Drawing Myself as a Duolingo Character

This week, I hit a 600-day streak learning Spanish on Duolingo. To mark the occasion, I decided to draw myself as a Duolingo character. I found an image of the Duolingo characters and identified their distinctive characteristics: rounded geometric shapes, unrealistic proportions, large eyes, teardrop noses, bright colors, minimal details, and disembodied feet on a white background. 

Then I used those traits to draw myself in the Duolingo style. This was my first draft. 

After making it, I found this interesting article about Duolingo's illustration guidelines. I went through each category to make any necessary changes to my drawing to bring it in line with Duolingo standards. First, all shapes are supposed to be rounded. Mine are, but the feet and eyebrows aren't rounded enough. Second, there should be a variation in shape, avoiding predictable shapes with similar visual weight. I think I'm ok there. 

Second draft: 

The next category is simplicity. They state that 6 shapes is too abstract, 30 shapes is too many, and 15 is just right. Mine has 16 shapes in the head alone: circle head, rectangle neck, rectangle hair, oval bangs, rectangle eyebrows (x2), circle eye (x2) with circle pupil (x2), circle ears (x2) with circle earrings (x2), teardrop nose, and semicircle mouth. However, the rest of the body only adds another 8 shapes, bringing me to 23. I took off the earrings to bring it to 21. 

Third draft: 

The next category says that all Duolingo characters must be designed with a flat perspective. I'm fine there. I didn't use shadows, so that's ok too. Then we get to color. There is a recommended color palette that I didn't follow, along with suggestions to be playful and vibrant while avoiding using too many colors. The final guideline is about floating accents. I only floated the feet, so I'm fine there. As I was looking closer at the characters, I realized my eyes were wrong. So I fixed those and made a bunch of changes to the colors, bringing me to.... 

Fourth (and final) draft: 

I really like my character! I think she needs a rabbit sidekick...


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