One of the most important principles on How to Draw People is:
the Line of Action.
And how do you create a Line of Action?
It's very simple, but a key element to creating a Dynamic Character through Gesture Drawing.
(1) So to start just Imagine a Line that goes through the Character Spine and flows through the Character.
Don't think too much about it, just pay attention to the Person you are Drawing and let the line flow through your Hand. Just try to make a line that Translates the Movement of the Image to you.
Capture the general movement.
"But my lines look too Stiff, and how is this going to help me?"
Don't worry, keep Practising and Loosening up your wrist while you do this, look for different References on the Internet or take a walk and Draw People passing by you.
This will help you Capture the notion of Movement and in turn it will make your Characters look less Static and far more Dynamic.
And How can you Draw People Dynamically?
Now here's a big Tip for you, remember to EXAGGERATE your lines. Yes that's right, you don't have to follow the exact movement as the pose you're referencing. This is specially true if you want to do a more stylized approach or even Cartoony look.
Of course there is an exception to this, if you're trying to do a very Realistic or a 1 to 1 approach while drawing, you might want to keep the lines as close to the original pose as possible.
Focus on the spine going all the way and prolonging to the foot, keep your Archs wide and long!
(2) Now that you've sketched a few Lines of Action, let's go for a general Shape around the figure.
Focus on the flow from the previous Lines and wrap your shape around the character. This will make it far easier to visualize the character.
(3) Once you've got the hang of it, start building up the Body. Use simple Boxes and Shapes to keep adding details your Character, according to the Pose Reference, Flow and the General Shape that you've created before.
Are you having problems with it?
Don't worry, the beginning is usually one of the hardest parts, keep trying and if you're getting stuck just try another Pose or get back to this later on. There is no pressure.
I hope you've enjoyed this post on How to Draw People.
On a future post we will keep going and Cleaning up the lines, until then, keep practising!
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