Advertisement
Illustration

Quick Tip: The Line of Action, Make Your Character Poses More Dynamic!

by

The line of action is a key ingredient to making your character's poses look more dynamic. In this guide, we will explore what the line of action is and how it can be used to make your character poses come alive.


What is the Line of Action

The line of action goes hand in hand with making a character's pose easier to read. Think of the line of action as an imaginary line running down a character's spine. The line of action is a curved line. Making the line of action curved, as opposed to drawing it as a straight line, gives your character's pose more force and attitude which, in turn, aids in making your character's poses more visually interesting to the viewer.

The line of action is a simple curved line that evokes movement. Avoid making your line of action S-shaped or straight - it will hinder the overall force and make the resulting pose look less dynamic.

Below are examples of poses utilizing a strong line of action. Note that even though the character may be standing "still", there is still an attitude being projected, simply by having the torso coincide with the line of action.

When drawing from life, find the line of action - note it down, and then proceed to exaggerate it. It'll make the resulting pose feel more "alive" and less stiff.

In the example below, we can see that as the line of action is made more horizontal, the character's run appears to be getting faster.

To give our character poses even more variety, we can twist the torso against the hips. By "breaking the plane", we automatically add depth to a pose. Coupled with rendering foreshortened elements of the body, the possibilities are endless.


Conclusion

The line of action can make your character poses more dynamic and easier to read. Give it a try on your next character design!

Related Posts
  • 3D & Motion Graphics
    Rigging
    Game Character Creation Series: Kila Chapter 9 - Hair RiggingKila pt9 retina
    In this part of the Game Character Creation Series we will investigate a number of ways to bring Kila's hair to life.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Drawing
    Human Anatomy Fundamentals: Flexibility and Joint LimitationsFlexibility preview
    In this last session before we start putting faces on our characters, I'll be introducing flexibility. Flexibility is the ability to stretch a joint to the limit of its range of movement, aka "how joints can and cannot move". This material gathered from my own martial art and flexibility training is not frequently covered in books on drawing the human figure, but it complements the muscles in understanding the body in motion. It's also necessary in order to articulate the body in a natural-looking way, rather than like a wooden manikin with screwed-on limbs!Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Articles
    How to Draw Animals: The Importance of Drawing a PoseWhatispose prev400
    When I was a kid, I used to say: "I don't care about drawing books, I don't need to draw a pose, I just know how to draw something as a whole". This kind of thinking was a serious blockade to my progress, but a lot of time has to fly for me to realize it. Now I know building a pose is the most important part of the drawing. Do you want to learn why? Or maybe you know it, but poses are still your weak point? In this article I'll help you.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Comics
    Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Draw Cartoon HandsCartoonhands preview 400x400
    The human hand is probably one of the hardest things to learn how to draw, since it can take many forms and, thus, express varied emotions. In cartoon it is no different. You need to be able to draw hands in different angles, which are dynamic and attractive in the eyes of the viewer. Don't underestimate the power of a well drawn cartoon hand - it can save your art from the monotony!Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Drawing
    Human Anatomy Fundamentals: Balance and MovementPrev400
    This is our last session working with the basic structure of the body before we start clothing it in flesh. We have seen how it is proportioned and how those proportions vary within limits; now we'll see how it counters gravity with posture – and how far posture can be pushed before it falls over (or, on paper, looks out of balance).Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Create Movement and ActionCartoonmovements preview new 400x400b
    What is a cartoon without any kind of action? What is a cartoon, that doesn't tell us a story? You may have seen artistic studies of the human body, drawn from a live model for reference. They work very well for understanding how anatomy and muscles react when we suggest a move. But the sentiment behind this movement is not clear! It's just a reproduction of real life and nothing more. The way to express movement and action in a cartoon style drawing is quite different from real life. Therefore, beyond the necessary knowledge to build your character's body, mastering the techniques needed to add life to these forms is essential. And that's what we'll talk about in this tutorial!Read More…