Dancing Characters: Drawing Energetic and Dynamic Poses in Procreate | Yifat Fishman | Skillshare

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Dancing Characters: Drawing Energetic and Dynamic Poses in Procreate

teacher avatar Yifat Fishman, Art & Illustration

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

22 Lessons (1h 52m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Class Project

    • 3. Observing Movements and Gestures

    • 4. Fundamentals of Capturing Poses

    • 5. Exercise 1: Practice Figure Drawing

    • 6. Exercise 2: Change Body Shapes

    • 7. Creating Diverse Bodies

    • 8. Style: Making Your Creative Choices

    • 9. Identifying Style Components

    • 10. Exercise 3: Your Style Roadmap

    • 11. Drawing a Dancer

    • 12. Shading Techniques with Masks

    • 13. Transforming and Manipulating Poses

    • 14. Designing Relatable Characters

    • 15. Styling Individual Characters

    • 16. Exercise 4: Design Character variations

    • 17. Painting Flowing Fabrics

    • 18. Creating Loose Patterns

    • 19. Dressing Up Quick and Easy

    • 20. Project Illustration Demonstration

    • 21. Final Thoughts

    • 22. DANCERS Process Timelapse Videos

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About This Class


Learn to draw people in energetic poses, play with proportions and find your own illustration style as we walk through the fundamentals of creating dynamic poses, from sketch to finished artwork.

Drawing people in dynamic poses is super interesting for creatives, but it’s also challenging. We want to get the overall shape right and communicate an engaging personality with your illustration. In this class you will do both! We start with building a foundation of drawing energetic poses from observation, and develop the sketches into stylized dynamic dancer poses. By the end of class you’ll be able to communicate that sense of movement in your final dancer project. We talk about style through an active discovery process. Helping you to identify your individual illustration style is a big part of this class.


The class is based on a personal DANCERS project. DANCERS is a series of illustrations with female characters in energetic and dynamic poses. I think that women in positive self expression are a powerful image.


Share the projects you've created in class with friends and followers, print your project and hang in your workspace! Check out my DANCERS on Instagram and available prints in my shop. 

Throughout the class I share tips & strategies from my drawing process in Procreate. The class is structured as a series of lessons followed with fun exercises, designed to gradually build your confidence and skills of illustrating people. I invite you to take the time to practice each step along with me in class.

In class you will learn:

  • Draw figures from reference photos.
  • Illustrate people in changing poses.
  • Draw different body shapes.
  • Develop sketches to finished illustrations.
  • Discover key elements of your illustration style.
  • Create stylized human figures from your observational sketches.
  • Draw expressive, dynamic poses by exaggerating proportions and gestures.
  • Paint textures and shading.
  • Work with Procreate layers and drawing tools.
  • Draw believable and relatable facial expressions. 
  • Create a sense of movement using hair and clothes.
  • Design clothes in a way that enhance the illustration with textures and colors.
  • Create series of poses with same or various characters. 

    See you in class!


In this new class we demystify the illustration process as I show you how to draw characters step by step.

Illustrating Dynamic Portraits: Bring Your Character to Life in Procreate


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Yifat Fishman

Art & Illustration


Hello and welcome! 
I’m an artist and illustrator based in North Texas, an industrial designer by profession and a self taught illustrator. I worked in graphic design, wrote & illustrated children’s books, and am always looking for creative projects to stay motivated. 

