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November 25, 2012
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How to add more 'movement' to my characters?

:iconeverfae:
I've noticed a thing when I draw or sketch a character. I tend to make them look really stiff and static, and was wondering how I could add more movement to them?

I think part of the problem is that my not-so-great knowledge of anatomy leads me to use references quite heavily in everything I draw, even if these references have a lot of movement my drawings still look stiff. I've tried exaggerating curves and shapes and figuring out the direction of the body's movement in order to emphasize it a bit more, but it ends up looking awkward, wonky or out of proportion.
Is my lack of understanding of the human body the problem in this?

Share your tips guys ^_^ Thank you :love:
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Devious Comments

:icondavidscript:
DavidScript Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Play around with perspective :D

Getting to know how to draw with 4-points of perspective is fantastic. Not too many artists do that since it takes practice, but the results are amazing if you can do it right :thumbsup:
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:iconeverfae:
Interesting, thanks!
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:iconwezenbeesje:
wezenbeesje Nov 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
I once made a tutorial about poses and how to make them look interesting. Maybe that helps you? [link]
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:iconeverfae:
Wow what a useful resource! Thanks so much for creating this!
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:iconspifmo:
Spifmo Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
that's alright.
try loosening your grip on the pencil ( or tablet pen ) and just fluidly moving it around to create the shapes of your drawing. don't focus too much on one area of your subject before getting the entire image down lightly and loosely. once you've visually put on paper basic shapes and composition of what you want, start refining the details.
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:iconeverfae:
I've tried this quite a few times, it looks fine to begin with, but when the 'refining the details' part comes in - that's the point where everything becomes stiff :(
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Nov 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
One thing I think about is.. get into your characters head, and then stand in front of a mirror and try out some poses they might do.

If you're the shy kind (like myself) wait til no one is around. Then play pretend. And instead of thinking "ugh I look silly" Study your body for all the nuances. Like a shy character might hunch their shoulders and fold their arms, but a loud character would stand in a much more confident open way. A character artist is just an actor in paper after all.

Also study the body language of characters in films, (less animation as it's also a drawing) and watch how different character types act and react with body language.

Not every person when standing still holds their body the same, I know I have a tendency to lean more on one leg. Watch you family and friends when they're just standing too, what way do they stand? Or walk or move their hands when talking (or not).

This observation thing gets addictive, but it also really helps make characters more alive in simple ways. You don't need grand gestures to make an excellent drawing.
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:iconeverfae:
That's actually such a GREAT idea... I've never thought about posing how my characters would pose! You are awesome! I'm definitely going to try this out. I have long wardrobe mirrors in my bedroom, so I can see my whole body which would be great C:
I should try all these things, thanks a lot for being so helpful :)
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:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
If you ever watch a documentary or footage of cartoonists and animators they always have mirrors in their studios because the best place to have readily available reference is yourself.
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:iconeverfae:
I'm lucky I have some fairly big mirrors in my bedroom then! :D
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