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2.6 Balancing the Pose

Hi, my name is Brian Lee and welcome back to this dynamic gesture drawing class. In this lesson we'll talk about how to use balance in your gestures to make them appear more real. Center of gravity. When you look at a subject, you need to look at how it's being affected by gravity. The easiest way to do this is by finding the balance point of the major mass of the body. This is also known as a center of gravity. In this case, it would be this goofy character and it looks like he's having a really hard time finding out where his balance point or center of gravity is. So how to find the Center of Gravity. When you look at a mass of the figure, you wanna drop a vertical line straight down from where the most of the way to exists. This line usually takes you to the part of the figure or object that is supporting the weight of the body. The line you are drawing is the Center of Gravity. If the line falls closer to one foot or another, it's safe to determine that the majority of the weight is on whichever foot the line is closest to. If it falls evenly between the feet, the weight is evenly dispersed across both feet. Getting the weight correct is what brings reality to your gesture drawings. So how do we find the mass? I find that the best place to find the major weight, or mass of the body, is somewhere between the two largest masses of the body, which are the rib cage and the hips and pelvis. Once I find these two areas, you can then drop a line directly down from in between them and this gives me the center of gravity. In this case we can see that the center of gravity, it's pretty far away from the main supporting structure which would be the foot in this case. And what that tells us is that this pose is on balance and that she is in motion. So let's look at some more examples. Here's an example of an unbalanced pose. You can see that it's not balanced, because we could drop a vertical line. straight down from the midsection. Since the line is not falling in between the two supporting structures, since it's not aligning with the single support structure, you know, it's unbalanced. So, we see this in a pose how can we fix it. All we need to do to adjust the pose is by retaining it from the center point until the major mass of the body sits above the supporting structure. Which would be the leg in this case. You can also then rotate the feet to align them with the ground. How to make sure your gesture drawing is balanced. Well, to make for a balanced post means you have to support the center of gravity with the structure of some kind. As we said earlier, balance is found in the human body with legs for an upright pose. But what about for a non upright pose? Well, we can look at our friends the apes for an example of a different way of supporting their mass. They have four commonly used balance points that they use to support their body, both legs and arms. We can also look at props and how they affect the balance point. Think of props as secondary to legs. Crutches, for example, are used as a balance point when we can no longer support all of our weight on one leg. Can also look at things like walls, or chairs, As extensions of legs. it's all same concept really. Let's look at more unbalance pose. It's important to remember that only static poses are balanced. And action poses like this one for example is not balanced. When in motion rarely are we balanced. A better way to think of it is a controlled fall. Each step we take propels us into the next fall. Running and going down stairs are more extreme examples of this in a fake running pose, the center of gravity supported by the leg and momentum is about the leg. Because of this the poses considered balanced. In a real run, the center of gravity is not supported by the leg and the momentum is in front of leg. This is an unbalanced pose. In real life we're not able to capture poses in action. Well least not in great detail. And even for just a gesture drawing it's hard to interpret all the moving parts as we see them in motion. This is why pictures become a great tool for us to use as practice. When drawing action poses. This will help you get a better grasp of weight momentum and even the body and how it moves. Storyboard artist, comic artists, illustrators all need to know how to draw interesting and dynamic gestures and be able to move them at their will. So, for homework I want you to draw ten poses in action. So you need to either break out your camera or find some reference images online. This will get your eyes used to understanding motion and realize that if a drawing looks unbalanced that it probably is. And the more you practice this, the more you'll understand what is off. In the next lesson we will look at another tool to add to our toolbox. We'll find out more about how the pencil can be used, not just for creating lines but to help make gestures more structurally accurate, and realistic, gonna dive right into angles. So thanks for joining me, and I'll see in the next lesson.

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