Learning To Draw Dynamic Poses

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.6 instructor rating • 13 courses • 667,958 students

Lecture description

Draw dynamic poses is incredibly important to drawing interesting memorable characters. In this lecture you will learn what makes a dynamic pose and how to draw them. Dynamic poses will add life and personality to your characters.

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The Ultimate Character Design School - Beginner to Advanced

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23:57:12 of on-demand video • Updated December 2019

  • How to design unforgettable characters
  • How to draw character body and poses
  • How to draw different styles of characters
English [Auto] In this lecture, we're going to be learning about dynamic poses and what makes a pose dynamic. So typically when you're drawing a character, you want your poses to be dynamic. And we kind of covered some things about dynamics in poses. And if you remember really early in this course, we talked about how dynamics are just basically constant change throughout you're drawing. The definition of dynamics is constant change. And so that means that we want to do things like have contrast, we want things to be contrasting, and we also want things to be curving and have movement to him. And that's really what Dynamics is, is it's where you just kind of give a curve and a direction to every part of your form. So let's break it down into a few different categories. So the first thing is dynamic lines. The next thing is dynamic shapes. Next is going to be dynamic forms, so you can see that we're just kind of breaking it down. And to the three basic building blocks of drawing. And all of these you want to have dynamics built into them. And then lastly is going to be dynamic. Access's there we go. So those are the four dynamic lines, dynamic shapes, dynamic form and dynamic axis. So let's go ahead and let's start by talking about the line. So we've kind of already covered all this, but I really just want to break it down and really show you and train you on how to identify dynamic pose and how to make your poses look dynamic. So first off is the line. So line could be the line of action. We can have a dynamic line of action. So if you remember straight line that is not dynamic, a dynamic line of action would be something like an S curve. Or it can be even more complicated than that, maybe it could be something like this. Right. You can have all kinds of different dynamic poses, you can just have one curve like this. So any type of curving line is going to be good for a dynamic pose. Sometimes you can even have C shape, line of actions. And so that's just a line of action. But then when it goes into the actual body form, we want the lines that make up each part of the body to be part of the dynamic. So if we're drawing somebody's gesture, for example, we can draw the shoulders curve like this. You can draw this arm. Actually, it will draw this arm curved out like this or we'll have in like this and then curve out like that. And then we can do the same thing for this side. So have this arm curve out like this and a curve forward like that. And then for the legs, we have one leg kind of come out like this, just kind of follow what we got going on here and then maybe the other leg can kind of. Come out like that, right? So there's just a super simple gesture, it's basically a stick figure made up of lines. So you can see that basically each line has a nice dynamic to it because it is curving, it's changing. It's not just a straight line because imagine what this would look like if we just use straight lines. The cow static and boring, that is, but use all these curved lines, it gets much, much more interesting. So we got a curve going like this and the next curve goes like that and it's a constant changing curve. Right. All right, so lying is the first one next is going to be shaped. So an example of where shapes can be dynamic is, let's say, in the arm, for example. So we have these kind of curves going on in the lines here. And let's just kind of apply that to the arms. So let's say that we start off with the shoulder like this. And then we have the bicep come off, so the biceps is going to be kind of a rectangular shape, but we're going to make it dynamic by curving it. Like that, we can go ahead and do the forearm and this will be kind of a trapezoid that is tapered towards the bottom and curves a little bit. We could do the hand, maybe the hand is kind of sticking out very stiff like that. We can see that just with the shapes we get this dynamic and the way we got this dynamic is by kind of following our line of action through the arm. So the line of action to the arm is basically traveling through like this, right? Other places where we could have dynamics in the shape is basically anywhere so the leg can have the leg kind of come out like this for the. Thigh and then for the. Calf can have a engelbach like this, right, that's dynamic for the chest. We could do a shape like this. It's kind of a boxy rectangle shape to represent the form. And just kind of add some curve to that chest, so it's not just really playing now, oftentimes in reality poses that you're looking at in photographs, they actually don't look that dynamic. They'll look pretty dynamic, especially if it's an action pose. But a lot of the times these poses will look a little stiff. And so it's really up to you to really exaggerate