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Drawing poses sometimes is a very difficult thing to do. Sure, drawing someone standing straight up and down perfectly lined up with the "camera" isn't that tough.  But what if we wanted to turn them, or put them in a dynamic pose? How the crap do we do that?

Well first things first, you need to know how the human body works.  So if your reading this and you don't have any concept of human proportions, or how the body moves, then that's the first thing you need to do.  Go look at people.  Draw real life people, not manga, or comic book people as they're exaggerated.  Draw real life people so you know what comic and manga artists are exaggerating.  Figure out how their body works and moves. That's going to make the next part make alot easier.

Okay. So now we have basic understanding of human proportions, and how the human body moves.  How the hell do we draw them in a specific pose?  Well it's simple my friends.  The key to drawing human poses is the stick figure!

That's right! The stick figure!  That's how you're going to make sure your poses look interesting and natural.

And when I say stick figure, I do not mean this:

no stick figure

 

This is essentially useless.  When i say stick figure what i really mean is more of a skeleton. Something that has all the major body parts needed to draw a person correctly: Head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, back, hips (everyone always forgets the hips), Legs and feet.  Something that looks like this:

yes stick figure

 

The reason you want to use this type of stick figure is two fold. 1. It gives you a basic frame to work with to get your pose down. and 2. It's alot easier to fix if you make a mistake.  If you spend an hour drawing the most highly detailed arm in the world, then you find out it's too long and you have to erase it and you just wasted alot of time.  It's alot easier and faster to correct one stick line, instead of a whole detailed arm.

The stick figure also helps you with any foreshortening that the pose may require.  Like this little guy's arm who's going to be taking a swing with that stick... or bat... or sword... or whatever this is going to be.

 

pose1

 

So once you have the stick figure you have to block it out.  Block it out?  Well we can't just jump from a stick figure to a finished drawing now can we? Here lets go step by step...

Step 1: Stick figure


stick

 

So this is a rather simple yet dynamic pose.  Notice  here how the shoulders and hips are tilted.  This is why it is important to include these in the stick figure as the tilt of the hips and the shoulders make even a standing figure look interesting.  Also notice the foreshortening in the arm.   The circles show where the joints are so I know how much I need to foreshorten each part of the arm to make it look correct.

Step 2: Block it out


 

box

 

Now we build blocks around the stick figure we drew.  Why blocks?  Well they don't HAVE to be blocks, however I find that the human body is much more like a block than a cylinder. I base this on the fact that we have a front, back, sides, top, and botom just like a block. I also find using blocks help alot more with figuring out how shadows fall on the body.  Not to mention it helps me from accidently drawing the body bending in a weird way.

It's also in this stage where you'll correct any drawing errors you may have made.  You might realize that you made an arm to long, or a leg to short here.  Which is perfectly okay.  Thats why we use the stick figure first, so it's easier to fix!

So now that our pose has some volume to it. Lets add in those details like muscles and clothes...

 Step 3: Details


finish

 

Now that we have the pose and the volume established we can add in all the details like muscles, hair, clothes, and shadows. You'll find that if you did the stick figure and blocking right adding the details will be incredibly easy.  WAY easier than if you tried to start off with the details.

There you go! Thats how you do poses.  Naturally this tutorial just scratched the surface so here are some tips and things to research to help you along the way.

1. When drawing poses where the hands or feet are in places that may make the legs or arms difficult to figure out, try drawing the hands or feet first.  Then play connect the dots between the foot and the hip, or the hand and the shoulder.

2. Check out Brune Hogarth's books on Dynamic Anatomy and Dynamic Figure Drawing.  He goes into more depth and details.  They're great books.

2. Look at real life.  I know I said this before but real life is always best.  Look at yourself in the mirror, or a friend/family member to get the pose down.

3.  Sometimes friends aren't around, and you can't take a picture of yourself at the angle you need. In that case I recommend going to posemaniacs.com.  They have great CG models that you can rotate to get the proper angle you need.  They're not perfect, but they'll do when no real life people are around to help.

That'll do it for today!  If you have any suggestions or requests for a Tutorial Tuesday leave a comment here, or send me an email and I'll be sure to incorporate it into a future Tutorial Tuesday! Tomorrow you'll get the next page of Shadows of Oblivion! In the mean time, check me out around the web!

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Add a Comment:
 
:iconauroraart:
AuroraArt Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Helpful and full of awesomeness...