My style is vibrant and playful, drawn with digital brushes in colorful palettes. I enjoy the creative flexibility of drawing in Procreate. Having all the brushes, colors and textures in one clever device is simply brilliant!
Outside my studio I can be caught doing: yoga and workout (finding balance between all the elements in a drawing is a bit like yoga), reading, spending time with my family and friends, playing the electric guitar and going on... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I discovered my love of drawing women when working on the dancers project. Dancers is a series of illustrations with female characters in dynamic poses. My name is Yifat, I'm an artist and illustrator. The greatest challenge in drawing people is not only to draw relatable characters, but to style each one as an individual. In this class, you will learn to draw dynamic dance poses and find your own illustration style with the final class project. The class follows a series of lessons and exercises designed to gradually build confidence and skills for your final dancer project. We'll start with creating a foundation of drawing energetic poses from observation. You'll learn to illustrate different body shapes, exaggerate dynamic gestures, design relatable characters, draw fabrics and loose patterns. It helps to have a broad vision of your project. I saw my dancers as joyful, empowering images of women in large murals, women doing their thing and loving it. I think that women in positive self-expression are a powerful image. I find that inspiring. If you want to be confident in drawing people, if you wish to discover your own illustration style, this class is for you. Grab your pencil and let's get started. 2. The Class Project: For your class project, you will illustrate a dancer in a dynamic pose. You can go further and explore your style with join the group of dancers or an illustration series of individual dancers for your project. You may want to add engaging backdrops that tell a story. Take the time to make it yours. You may use any drawing medium of your choice. I'll be sharing tips and strategies of drawing with Procreate throughout the class. The class is structured as a series of lessons followed with exercises design to gradually build your confidence and skills of illustrating people. I invite you to take the time to practice each step along with me. Illustration is about communicating ideas and concepts. It requires a mix of critical and creative thinking. It's a blend of art and design. Illustration calls for a sense of style. This is something that you will discover through this class. See you in the first lesson. Let's start drawing. 3. Observing Movements and Gestures: Let's begin with understanding the dynamics of body movement. We'll use reference images that you can find with a simple Google search. Look for dynamic dance poses. I'll be using copyright free photos for this exercise, and we'll be sharing the links with you in the class project page. The key to this exercise is to look for poses that excite you, that you find interesting, and you really want to draw. Let's start by collecting reference photos of dancing people. These images will help you understand the movements and gestures of the dancing body, so that later on, you will be able to draw any body shape and any gender based on the reference photos. Once we get the gesture just right on our canvas, then we're able to start playing with it, to bend it and exaggerate, and even play with different body shapes that are completely different than the reference photo. Let's check how this dancer's body move in space. Her body is facing us, so you can actually see the belly button is here, the chest is here and if we box in the body, you'll get this part for the torso, and this one for the hips. It's all facing forward. Her gaze is to the side, so she's in a profile, and I really like how the hair falls down. It might actually inspire me to include this wavy hair falling down in the final illustration. Now, I have one arm going one way, and the other one limply falling to the other way. The leg is resting on top of the other. Everything is facing forward, and the pose becomes very clear when we look at it with just the gestures on the canvas. This dancer is doing a very intricate twists; one leg is going one way, the other leg is facing us, her body is twisting to the other direction. If we look at the torso, this is where the hips are. This is the chest; the belly button is here, so we can see that the front of her body is actually facing to the side. Her gaze is to the right. She has one arm stretching to that direction, and one arm stretching up. The front leg is actually facing us. This is the knee, and the foot is facing us, so it's very flat. The other leg is actually twisted towards the back of the room, so we can see that the sole of her foot is facing you, so it's a very intricate twist, where the head is facing one way, bottom part of the body is twisting the other way. This dancer's side is mostly what faces you, so we can see just the side of the body, and both legs are aligned, one behind the other. Body is tilted forward, with two arms stretching down, and I like how the fingers are pointing in the direction that the arms are going. The head is turning towards us. This dancer is bending, so we can see a definite arch that stretch from her arm, all the way down to her leg. One foot is very flat on the ground, the other one is pointing down, stretching the move towards the left. We see the face in a profile, so that's an opportunity to draw something from a different angle. The belly button is really in the profile, and it really helps me understand the way the pose is structured by finding the belly button and looking where the chest direction is. In the next lesson, we're going to put all these observations into practice. We'll be drawing quick figure sketches of 5-7 poses. 4. Fundamentals of Capturing Poses: The fun thing about working with Procreate is we can now pull up a reference photo and place it directly on the Canvas next to us, and I can really place it inside this tiny window which is floating around the Canvas. What I want to show you now is a few tactics and tips of how to capture the pose. A good tip and this is something that we do in art, is we measure things with our pencils, I'm holding the pencil and then I'm stretching out the gesture. I do want to get the hint because I think the positions of the fingers are very, very interesting to work with that's pretty much it. I can start adding details, but for now, I just want you to understand the basics of working with stick figures. This leg, it's not really horizontal, it's slightly tilted, and measuring it with a pencil will help you understand the angles in which all the body parts are placed in proportion to one another. Now I have the basic shape so I can add a little to it. There is the head over here someplace. The arm is really horizontal. This going to be quite easy. These are the basics of capturing the figure and the pose on the page, whether you're working with paper or using a tablet or an iPad to draw your basic image. What we are trying to capture in the very first stage is just the basics of the