Reece the Raccoon – Character Design

raccoon illustration laying down

Hey everyone!

Last week I introduced my newest character: Reece the Raccoon!

I’m currently drafting and sketching an illustrated children’s book starring this little guy, and I wanted to update everyone with part of the process.

A big part of illustrating a book is designing characters. I’ve drawn Reece a few times now, in different ways and with different techniques, and I finally feel like I’m honing in on his overall design.

Photo Dec 10, 3 09 34 PMMy first design for Reece was much more painterly. It was adorable, of course, but it made him look more like a baby raccoon, one that might want to stay in the tree or with mom. I also wanted something a little more detailed, to help stand out against any background.


raccoon illustration holiday lights


Next was the holiday light illustration that I did, with Reece in mind. This version of him was much more cartoon-y, with his overly large head and exaggerated features. While there was more personality, it still didn’t feel quite right.



Photo Dec 10, 2 51 19 PM


So, I started to play around with different angles, and different levels of detail. I tried to keep a similar proportion, and kept the same amount of rings on his tail each time. I felt closer to what I envisioned for this character, but I wasn’t quite there yet.


Photo Dec 10, 2 51 05 PM



Finally, I decided on somewhere between realistic proportions and cartoonish exaggeration, and landed on the character design I’ll be using going forward!



My next steps for Reece’s story are to finish up the writing and editing, and continue working on the illustrations! For updates, be sure to follow me on Instagram.

Until next time,
Sarah A. Chase


Published by Dani Chase

Writer & Artist

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