Develop your character design skills with ImagineFX

Take your digital character design skills to the next level with the latest issue of ImagineFX, which is on sale in the UK today. Inside the pages of issue 168, pro artist Mel Milton shows you the many creative choices he has to make when he crafts a distinctive character. So if your characters are failing to stand out from the crowd, this workshop will show you how to create people that stick in your audience's memory.

Buy issue 168 of ImagineFX here

If you're polishing your character design skills, you'll also want to double down on your figure drawing. In part two of his in-depth workshop, the legendary Patrick J Jones is here to show you how he achieves a dynamic look with his figures. With tips on how to master contrapposto, this is a tutorial you won't want to miss. As well as these expert insights, there's also all the usual news, reviews and reader art that you've come to expect from ImagineFX – make sure you don't miss it!

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Explore what's on offer by taking a peek at the lead features, below.

Learn new skills in character design

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Tighten up your character designs with this expert workshop

Don't you just love the distinctive character design on this issue's cover? We speak to artist behind this frizzy haired wonder, Mel Milton, to discover all of the micro-decisions he made to bring it to life.

Create contrast with just four values

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Believe it or not, there are only four values in this image

You don't need an extensive palette to create striking art. That's the key lesson in this workshop from Mim Yum. With the help of this Photoshop tutorial you'll see how the artist makes the most of four values to create an optical illusion that's full of depth and atmosphere.

Create characterful portraits in ArtRage 5

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Turn your screen into a canvas with this workshop

Looking to add a sense of texture to your digital art? In this portrait workshop by Phil Galloway, you'll learn how to do exactly that in ArtRage 5. With the help of ArtRage's palette knife and custom brushes, you'll discover how to create a choppy painting while adhering to real-world painting techniques.

Meet Magic: The Gathering's Svetlin Velinov

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Velinov has illustrated over 200 Magic cards

Svetlin Velinov's illustrious career as a Magic: The Gathering artist all started with a mysterious email in 2009. Since then he's gone on to become one of the top artists for the hugely popular game. We caught up with him during a rare quiet spell to hear his story and rummage through his portfolio.

Explore Vanessa Lemen's portfolio

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Lemen says painting is like finding a face in clouds

When asked why she decided to pursue a career in painting, the incredible Vanessa Lemen revealed that it was just what she did. In our interview with her, Lemen shares her career so far, how she turns abstract marks into stunning portraits, and the importance of keeping a journal.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.