pose. Let's try another one. Again, for this image, there is an arc in the torso and then everything else seems to be pretty straightforward. But is this leg really straight? Let's see. If I measure it with my pencil, I can assert the fact that it's actually slightly tilted, roughly midway between the kneecap and the heel, we'll position the tip of the foot. The hips are slightly tilted, you can measure it. Let's measure this leg. If that's the knee and this is the heel, so this leg is going to touch the ground here, maybe here even. Then we have the curving of the torso and the shoulder line is really tilted, really diagonal and the head is slightly tilting back position in a profile. When drawing the head, I'm going to continue the line that I drew for the arc that represents the spine the way that body bends at the very end of it, we're going to find the hand. This tensor is leaning towards one side so that side that bends is going to be shorter than the one that stretches. From there we have the arm that is resting on her knee. I think I have the basic of the pose all drawn here. I can go back and add more details, things that we're paying attention to are markers. We can use the belly button as a reference to the direction the body is facing. We can use the breasts to show movements. One will be up and the other will be down when the dancer is leaning. Drawing the shoulder lines and legs really help with anchoring the gesture. At this stage, we don't really want to go into a lot of details, again, the gesture applied tend to have a feeling that we captured the essence of the pose. Next thing we're going to practice, gets ready to join me with drawing dancers. 5. Exercise 1: Practice Figure Drawing: In this exercise, you will be practicing figure drawing. Base your sketches on the images that you collected or for the ones that I'm using to sketch for figures. Each bow should take between 30 seconds to one minute. The sketches are quick. We don't want to go into much details, just capture the essence of the gesture. Pause the video if you need more time to draw. Are you ready to start drawing? Let's begin. 6. Exercise 2: Change Body Shapes: In this lesson, you will continue to work with the figures from the first exercise, creating variations of one pose, you will draw three different body shapes based on a single posture. Practicing for this exercise will help you gain the freedom to draw any body shape from your initial sketches. We'll now learn to change and create different body shapes, based on the original posture. You may download this image from the class resources or use a poster that you've created in the previous exercise. I'd like to start with two basic shapes based on the same post, we can draw either male or female form. I'd like for you to pay attention to the curves while the skeleton is going to stay basically the same, the overall shape is going to be different. The back is going to curve nicely but when we draw the hips and the glutes, the male form is going to tend to be more angular, while female form is going to be more curvy whereas illustrators, we're not aspiring to draw perfect male or female but we do want to give suggestions and hence to the overall shapes so we can exaggerate and we can simplify, we're not aiming at that precise depiction of male or a female shape. The female shape is going to be more curvy. We want to see rounded breasts and softer bellies. Whereas for the male shape, I'll go with more straight lines and flat chest. The neck for a female dancer will be narrower than the neck for male dancer. Of course, we can play with the hair, but we don't really need to get into those details right now. When we draw female muscles are going to be smaller than the ones that we draw for males unless you're drawing a very muscular female, that's fine. This is one of the things that I love about drawing dancers is they have beautiful pronounced muscle shapes. For the males, I'll probably exaggerate the shoulders, show the traps, which are the muscles that connects the neck and the back, they'll be more angular and visible, their biceps are going to be more rounded and for the females, maybe I'll draw longer forms, softer forms, rounded forms. We're going to use the postures that you created in the first exercise and build on them. We'll build the muscle shapes, we'll build the curves and remember that the proportions are going to stay about the same proportions as the skeleton that you created in your first exercise. We're just going to give it more body. The next thing that we're going to do is we're going to run with this exercise, give yourself the freedom to explore different shapes, play with the postures that you drew in the first exercise and create different body shapes. For every basic shape that you created in the first exercise, you can choose what body is going to be built around it. It can either be a male dancer using these principles that I'm showing you here or it could be a female dancer. Female dancer can be slim and long, but you can also create a heavy set body form when you exaggerate the hips and the thighs create them bigger and heavier while they're still drawn on the same basic skeleton. I enjoy drawing my dancers with the very rough big brush and I can always go in and refine the details with the eraser. Just mark down the negative space instead of drawing lines but I can also add another layer and then very roughly with the black ink, draw the more fine details of my dancer. This dancer is pretty similar to the one in the picture, it's a long, slim female dancer. But I would like to play with this body shape and try out different versions. In the next section, I will show you how I create heavy set dancer and a male dancer with the same basic pose. 7. Creating Diverse Bodies: Let's continue this exercise with creating a heavy set dancer, based on the same basic posture. When I want to create heavy dancer, I will start with heavy hips. I will draw this line much further to the side, than when I draw the thin dancer. Think about it that a heavy set person from the inside, has the same basic shape as a thin person. What you want to do when you create a heavy set dancer, is to give it just a wider form, but keep the overall proportions in the same way that you do with a thinner form. We might want to exaggerate with breasts, and give the dancer very thick thighs. I got to say that I really enjoy drawing this dancer because I find that it's more expressive, I can play with this one. When you are drawing this exercise, it's much easier to start with just placing the color, drawing the rough shape, and then going over that in a new layer and trying to find the shape in a more refined lines. Remember that this is an exercise we're not going into style yet, we're going to do this in the next lesson. For now, I would like you to focus on the shape, focus on creating different body shapes with the same posture. Give yourself room to explore and create different dancers in the same pose. Draw this exercise. I'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 8. Style: Making Your Creative Choices: Now that you've practiced drawing people using your observational skills, your next step would be to consider in what