these lines, contour lines that are really kind of have a motion to him. That's why we want to figure out what the motion of each part of the body is, even when we're looking at reference photos, figure out what direction its motion is moving and then exaggerate that. All right. So next, let's go ahead and move on to form. So we actually kind of form here and turn this into actually a form box, even though it's supposed to be a shape. But that's a that's an example, right? There is just that we can also do things basically like all of these. These are all these can be converted into form. So if we're drawing the hand, for example, the serve of the shoulder, maybe the arm is kind of reaching out. And so. Incorporate some. Foreshortening in their. All right, and so we basically get a cylinder there. Let we get the forearm, which will kind of curved back this way. Can you even give some direction to these fingers so they're not just static, they actually kind of curving a little bit? This is this is really almost the secret to drawing good character poses is having those dynamics in there. And when you really understand them, it really makes your poses just look that much better. It looks more professional and it just looks more interesting. It gives more life to your character. And so that's why we're kind of going over this so much, is because of these dynamics in these gestures are going to be super pertinent to your character design. And so the main thing I'm just trying to get you to understand is that when we add dynamics, which is basically just kind of curving all these objects and giving them a direction, then it allows us to create much more interesting looking characters. So let's go ahead and let's make out with some arrows, just kind of the direction of these just so you kind of really get the idea of it. So the direction of that shape is that way. And this one is going that way. And the hand is going that way. The leg is going this way and then the calf is going that way. And this arm basically follows the same arm over here where it's going like that. And this one is curving that way, the shoulders curving like that. The fingers, that one's curving out like that. That one's curving out the other way. It's coming out like that. So all of these every single part of it has a direction. Now, you'll see later when we start doing gesture drawings and we start breaking down the gesture and figuring out the direction of all these curves, that eventually we want to get to a point where it looks more realistic. And these are very, very exaggerated, which is an important part of sketching out the drawing of the pose. But we need to make sure that in the end it actually looks real. But by really exaggerating this at the beginning, we can kind of tone it down just a little bit later in our drawings so it doesn't look as exaggerated, but it still looks a little bit more exaggerated. There's still more motion and gesture and intent and action in your pose. All right. The last one we're going to go ahead and talk about is the axis of dynamics in the axis. So we've already kind of gone over this. I'm going to go ahead and just move this guy down. So it is kind of out of our way so we can draw. All right, so so the axis is just going to be basically the horizontal axis, which would be like the shoulders, right axis is on the head. So these are just axis that are going basically straight across and then vertical axis are going to be things like the neck. So the neck might be like this. The spine might be like this. Here and then right here, when he gets into the hips, maybe it's going that way in, the hips are angled like this. And so having all these angles change really makes your drawings look that much more dynamic, so so we can just start kind of breaking this down. And this is another way you can kind of draw rib cages is just kind of more of a rectangle shape like this. All right, I can put a ball in here for the waist. Go and draw the hips and. And for the legs, you can go ahead, since the hips are angled kind of swinging that way. That means that this leg over here is going to be a little bit higher than this one. So that means the knee will be a little bit higher as well. Right, and at the other end was behind this one would be kind of down here, so the knee line would kind of be going like that. So we get all these nice different angles going on. All right. So that's kind of a basic rundown. And just to kind of jog your memory and remembering the dynamic. So just remember that basically when it comes to the line, shape and form, we're looking for all these different directional curves in those drawings. And then when it comes to the dynamics of the axis, we're looking for different angles. So for the neck, we want that to be different from the the upper body and the torso and the pelvis and the legs, all those we want to be different. And same with the vertical and or sorry, the horizontal ones. We want all those to be different. Now, let's go ahead and have a look at a few photographic examples. So right here, we're going to start breaking these down and figuring out whether we think that they are dynamic or not. So let's go ahead. Said a new layer so we can draw on top of this. So this first one here, what we can do is we can start breaking it down. So first off, we can break it down into her line. So if we draw a line through this, you'll see that we can either get a line of action going through her like that or we