After this tutorial, you will have learned the different parts and techniques behind drawing dynamic poses.
What Makes a Pose Stiff?
To understand what makes a pose dynamic, we need to understand what makes a pose stiff. The most common mistake most beginners make is the lack of planning before sketching. Beginners tend to skip the guidelines stage of a drawing as they undervalue their importance. Guidelines are important as they help establish the idea of the drawing as well as being easy to edit, erase, and move. Imagine drawing your final sketch but you need to move the head a bit to the right. A good guideline helps make the drawing process a lot more fluid and easier.
This drawing was created with a lack of planning and guidelines. You can tell because the arms are in uncomfortable positions. My lack of planning resulted in my character having her back completely straight, and having her arms in unrealistic positions. Another way you can tell, the head is very disproportional to the rest of the body. Guidelines are very helpful as they allow you to edit the character's proportions easier and allow you to understand the concept of their pose.
Line of Action
One way to improve your poses are with lines called "Line of action."The line of action is a curved line that establishes more movement, and fluidity in your pose. They are important in creating flow in your art, and the way you use them can also help in creating personality. These lines are the first thing you draw when you're starting an art piece. They define the way your character moves so they're better to create before you draw your pose guideline.
Compared to the previous drawing, this character brings more life and personality to her character instead of just standing straight up.
This is an example of the line of action being drawn before anything else. After that, a head is created to define the proportions for the rest of the body. A simple shape that represents the upper torso is then created. The position of the upper torso is based off of the line of action and follows the flow of the line. The lower torse is created and like the upper torso, it should also follow the curvature of the line of action. Ligaments do not have to follow the line of action as they follow their own (They still are allowed to follow the line of action though). After the guidelines have been created, the layer's opacity was lowered and the actual character was drawn on top.
Shoulder and Hip Lines
As symmetrical as we humans are built, I could not say the same about our poses. Humans like to stand up, sit down, and run in all kinds of forms. Our shoulders and waist are constantly twisting, turning, and leaning so why don't we take that into consideration? Creating two lines that represent the angle of our shoulders and torsos, and angling them differently from each other can create asymmetical posing which will result in much more humanity and life within our character. It's rare for us to have our shoulders and hips to be angled the same. Imagine you had lines that go through your shoulders and hips. If you monitor yourself moving, you will find out that these two lines are rarely parallel.
Application of the Two Techniques
Before drawing, I start to brainstorm about a position I want. Once I get that idea, I begin
to create the line of action and the two shoulder and hip lines. I also create a simple circle
that represents the position of the head.
I lower the opacity of the layer and create a new layer that will have a simple head, the neck, and the upper torso. The torso follows the angle of the shoulder line and the flow of the line of action.
I repeated this step with the lower torso. I made the lower torso follow the angle the hip line and the curvature of the line of action.
I fixed some parts of the torso to better follow the line of action (It's important to fix everything that seems off to you because as the drawing progresses, it gets harder to fix mistakes). I also added some guidelines for the arm positions, drew simple thighs that exaggerated her hip and I created a guideline for the chest. The ligaments do not have to follow the line of action so I decided to make my character hold a gun while resting her hand on her hip.
As I had all of the parts of my guideline, I lowered the opacity of the layer and created a new one that will be my sketch. I added all the character's details like her clothing, face, hair, accessories, and her gun.
Ta-Daa! What a dynamic and intresting character! See how such a simple detail can completely transform your art? I hope this tutorial has helped you understand the concept of lines of actions and the importance of guidelines. Thank you so much for reading.