style you would want to illustrate your dancers. One of the questions that I usually ask myself before starting a new work is, what is my drawing strategy? What kind of approach do I want to bring into this piece? If I start working without style pointers, I might create work that I don't really connect with, that lucks focus, that is somehow missing essential components. I think it's better to take the time and invest the time to discover what makes you spark, what pops for you, what gives you joy in your work, in other people's work. Try to purify all those insights and have them very clear in front of your eyes, and in your mind, and in your heart before you start working. Because once that roadmap to your style is clear, it becomes the foundation of everything that you do. Style is very dynamic, and it's natural for it to grow and change. You want to pay attention to things that you like to do, things that come naturally to you. You also want to pay attention to your fragile points to your weaknesses. You want to pay attention to your wants and wishes. Illustrating people is something that I've been wanting to do for a while now. Because drawing people from observation is something that I've already done before in college, where I work towards an industrial design degree. I sketched live models in art class. Then I went to art school for two more years. Drawing from observation comes easily to me. It's a skill. Training your hands and eyes to work together is a skill. It's a practice. Then we can do the same when we want to illustrate. With illustrations, we design, we make conscious choices, and then we try to repeat those choices, and that becomes your recognizable style, the way you draw things. To develop your style, you want to become a better listener to yourself, to what you enjoying other people's work. We're constantly exposed to creativity. It fills us up and inspires us. It influences you when you look at other artist work in a way that it stimulates your creativity. Recall that inspiration we call that in use, it's like an urge to do something because you like it, because you enjoy it. In that sense, we do want to become better listeners because we would like to listen to all those secret desires, all those little wishes, all these wow moments. When you say, hey this is beautiful. This is how things should be done. This is what I would like to do next. We're going to explore style together. You will identify the elements on an illustration that you like, and try to pinpoint those components of the illustrations that we call style. In the following lesson, we'll look at the illustrations that were posted on Pinterest, Instagram, and Behance, and discover all those components that create a style that you enjoy and want to incorporate in your work. I would like for you to also revisit your work, look at illustration that you've created in the past, and try to catch the moments when you say, hey, this is something that I like. This is something that I did right and I want to repeat this. Be mindful, this will be your roadmap to your style. 9. Identifying Style Components: [MUSIC] To identify style components, we're going to be looking at illustration posted on social media. The first thing to stand out in a drawing is colors. We're going to ask, what were the illustrators color choices? Did they work with limited palette consisting only of few chosen colors? Are the colors vibrant, saturated, are they muted down? The question that you ask yourself here is, what colors do you pick over and again? The colors that you use frequently will be your unique palette. Another thing to observe in an illustration is textures. Do you notice any textures or is the illustration made with smooth shapes? If there are textures, where are they being used in the illustration? What kind of textures do you see? You may want to ask yourself if you like using textures, if you want to learn to draw more textures in your work, or maybe you're drawing more too flatty illustrations with none or very few textures. Another thing that we're going to look at is shading. You may want to ask yourself, how does the artist use shading in the illustration? Is shading something that appeals to your taste? Not all illustrators use them. If the answer is yes, try to see what type of shading technique appeal to you. Another thing that we observe are shapes. We want to see if the shapes are detailed, or are they abstract, simplified. Some illustrators use the same kinds of shape throughout their illustration work, it becomes their language. You want to ask yourself, are you drawn to certain shapes? Do you go back to drawing botanical illustrations, plants, flowers? Are you more drawn to drawing animals and people? Do you like more defined clear shapes in your work? Or are you working towards simplifying shapes in your illustrations? Lines is something that really amplifies work. Do you enjoy drawing fine lines? Do enjoy bringing in details in your illustration? Do you like that about other people's work? We can use lines in outlines or we can use line to draw certain elements of the work that is not defined by big shapes. Maybe you like illustrations that have no lines at all. Think of any other details that you noticed in your work, and in the illustration that we'll be looking at next. I'm in the habit of saving posts that really speak to me. If I were to go over those posts, I'm sure I would be able to identify elements in them that apply to my illustrations as well. Let's explore a few examples from Behance in Instagram and see how different illustrators create their style with color palettes, line work, abstract, versus complex body shapes, and proportions. We'll look for textures and shading techniques. This illustration by Kelly Kwok. Kelly stylized her people with outlines and without textures creating heavy long legs and arms, short torso, and small tiny heads. Now she's sharing details from behind the scenes. She shows the proportions of the characters which are different than their traditional ones of one head, four heads for the torso and four heads for the legs. Here is happy people by Jessica Flores. The colors are fairly neutral, but still vibrant enough to create cheerful image. I want you to notice the elements, the leaves and the hair blowing behind the woman. She uses these to suggest movement. In this illustration we see characters that are actually dancing, and now this is how she omitted the elbows and knees. It's all curves and bendy legs and arms. This is big girls big world by Ken Van. Colors are basic and sparse. The illustrator drew inside the woman's hair creating interesting backdrops and adding characters and details to these women. I really like the poses, they show personality. Now let's go over this Instagram post. This one by Peachy Hanna has this very simplified graphic shapes and she uses negative space very cleverly. She actually deletes lines to details, to the plants and her shading is done with the noise brush. This illustrator creates very vivid scene with tiny details. Look at all the plants that are hanging out from the ceiling. They use lines to add details to the plants there on the leaves not so much on the outside of the leaves. The characters