can go through it like this. I think that's probably the stronger line of action going on there. So that line looks pretty good. Next, we can go ahead and let's look at her arm. So this arm, I would say you could turn it into a line of action like that, a little more curved. You can exaggerate it. This one's curved as well. And this leg actually would have a line of actually going through it. But if you wanted to, you could add a line of action curving like that through that leg and another one going to that. So we have these nice dynamic lines of action. So so far, this looks pretty good. Next, let's go ahead and let's have a look at these shapes. So her upper body is kind of curving like this, if you could imagine it like that. Her pelvis is kind of curving in like that. And then kind of get some curve going on here and then it kind of curves back out like that. So it's very subtle. Be considered a little bit of a curve to all of this. Right. And that's what we're looking for, and all these shapes can be converted in form, so they're kind of dynamic forms. A lot of the time you'll find in real life that the forms in the shapes aren't actually that dynamic looking. You have to kind of make them dynamic when you draw them. So when we're looking for a dynamic post, what we're mostly looking for is those lines of action. And then the second thing we're going to be looking for are those dynamic accesses. So let's go ahead and let's check her for her Access's so that a new layer. And let's see, let's start with the shoulders so we can draw a line through the shoulders like this. And you can see that if we draw a line through the eyes, those are about at the same angle and that's OK. We don't always have to have it completely different. And then when we get down to the hips, the hips look like they're a little bit more straight. So they look like they're more like this. The other knee looks like it appears to be back there like that. So patrolling through the knee, it looks like this. If you draw a line through the bottom of the toes, you can see that they're just slightly angled that way. So this isn't a super dynamic pose, but it definitely has dynamic. So if you wanted to use a pose like this for your character, this would be a good pose. You'd probably want to exaggerate the gesture a little bit to make it more dynamic, but this would work just great. All right. Let's have a look at our next example. All right. So here we have this girl. I'm going to switch over to a different color. I think there's a I think we'll be able to see better if I use a different color and a different brush. So we'll grab like a red, all right, so this guy right here. You can see that if we draw a line through her shoulders like this and then we draw a line through her eyes, we draw a line through her hips. Draw a line through her knees and her feet. We could also draw the vertical. Access's. So you can see that these are all very dynamic looking, so this is a very good pose, very interesting. She has all her weight on this foot right here, which also helps make it interesting and plays into the actual pose itself. Next, let's go ahead and let's have a look at the lines of action. So for the line of action, I would say it's probably running through her body, you could say is kind of going something like this. That might be a little complicated, and that's the case sometimes lines of action are complicated, you can maybe even say it's going like this. So that's a very dynamic line of action, either one of those arms got that line there, that line there, the line here and then for this leg, you could probably go ahead and kind of curve it out like that. This one kind of curves like this, so overall, this is a really dynamic pose. So this is a for sure dynamic pose would look really good for your character. All right. Let's have a look at the next example. So. All right. So this girl, we can start by drawing her line of action. So it's very simple from the side view. You can see it just running right there. Her body just like that. Next, we can go ahead. Let's see these arms even have a line of action going like this. And this one kind of has one coming out like that. So very, very good line of action. There's even a line of action going through her hair. So this is already pretty dynamic looking. All right. Now, let's go ahead and break her down and see if we can see any dynamics in her Access's. So it's really kind of hard to see her. But I can tell just by looking at this that her shoulders are on the same level. So it's just going to be kind of like that. Her eyes are actually angled up like this. So already those X's are very dynamic because they're completely angled differently. Even though we're looking at it from the side. You makes it a much more interesting pose, because instead of just looking forward and being on the same axis as her shoulder, she's looking upward. So that is just much more interesting for the pose itself. Next, let's go ahead and let's see. It's the bottom of the breast probably facing straight forward like that. The hips probably angled downwards a little bit. You can kind of see what this leg it's angled down like that then for the knees. It's also kind of angled downwards because one knee is a little bit higher than the other. And then for the FT, you can see that the feet are off a little bit like that. So we have all these nice different angles in here, so. These are very different, and so that makes this pose very