Typically, characters are equipped with individual features relating to physical appearance, character traits, skills and weaknesses. These features are often exaggerated and combined to enhance another (or occasionally, to stand in contrast).
Character design makes strong use of stereotypes. For example, a superhero character might be given an athletic, muscular body, or a juvenile character might be equipped with attributes of cuteness. Weaknesses and single stereotype-breakers are important as they make a character interesting. For example, the superhero can have a certain phobia, or the beautiful princess can have a cold, selfish heart.
In visual media, the body and face of the character are designed to be convincing in combination, and to express visually whatever makes him or her mentally or emotionally characteristic. Thanks to the use of stereotypes and exaggeration, the audience can tell a lot about a character from their looks. The character will develop fully in the course of the story through their words and actions. The voice and body language are very important character elements in film and animation too.
Characters based on animals will typically show a) humanoid character traits of practically any kind, b) traits that are (stereo)typical of their species. This combination is very popular. For example, Garfield loves to be lazy, sleep, and eat - stereotypes of a fat, pampered house cat.
Character design in spanking fiction
In spanking art, the characters are typically humans, and in most stories and comics it becomes clear soon who will be the spankee and who may be the spanker. The spankee is typically the protagonist of the story.
Spankers are often designed to be strict, strong, and in a high status role where they are in legal charge of the spankee. On the positive side, they can be educated, disciplined, eloquent, authoritative and caring; on the negative side, they can be choleric, aggressive, violent, cruel, or sadistic.