are almost cartoon like very flat. What I love about this piece is the use of blocks of colors and lines. I know that I'm using this in my work as well and that's probably one reason for saving this illustration. The arms and other details are drawn in lines, some are black lines, some are white. I love the subtle textures which looks like it was all drawn in watercolors. These illustration's by Sofia Bonati. She creates very realistic faces. We can see that there are some outlines, very gentle outlines in the plants, and if you notice the bath has a very subtle texture on it which creates shadings and adds interests, also the cloud hair is completely negative space as it's defined by the shadow that surrounds it. This lady has a dress and the dress is made out of flowers. I would say there is a slight movement that created by the tilt of her head towards one side and then her dress is flowing to the other direction. Now this illustrator keeps the same color palette throughout her work. It's the same oranges and greens, purples and pinks. This is a great example of how to add character through the poster, the woman is posing towards us, her head is slightly tilted towards us. The facial features are quite realistic although they are abstract because of the colors, because the eyes are just a red circle. Just look at the pattern the illustrator created on the shirt. It adds some sweetness to the character. This one gives us negative space to add details. We create negative space by actually deleting lines instead of adding lines, or we can use masks. There is an interesting pattern on the pants. I love the blue hair and I think these are the reasons I saved this illustration. 10. Exercise 3: Your Style Roadmap: In this exercise, you will create your style roadmap. You may want to look on Pinterest, Instagram, and Behance, books and magazines, any place where you can find images that speak to you. Create your style roadmap on paper or a large Canvas in Procreate. You may download the template that I'm using from class resources. As you go through illustrations you've selected, do your best to answer these points. Color palettes are being muted, vibrant, consistent. What about textures, what kind of textures do you see? How does the artist in the illustration use shading? What kind of techniques are they using? Are the shapes overall detailed or simplified? Is the artist using lines or outlines? If so, in what way? Any other details that stand out to you. Really take the time to identify and understand your artistic choices. This might be a good place to be testing brushes, textures, play with different line strokes and save colors for future palettes. Write down notes and make lists of textures that you like, shapes that you'd want to create. Techniques that speak to you, detail and sketch anything that grabs your attention. Revisit your own illustrations to identify the things that work well in your illustrations, discover patterns in artistic choices that you've made in the past to gain a clear view and understanding of your style. 11. Drawing a Dancer: Now that you have a better understanding of your illustration style, let's apply the style characteristics that you identified with your style road map into practice. Throughout this lesson, try out different illustration approaches until you find the one that you connect with. Allow yourself time to explore and achieve a stylized drawing. Here are my preliminary sketches. They are quite detailed. I chose the one in the middle to develop my first dancer. Now, I would like to give you an overview of the process. So here are the layers that I've used to create this dancer. I have separate layers for the hair, the facial features, and of course, the outfit has quite a few layers of its own. I want you to see the difference between the initial sketching and the final dancer. Notice how the proportion changes as the blue dancer has longer legs and longer arms, and it's slender than the first illustration. Let's start with a new canvas. I want to show you how I'm setting my canvas as I work. I usually work with 11 inches over 14 inches, and my DPI, which is the resolution, should be 300. This is my standard go-to canvas for my print work. Three hundred is a pretty detailed resolution if you want to print out your illustrations later on. Let's open a new canvas and set up our background color. Let's bring in one of the sketches that we want to work with. I know that I want to work with this sketch. I've already copied that layer from my sketches canvas and I'm going to paste it with this three-finger gesture. It's a quick gesture for pasting images onto your canvas. When you first place your sketch on the canvas, take the time to position it roughly where you want it to be. You can distort it, stretch it out, make sure that you have something that you enjoy and you want to keep working on. Now, I'm going to lower the opacity and lock this layer so that I won't accidentally create all my illustration on this layer. This is just a reference layer for the work. We're going to add a new layer and start drawing the dancer. For my dancer illustrations, I worked with a Blackburn brush. I like it because it has a beautiful, subtle texture to the edges of the brush as well as the painting side of the brush so you have subtle texture to work with. Of course, feel free to try out different brushes and pick the one that resonates with you, that you're connecting most for this project. Let's clear the layer quickly. If you tap on the layer, you have a small drop-down menu and you can pick Clear, and that would clear out everything on that layer. Now that you have everything set up, you can start drawing your dancer. I'm going to let the music run and stop every once in a while to give you some pointers. The main key points that I would like you to take from this exercise is to do this in your own way. As you draw your dancer, try to refer frequently to your style road map. If you have any questions to yourself, like what's the way that you want to draw your dancer, obviously, you have your own way. This is just the way that I like to do things. Find your way of drawing your dancers because your project should be uniquely yours. I like to work with a fairly muted background color. I can always change it, although the colors usually work relatively to the background color that you choose in the beginning, so be mindful to where you're going with your work. When I'm drawing the hands, I try to not give all the very fine details by kind of hint of where the thumb is and where the fingers are. So if you notice the way that I'm drawing it, the brush strokes are really rough in the open hand, but you can still see the gesture. This is where I'm going with that. The feet are a different story because I think that the feet of the dancer really helps with enhancing the movement and the gesture. So I will try to saturate the gesture where toes are pointing with the arch of the foot and all these little details of the legs just to enhance the movement of the dancer through their legs. The way my style work is that I like to work with negative space and leave some lines open and erased rather than actually going and draw them later on with another