How do you truly KNOW when a character is character-y enough for their personality, appearance, etc? Idk if that made sense, but I'm never satisfied with some characters designs.
I am not sure to be honest I just..uh..know? feel?
I think what always adds to a good character design is the emotions being alive, if that makes sense. And it doesn’t matter what kind of emotion but it has to be vivid and lively. Drawing a character is always hard, because the artist has to UNDERSTAND that character as well. Putting it simple, you don’t take a grumpy grump and drawing him as a ray or sunshine (unless it’s a challenge) - it’s what makes out of character..
I love it when you look at the drawing, and it’s fairly static, but there’s still history to it..something that happens beyond the viewer can imagine. Like, hey, was this character just battling? making a choice? saying some super snarky remark? It always adds to The Character, as well.
I think I said it before, but most of the time whenever an artist draws fanart, say for a cartoon, character with an established design, there are always going to be some twitches because of the artist’s individual style. I have to say it’s quite hard to find the perfect features and that perfect balance between the original design and your own. There are features that tend to represent. say, good characters - mostly roundish, softer, while “bad” characters tend to be drawn in very sharp lines. That’s basic, and not always the case, but there is a tendention. Soo..feeling what feature makes a character who they are is hard and takes experience and some…psychology understanding? feeling? I’m not sure how to say this.
It’s normal to not be satisfied with someone’s design! Sometimes you have to draw the character over and over again, but there has to be little twitches and changes each time. Because if you draw them the same, you’re still not going to be satisfied, because you FEEL that the design is off. For example, you can draw a very kind generous character that in your depiction turns out rather arrogant or angry. Maybe the problem is simply in the wrong angle of brows, maybe the eyes are way too sharp and with eyebrow angle make the character seem angry. Maybe the smile isn’t quite in the eyes. Basically every feature can say A LOT about the character you draw.
Even when you draw “kind” character in an uncommon emotion for them, super angry for example, there’s still a range of that angriness this particular character can feel. uhhh I mean. There should be differences between the angriness of evil character and a kind one..Like, unique emotions help too.
I’m sorry this is so so vague and I know it’s mostly on “I feel” rather than “I understand why this and why that”, but it’s all takes practice, as usual, and always depends on how much you feel the emotions and characteristics of people around you as well. The one thing I can suggest is twitching the designs you’re not satisfied with. It will come! Some characters are just hard to FEEL, or you don’t relate to as much, or you relate to them so much you NEED to make the design perfect, which is hard.
Don’t lose hope, try changing every feature if it makes you finally feel that that’s the right design for that particular character. You can do it! Hope that was at least a tiny bit helpful because I know it’s super vague, sorry for that.