Thank you! :squee:
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Doing what I can!
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:iconpikachuvirus1996:
Pikachuvirus1996 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very very helpful i kinda was having trouble doing poses ad all
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Glad I can help!
Reply
:icondrmoore:
DRMoore Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013   Traditional Artist
I know everyone has their own system for drawing poses. I used to start with the stick figure, but building up from that it left my poses stiff (personal opinion). After reading Michael Hampton's "Figure Drawing: Design and Invention," and taking some figure drawing courses, I'm big on drawing gestures. I understand the anatomy enough to where I can build off the gesture. I think they provide the form and energy in the pose. Still this is great tutorial for beginning artists. :thumbsup:
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Your right everyone has their own style and system. But I find that the better you get at drawing, and the more comfortable you get with it, you start internalizing steps. You'll imagine them in your head, and then draw the next step out. I find I kind of combine the stick, block, and gesture all in one step, cause my brain is thinking about all three at the same time. But thats just because I've been doing each individual step for so long they all just got blended together. And I'm sure one day (i hope) i can just go right in and draw the finished drawing without having to put the stick figure or blocks down first, that'll all happen in my head.
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:iconadamclowery:
AdamClowery Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really helpful tutorial. Thanks! :)
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Glad it can help!
Reply
:iconadamclowery:
AdamClowery Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I've a habit of making mistakes with positioning the hips.
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yeah hips are tough sometimes. Thats why you should look in a mirror. Do the pose and note how your hips move. Real life is always the best to learn how to do stuff like that.
Reply
:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yeah hips are tough sometimes. Thats why you should look in a mirror. Do the pose and note how your hips move. Real life is always the best to learn how to do stuff like that.
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:iconkeradavis98:
KeraDavis98 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks this helps a lot. I was trying to teach my self how to draw. All over again using the right steps but I wasn't getting any where and taking art class wasn't helping also. This really helped a lot thanks. :thanks:
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well I'm glad my tutorial helped. But I find it hard to believe that art classes weren't helping. Usually when that happens, either the teacher isn't teaching fundamentals and just doing "projects" or the student is being resistant to what the teacher is trying to teach them in a sorta "i don't want to do it that way, I want to do it my way" sort of thing...

...Being an drawing teacher I know this first hand...
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:iconkeradavis98:
KeraDavis98 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
In my art class I just practices different ways of art. Art class (for me) is really when you find something off the Internet and draw/paint it. I can do that with no problem. I can shade, cross hatching, paint with watercolor, tempra, acrylic, foreshortening high and low placement and more. But I want to learn how to draw the human body correctly. My don't teach me that. My teacher just teach me what terms are in the book. Which I already know for drawing books.
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Fair enough. Though the best way to learn is to draw real life people. In college all my life drawing classes were just a person standing in front of me and I drew them with guidance from my teacher to help see structure.
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:iconkeradavis98:
KeraDavis98 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Yeah I tried that. My teacher would get someone to sit/lay on the tale in the class and draw them using foreshortening. Then use shading or watercolor to finish but only did that once or twice. I'm trying to learn now since I'm young. Since I want to major in graphic design and animation. I'm just lost.
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
You are young, so trust me when I tell you there is no easy over night solution. There is no trick, there is no magical way to do it that suddenly makes you good. You have to draw real life people over and over and over and over and over again. Literally thousands of times before you become good at it. Saying "i tried that once or twice and it didn't work" means nothing. Do it 1000 times then tell me if it did or didn't work.

And that goes for perspective, composition and everything else you want to be good at in art. Your young, so you have time to get that practice in before things like bills and rent start slowing you down. But it's the only way. Sit down, draw and don't stop until your good at it.
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:iconkeradavis98:
KeraDavis98 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
So.. To sum up the lesson. To become a better artist in the field of art I want to major in. I need to practices drawing real people and practices a lot. I want to make sure I'm seeing the whole picture.
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:iconshono:
Shono Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
You have to draw real everything. If you want to draw better people, you have to look at real people, if you want to draw better cars, you have to look at real cars. The whole point of art is to represent the real world in drawings and paintings. So how are you going to represent the real world unless you look at the real world?

And you have to do it alot. So much it seems absurd. But just like anything in life, the more you do it, the better you get. So you have to draw constantly if you want to get better. It's the only way to get better. Classes, books, and tutorials will guide you so that you are practicing the correct way so that you get better, faster, but you can read all the books and tutorials in the world, if you don't practice and draw ALOT you'll never get better.
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