brush. For instance, the line between the shoulder and the head is going to be a negative space. Basically, it's a line that is erased from the big chunk of shape that is the dancer. Now, the hand is positioned way back, much further back than the initial sketch, and the reason for it is to exaggerate, to enhance the gesture and the movements of the dancer as they're bending backwards. So I would exaggerate the bend of the back and the tilt of the head. Here's a tip for you, set up your eraser as the same brush that you've used to draw the actual shape so that when you're deleting parts, when you're erasing, the texture will stay the same, your outline will still have the same texture as the brush that you've used to draw the body. We're going to talk more about creating the face and the details of the face in the lesson dedicated to character design. But for now, this is how I create the face. I draw some and I erase them. I leave the facial feature pretty general and rough. When you have your dancer form ready, we can uncheck the sketch layer, it's not useful anymore, add a new layer and decide what we want to do next. If you're drawing style calls for drawing in details in linework or drawing in some details with lines, this is a time to add them in a new layer. Let's try a brush that could work well for that purpose. Sometimes it helps to add the reference photo that you used to draw the initial pose just to check how some details work in the real world in the reference photos. For instance, I would look back at the dancer to see how her feet are positioned, how the toes are positioned. This will give me a good idea of how I'm going to add in the details if I want to draw them back in. We've seen one way of adding details to first layer of the body. Since I'm not working with outlines, I'm going to delete this work and just set it up as an example for something that you may choose to do in your work. In our next lesson, we're going to see a way of adding shading to our dancer form. 12. Shading Techniques with Masks: Let's start adding shadows to our dancer. To do that, we'll add a new layer and set it up as a clipping mask. To set up a layer clipping mask, simply choose from the small layer drop down menu. Next we want to pick a bright color, as a rule shadows don't necessarily need to be black, they can be colorful, and in that way they will enhance your illustrations. Mask layer is restricted to the boundaries of the layers for which it's assigned. Any brush marks that you make will fall on the exact shape of your dancer. For your brush, pick any brush that you like working with, for this initial demonstration, I'm using the wet acrylic to create these shadows. These are the basic principles of drawing shadows with clipping mask. My technique for drawing shadows is to use heavily textures brush from their artistic menu. This is really a personal choice, I would suggest that you try a few brushes until you find the one that you really like to work with. I like to do some touch ups of shadows, not so much to draw them in. I use the shadows as a way to amplify the form and add some more details to my dancer. Now when we want to delete parts of the shadow layer, we need to make sure, again, that we're setting up the eraser to the same brush that we used to draw in the texture for the shadows. Here is an example of making a change in the dancer's body. Now that we're working with layers, the changes need to be made to the right layer. Just by tapping on the layer, I can choose it and then delete any layers and adjust the dancer form. Try to keep your workspace organized by grouping layers from the same subject. All my dancer layers will be grouped in, and all the fabrics will be grouped in another group. Next, we're going to make adjustments to the illustration by enhancing the gesture with the transform tool. 13. Transforming and Manipulating Poses: We can enhance the movement of the dancer and exaggerate the pose by using Procreate tools. Let's pick the transform and set it up on distort. Now we can play around with the pose. We can tilt the dancer up to exaggerate the movement, we can pick uniform to enlarge the whole illustration, we can rotate the form using the green handle. At this stage, I would advise you to make very subtle changes so that you won't really exaggerate too much with the fine work you've done so far in your illustration. Choose a warp option to transform sections of your illustration. For instance, I can choose to pick up the breast a little bit and enhance the arc in the back of the character. That really helps with the dynamic of the pose as the dancer looks there's surging upward more. This is where using groups layers really comes in handy. All the changes that we're making now are done to both layers simultaneously by choosing the group layer rather than individual layers to create all these changes. You can also select paths of your illustration and edit them. If I stretch out that arm backwards, this will enhance the movement and add to the dynamics of this pose. Finally, you want to go over the changes that you've made and check up how the different body parts are connected. For instance, if I made changes to the arm, I want to go back and see that I haven't distorted anything and that it's connected to the body in a smooth way. We can always use the eraser to change and adjust the changes that we've made before. Next, we're going to move on to character design, and we're going to learn how to add character and personality to the dancers. 14. Designing Relatable Characters: Character design is much more than drawing the facial expressions. Consider the complete set of poses and facial expressions that are uniquely related to your illustrated character. It helps if you take the time to think of a big story for your character, what is their personality like? Are they mellow kind of person? Are they serious, are they funny? What is their dressing style? I actually named each of my character in her own unique name and there is a reason for each name that I picked. Sometimes you just get the sense of who your character is just from going through all the preliminary drawing stages. You might have a good sense of who your character is by now. There are a few ways to draw a face. One is to show the character from a profile. Here we can create different profile, for instance, this dancer can have a more rough face or a more gentle face with a smaller nose. The way that you draw the facial feature really reflects on your character's personality. If you draw rough features or very gentle and small features, really has an effect of the appearance of your character. Add circles for the cheeks, and then the eyes and the eyebrows are another element that I add to my dancer's face. Let's see the same character, but this time from the front. Here, we have several options and several ways that we can choose to draw a face. You can use the eraser and then the brush. Some lines can be drawn and some lines can be erased from the face. Once again, we use a negative space. You can draw the nose in different styles. Let's see a few examples. Eyes can be open or close. When they are close, if the eye line is curving up, the expression is more joyful. When the closed eyes curve down, the expression is more relaxed, more serene. You can draw very pronounced eyebrows and that really adds more character in my opinion, or choose not to draw eyebrows. Eventually, my personal choice is to mix negative space as in using my eraser and my brush to draw the face and I like to keep it very simple and a little rough. Let me show you another example this time on the purple dancer. She's in a profile. Again, there are several ways to draw the eyes. We can choose to keep the eyes open or draw them closed. There are several ways of doing that, it all depends on the one that you prefer, the one that feels right for you, the one that you connect with the best. Try out different options for your character until you feel that you've drawn something that you enjoy and you really want to keep. In the next lesson, we're going to move on to more styling option for designing your character. We can look at hair and other ways of adding individuality and personality to your character. 