dynamic, which is good for your character designs. All right. So now what I want I want you to do is I have three more examples here, but I want you to look at them and I want you to pause the video and I want you to try to decipher in your own head whether you think the pose is dynamic or not. If you think it is, go ahead. And I just think the answer is yes or write it down on a piece of paper, whatever you want, and then unpause the video. And then I'm going to go ahead and go through it and we're going to figure out if it's dynamic or not. All right. So here's the first one. So go ahead and pose a video and study it for a minute and decide whether it's dynamic or not. Run through all the steps. So check and see if the lines of action are dynamic and also check to see if the actresses are dynamic. All right, so you should have come up with the answer for yourself, so let's go ahead and let's go through this. First of all, let's figure out what is the line of Actionis. So his line of action is kind of. A curved line like this, and then we also get kind of a line of action going like this. And one for this arm and one for this arm, so already these lines of action are pretty dynamic. You could also even almost say that his center line of action is actually going like this, curving that way. And then when he gets to his knee, it starts to curve the other way. But either one of those are correct. All right, so the lines of action are correct. Let's go ahead and have a look at his Access's so his shoulders are angled like this, his eyes are angled like that. Elbows or like this. Let's see. The chest would be angled probably something like that. If we use the jeans as kind of an indicator of where his hips are, they're kind of angling like that. His knees are very angled from each other and his feet are also super angled. So this is an incredibly dynamic. So if you said that this was a dynamic pose, great job. All right. Let's go ahead and look at the next example. All right, so here's this girl, go ahead and pause the video and figure out whether this is a dynamic pose or not. All right, so let's go ahead and have a look at her. So let's start by breaking her down into her main line of action. So she's basically just a straight line, just shooting straight through her body just like that. So that's not very dynamic. Her arms are also just maybe the slightest bit curved, but not very much. Her shoulders are pretty straight ones, not higher than the other. Let's see. And the legs are just very straight lines of action as well. So so far, not looking very good. The lines of action are not very dynamic. They're just a bunch of straight lines. Then we can go ahead and let's see. Let's draw a line through her eyes, draw a line through her shoulders, trawling through her hips, her knees, her feet. And you can see that they're basically all completely straight. So this is not a dynamic pose really whatsoever. So if you decided that this wasn't a dynamic pose, then you were correct. So this no dynamics. All right. So here's the final one. So go ahead in the video and just think real good about this one. See if you can figure out whether it's dynamic or not. All right, let's go ahead and break it down, so her line of action, her main line of action is kind of running through her head like this and our knee. We could also do a line of action like that and another one right here. This arm right here is slightly curved outwards and this one is slightly curved over, so the lines are very dynamic. Let's go ahead and have a look at her Access's so her shoulders come across like this bottom of the chest and then the hips are kind of angled like that. The knees are very you almost can't even really measure the axis between those two. They're so far apart. But let's just draw a line anyway. As you can see, our angle, that is you can't really measure the feet at all, too. I guess you could draw a line like this, but I'm not sure if that would really count for measuring the Access's. Her face is kind of angled like this or something like that. All right. And then also we can go ahead and let's measure out the. The vertical axis. This is actually has kind of a curve to it, which is pretty dynamic. All right, great, so you can see that there are so many different angles going on here, this is probably actually the most dynamic pose that we've looked at so far. So let's give this a nice big green check. Very dynamic. All right. That brings us to the end of this lecture. So I hope that you're really starting to understand what dynamics are and how they plan to gesture and why they're so important. I hope you can see the difference, for example, between this pose and this pose. If you were to draw a character with this pose, very boring. If you draw a character with this pose more interesting, this might not tell much of a story. So maybe you wouldn't want this pose. But a very dynamic pose is just much more interesting. So maybe, maybe you'd want your character have more of a natural pose, maybe something like that or something similar to that. But these dynamic poses are just going to make your character designs look that much better. So this is something that's very important. I really want you to pay attention to it. I'm sorry if dynamics are kind of boring to you, but just trust me. If you practice them and you start to understand them, it'll all pay off and you'll have a chance to practice them. Don't worry. All right. I'll see you in the next lecture.