Drawing Dance and Motion Part 1


I asked for suggestions on what I should try to do a tutorial on, and this was a suggestion. So I’m going to give this a shot.  Now this is a more advanced level tutorial, so I’m not going to say much, if any, about basics of anatomy or principles.

Also please forgive cause I’m going to bastardize some concepts from animation as we go. I also intended to make this one long tutorial but after writing this I realized schedule wise it might be better for me to do this in parts. So forgive if this part is more of a “well duh” than anything. 

How to start this? Well I suppose we start like one starts all art – a blood sacrifice -through observation and study of what you are intending to draw. Also a lot of practice.

I for a while felt my figure posing was stiff and limited so I did a lot of warm up sketches and studies of dancers for a while.


A concept I learned early on, when I started learning to draw that has stuck with me is; drawing a little random figure dude. 

The figure can be You – Nobody  – Kratos the God of War – I’ve heard someone describe it as SpiderMan which feels most on point really.

Just a figure – that you can draw in various situations and poses without getting lost in details or context.

Focus on a few geographic points to keep track of, but the idea is to keep this dude loose and fluid.  So don’t get hung up with bones, joints, muscles, clothes etc. That’s not the point of this exercise. We are here for motion.


Now for the Motion:

It doesn’t have to be a fancy or great video you are starting from. This is for practice so you can use anything – movies -musicals – tv clips – or This Guy.  I happen to be fond of this channel and have used it a lot in the past.

To get the poses – I watched the vid and paused it at intervals and scribbled the pose down and turned it back on to get the next step. In this case I’m focusing a lot more on his foot work, and angle thereof than his arms.


There’s no right or wrong way to do this. This is just for learning or practice – you don’t have to save these or share them with anyone. So feel free to have fun with this. If you really have issues with the poses – tracing is fine to get used to the placement of things.

My main takeaway from these sort of studies when I started doing them is – people move in a lot of ways that are different than you really expect. Well not expect per say but more – think of.  The whole body moves – the tilt of the hips and spine not just the arms and legs.  Each part of a pose leads into the other. Sometimes when getting too buried in a sketch its hard to remember this.



Okay so now you’ve gotten to draw some happy (or miserable – I don’t judge) noodle figures. While this is fun – these little drawings have no bones, muscles, clothes or life goals – it’s time to add a bit more and see what we can do with this.

I’ll continue this in Part 2 – when we get to talking about weight distribution – and lines of action. Forgive me anyone who is familiar with the animation terms I’m going to slaughter.


To support this and other works of mine you can find me on:


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