15. Styling Individual Characters: In this lesson, we'll explore a few ways to style a unique character. You can change the skin color to define a separate identity to each character or other features like glasses, natural botanical elements and closing and more. You may also name your character and write about the story in your class project. I will demonstrate in this lesson a few ways to draw here so that you will be able to explore the way that you enjoy drawing hair and adding accessories to your characters in order to style them in your unique way. I'll be demonstrating in black, but you can keep the color options for the hair really vibrant and colorful. Adding glasses, earrings, and jewelry to your characters can really help with defining a unique identity for them. It can also help with determining the direction of the movement of the character. This is also a great way to add more color illustrations, whether you are decorating the hairs with colorful ribbons or adding jewelry. Let's start with a very simple yet effective way to draw hair. We're using the same brush that I've used for drawing the body. Drawing the hair in the opposite direction shows movements. The hair is flowing after the character is moving, and it helps to enhance the sense of movement energy, and they now make off a pose. I can draw a more stylized shape for the hair and then fill it up with just dragging and dropping the color swatch into the shape that I've drawn. To do that, we actually have to draw a closed shape in order to drag and drop color into it. Otherwise, your color drop will fill the whole canvas. Now this is a more dramatic shape for the hair because it balances off the shape of the dancer. So we have a big shape for the hair and a big shape for the dancer. But we can even make it more complicated and add a new layer and create it as a clipping mask. Then we can draw inside the hair. It's just another fun way of stylizing your character. In this example, we can create more control shapes for the hair, more stylized. To make it more interesting, we can add a new layer. With a new and abstract color, I can add a new shape. Now I have the blue shape and the controlled lines, and they all create very stylized and controlled shape for the hair. This hair is less natural, but more designed hair. Here's the way that I've chosen to draw the hair for my characters. I use a layer of light color and then a layer of black color with this texturized brush to draw the hair. With each character that I've created, I drew slightly different hairstyle, but I use the same method of an under layer that is white and then over layer that has all the texture. If I want to erase with this hairstyle, I would make sure that my eraser is set up for the same brush that I've used for drawing. We have explored a few ways to draw hairstyles for your character. Next we are going to move on to an exercise where we create different variations of one dancer. 16. Exercise 4: Design Character variations: In this exercise, you will create three variations of one character. You can draw one character in three different poses, or you can draw three different characters in three different poses. At the end, you'll have three dancers for your exercise. Be sure to include at least one profile view and one full front view of your character. This is a great place to be testing ideas for your design, color choices, for your project and different hair styling. This could be the beginning of your project or just one more exercise in your gallery. Let's start drawing. 17. Painting Flowing Fabrics: Dressing up a character adds to their personality and enhances their movement. If you remember in the illustrations example we checked at the beginning of this class, illustrators used hair blowing in the wind and clothes stretching behind a character as a way to communicate the direction and speed of a character. Drawing a sense of direction in the character's outfit also adds to the dynamics of the image. Let's see a few ways you can apply when dressing up your character. Let's add a new layer, and head over to the Select tool. Make sure that the Select tool a set-up on freehand. I love using this method to draw close. In this way, we can draw simplified versions of fabrics and any clove item that you would like to add to your character. Once the shape is closed and the mask layer is ready, let's head over to the Brush menu and pick a good brush for joining the fabric. Now, I love using a wet acrylics or the acrylic, it gives you a very nice water color texture. You can go ahead and use the brush that I'm using or pick a brush that you love working with. The only thing is, make sure the brush is set up pretty high so you'll have the big brush to work with. When working with a brush, makes sure to work lightly and not press hard on your stylus. If you press hard, you will get a pack brushstrokes. If you want to keep the shape transparent and the brush layers gentle, be sure to work very lightly when layering your brushstrokes. This is a good start. From here, we can either add a new layer or work directly on the same layer. I'm going to, again, select shapes using the Select tool and fill them up with color. This way, I can create creases and folds in the fabric. Be sure to change the colors you're using. Some of the colors would be lighter than the basic fabric color, and some should be darker. The last thing that we can do is head over to the layer and swipe right with two fingers to set it up in Alpha Lock. Alpha Lock create the layer mask over the layer as opposing to clipping mask that is an additional layer that works as a mask. I like working with Alpha Lock because it's a very quick way of masking and working. Now that the layer is locked in a mask, we can add some shading with a darker color just to accentuate a few areas of the fabric. It creates more dynamic fabric, add some shading, and overall, I think it makes the pants more interesting. The next step, I would like to show you a more complicated way of creating fabric folds in a dress. Here's another more intricate way of creating fabric folds. This is an actual art process from my dancers approach. I've created a design or a basic design of where I