Drawing Dance and Motion Part 2


So previously on Lissa tried to write a tutorial- I covered basic exercises – and figure drawing techniques. Now we are going to try to elaborate them into something more usable.

Okay so lets go back to our collection of dance sketches.

First thing first is to choose which noodle pose we are going to work with for a full drawing. I picked this strip cause this sort of illustrates how motion LOOKS. Sometimes when you look at split second drawings of something you can tell there’s action but its not exciting.


This is where I start slaughtering animation principles and using their guts for my own ends.  The idea I’m gutting right now is keyframes. Usually this is like important steps in an action.  To show where something is going. In this case, its just the height of an action. The most action-y pose of the lot.




I decide to use the 3rd noodleman for this exercise. Just a quick draw over of this pose which gets us this figure on the right.

It’s fine but- not amazing.  This is technically a fine pose. but a bit stiff and not really as exciting as I want it. (Also this moment frozen in time looks more like he’s flossing than anything. ) So I’m going to fix that.

To start I’m going to take the original pose and take the line of action and work from that.




Line of action is a guideline you can use for drawing a figure. It shows the direction and motion of the pose, using the spine as the main guide. More dynamic the line- more dramatic the pose.


I personally don’t draw these lines too much or when I do I focus more on where the weight in the figure is. but like all tools there’s different times and places for different tools.

Shown dancestreet.2jpgare some figures (drawn from bad stock photos so I wouldn’t get sued for theft)  where the action (shown in pink) is so dynamic that its going contrary to the line of weight.




Anyways – so back to our original example – our dancing man’s line of action is shown with the yellow.  His spine and hip are slightly bent – and his front leg is where all the weight is currently resting.

With that in mind I can exaggerate the rest of the pose to spice things up.  So I lift up his back leg – so its less of a sad shuffle and more jaunty. I also move his arms around a bit more from the original to help add variety to the pose. Also to make it look less like he’s flossing. 

Ta-dah he’s no longer flossing and looks like he’s having a better time.

In the stunning conclusion of this topic- I’ll slaughter more animation ideas and explain how to add more appearance of motion to figures.


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