really. The more you know about anatomy and the human body the more you can apply that to a design. Then it's about exaggeration, simplification, and design, balance and style.
Practice your caricatures! Set up a stand at the beach and draw $5 caricatures all summer. I used to set up at bars and draw drunks all night for free food and drinks. Made lotsa cash that way too (and met a few girls too). I Worked at amusement parks, traveled all over the US and Canada doing caricatures at rodeos, fairs, birthday parties, you name it. Draw your friends. It's fun and you can piss them off and have a laff at their expense! Where ever I work I always draw all of my co-workers. Then it becomes a competition. Oneupsmanship! After drawing a guy a half dozen or more times you start to work up a formula. There's nothing better than being able to draw somebody from memory. This is especially valuable if you have a cruel sense of humor. Then without realizing it VIOLA! You can draw lots of different character types right out of your pointed little head!