Welcome to CSP Monthly Tips for August 2021! I'm UbeSphere or Rem, and this tip is about how to draw a variety of poses. If you would like, I've made a handy video of this exact article and posted it here:
I will start out by explaining how to use CSPs 3D models before explaining how I use reference photos. Throughout the article, I will also be giving tips on how to personalize the references you'll use while still maintaining good and natural anatomy. But first, we will start off with some basics!
Basics of the Body
The first rule of drawing anything is simplification! And the way I typically simplify the human body is by drawing it as a line with a circle for the head, a rectangle for the chest, and a triangle for the hips. These are the main anchors for all other features!
With this, we can draw a variety of poses more easily when we identify where these anchors are in the pose.
So let's add some dimension to this simple figure.
Now that these shapes have volume, we can call them forms!
This helps us position every part of the body in space, and gives us more posing possibilities! Be sure if you're thinking of all the body parts in terms of form so the pose and drawing don't look flat.
Another angle variation that can help our posing is perspective! With this, we can decide if we're looking from above or below and even exaggerate our pose. If you want you can play around with CSP's Edit tab and go to Transform> Free Transform/Perspective.
If you'd rather do so manually make a point in space beside the character and make sure all horizontal lines are converging to that point like so:
You can also make a point above or below the character and make sure all the vertical lines converge to that point. With certain points, you can even do both!
Note: with perspective and form, it is extremely important that you know where exactly to connect your forms and let them overlap. Keep practicing your figure drawings and croquis to get a firm grasp of these concepts.
With that, we can move on to using references!
Using Clip Studio's 3D Models
By going to the Clip Studio Assets Store and filter searching for Type>Pose, you will be able to view a variety of user-made poses. Click on one for the option to download it.
After leaving the asset store, open Clip Studio Paint, and at the top of the window find Window>Material>[Material]All Materials. Then in the folders tab find Download at the very bottom. Once selected, use the tag panel to select Pose. (You may have to wait or redownload depending on if you downloaded several poses at once).
Typically, users just need to drag their pose onto the canvas for it to appear, but for the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using Clip Studio Modeler since my Paint is having a technical difficulty I am unable to solve right now.
For the ease of users and layer management, Clip Studio automatically creates an object layer for the model. In this layer, you will be able to adjust the model and the view of the camera. To start drawing again, create a new layer or select the one you were previously working on.
Some artists will draw directly on top of the model, but I avoid doing this since I find that the result lacks a sense of life, gesture, and personality/variation. Therefore, I will use the model as a reference instead and use the techniques from the first section to draw something resembling the model.
Viola! Simple and easy. Keep in mind that you can even change the pose slightly since you won't have to worry about positioning all the other parts of the body.
But what if you want a reference that you can't find on the assets store? Changing the model becomes awkward and difficult, leading to weird anatomy? Or do you find a really great reference photo online? If you're like me and you don't have the patience for 3d models? Next, I'll be guiding users through using photos as references!
Using Photo Reference!
For this portion of the article, I will be using my own artwork as an example! That's right, you aren't limited to only photos as reference, you can use other art that you like as an example!
But the problem with these photo references is that the angle and pose are someone else's intellectual property whether you are taking from a photo or artwork. Unless they are stock photos, the creators of those references didn't give you permission to copy their work.
BUT that doesn't mean that it can't heavily inspire you.
After all, there are only so many different natural-looking poses someone can, for example, hold a baseball bat in. And maybe that is the exact pose to give your drawing the feeling you're looking for. But the problem is we can't rotate the angle of the pose like we can in the modeler. Or can we?
So let's look at how we can use a photo to pose our drawings!
First, after finding the photo you are planning on using, import it into Paint through File>Import>Image.
Next, position the image in a corner so that you are able to see the blank canvas and the image. Lower the opacity of the image object layer that Clip Studio Paint created for the imported image. Make a new layer above that layer so that you will be able to draw on top of the image.
Now that you have that prepared, we can get to work!
On top of the image you chose, draw the basic anchors of the body that were shown in Section 1 of this article. It is important to draw the forms instead of the shapes so that we can think about them in space.
If it makes the process easier, you may also want to draw the points where the horizontal or vertical lines converge. This will make the next step more manageable.
(I simply drew the pose on the canvas since I used a window of the original file.)
Now on the bare canvas, we will draw the same anchors BUT we will change the viewing angle.
If you look at a cube from the front and then from 3/4s , the cube itself isn't changing, but it'll look different.
People think about this process in different ways, but I like to imagine I'm in the photo and that I move where I'm standing so I can view the character from a different side. Nothing about the pose is changing except my view of it. This includes any forms or converging lines.
Now, we will draw the simple forms of the body parts over the image and then take time to place that part of the body onto your drawing. Remember what I mentioned above and that these forms may overlap now that you are looking from a new angle.
One at a time, keep adding those forms onto your drawing. You can even change some of those forms to fit what you intend to draw.
After that is complete, lower the opacity of that layer, and make a new layer on top. This will act as a model for your drawing! You can trace it, or if it looks too stiff, use it as a clearer reference or your intentions and draw the pose beside it.
End Results and Final Comments!
And those were my tips for drawing poses!
I tried my best to simplify the things I find important, so this article may have been more of a lesson in perspective and gesture more than anything, but I do find it super handy to use these things when it comes to posing in my art.
If you found this article helpful or have any questions or just wanna link me to the results of your posing practice, feel free to comment and I'll reply ASAP!
Thanks so much for reading and good luck on the art!