want the folds to be falling on the dress. Now, I'm going to select these areas and fill them up with colors. Once again, I'm working with the acrylic brush and painting in very, very lightly not to block the whole section with color, but to keep it transparent and see-through our fabric strips. I'm going to repeat the process for each piece of the fabric, and then change the colors and do some manipulations with those fabric shapes. For each shape, I'm using a new layer because I'm planning ahead in my arc process for what I want to do later on. I know that I would want to edit the colors and play with them a little bit. This is a bit more intricate process and you need some planning ahead. But I do want you to see how the process is down so that you'll have the option to choose it if you like to work in a similar way. When all the pieces of the dress are ready, we can go ahead and select "Layer", and then adjust the brightness of the layer to create changes in the fabric folds. It's much more interesting to see changes in the colors than to have the entire fabric in exactly the same shade and the same tones. I also really like how all the different pieces play together and create a dynamic dress that follows the dancer's movement and enhances it. Final touches to this dress would be to use the eraser to add more texture to the edges of the fabric, erase parts that covers the dancers arm, and finally, add the transform on the Warps settings to help the dress fits better to the dancer's body. In the next lesson, we'll start adding patterns to our fabric. We'll start with an easy to draw pattern, and move on to a more complicated pattern design. 18. Creating Loose Patterns: In this lesson, I'd like to show you two ways to drawing patterns. These are loose patterns that you draw in duplicate. We'll start with the easiest one, but they both work using the same method. Any shape will work for drawing a pattern, even a very simple square shape. I'm going to place the square in the beginning point of my pattern. Then let's head over to the Layer menu and duplicate, that layer. We'll create a slight variation to the shape by rotating it slightly and moving it across the fabric. Then we'll head over to the Layer menu and duplicate that layer and create another manipulation. The basic practice is duplicate a layer, move it across the fabric and manipulate it a little bit, whether by rotating it or flipping it. I will not scale the shape down or up at this point because I'd like this pattern to repeat the same exact shape in slight variations. Now let's go ahead and create a few more variation of this shape across that pants until we cover the whole fabric with patterns. When the pattern is ready, we can merge all the layers that create the pattern into one. With this gesture, we're picking all the layer and merging them in one swift over hand. This is a really fun gesture to use. Of course, you can merge all the layers individually by picking merge down from each layer's drop-down menu. The last thing that we want to do is embed the pattern in the pants. We're going to choose clipping mask for our pattern layer. Basically, my pattern layer is ready. But in this case, it's white and the pants are transparent and so the pattern comes off very faded. We can go ahead and duplicate the pattern layer so that it will stand out more against the transparent pants. For the next pattern, I created two basic shapes. One of a hibiscus flower and the other is a leaf. I'm going to use them both to create the pattern. Using the same principle as in the previous simpler pattern, we'll create variation by flipping the flower, and then moving it and changing the size very slightly. This design may take a bit longer because you would want to move the elements around until you feel that they fit in with the right position. I'm leaving one flower to cover the dancer, and the second flower is going to work in a clipping mask with the actual dress fabric. In this way the pattern works seamlessly with the dress. When working with colorful elements, it might enhance the design if we use the layer blending modes to make sure the elements blend well with the fabric underneath. We can try a few blending modes until we find the one that works best for the design that we've created. For this example, working with a lighten layer blending mode works best for my design. Now that I've set that up, I'm ready to continue duplicating the elements of the pattern and I can get rid of the layer group that I've created initially to place my elements in. I'm leaving one out because it's covering the denser beyond the boundaries of the address, and all other elements are going to fall into the clipping mask layers. Let's continue duplicating and manipulating the elements to create the complete pattern. A key factor to creating this design is your taste. I'm using some of the leaves as shading elements. For instance, I placed a leaf behind the dancer's leg because I think it creates an effect of shading, and I would place the leaves more in the outer edges of the fabric for the same reason, and I'll give the flowers a more central role in the pattern. The next thing that we're going to do is learn to draw simple and easy clothing for your character. 19. Dressing Up Quick and Easy: In this lesson, I like to show you a way of drawing clothes that is really quick and easy. It's also really fun. You can actually start with this method, and then move on to drawing more intricate fabrics and patterns, and of course, you can combine it with different methods of drawing clothing. Let's see a few examples of how I use this technique in my illustrations. This is Urban Bea, and I'd like for you to pay attention to her pants and the way they work with her shirt. The pants are tight, and the shirt is flowing, and the interaction between them is really interesting. This is Mid Step Kelly, and her pants has a loose pattern. The contrast between the tight pants and the flowy shirts works really well to create more interesting design. In this illustration, I created the dress and the socks in the same method; added details to the socks and loose vibrant pattern to the dress. Let's go back to America Tiptoes, my green dancer, and I'll demonstrate how I drew her blouse. The first thing that we'll do is add a layer on top of the dancer layer, and set it up in a clipping mask. Next, we're going to pick a brush. I like working with a wet acrylic. We'll start painting directly on the dancer's body. Since we're working in clipping mask, everything we draw in this way, we'll create a very tight garment that fits snugly with the dancer's body shape. The clothing item you draw will be as transparent or as opaque as the pressure you apply on your stylus. I like to keep it somewhere in between. Now, we can add more details to the design in a new layer. If we want to draw without the clipping mask, we can add lines and decorations to the pants or the shirt that we draw. You can add to this design by drawing more details in the clothing item. Let's add a new layer and set it up as a clipping mask and draw a loose button directly on the shirt. This is a great way to add color and more interest to your designs. It's also really fun and creative. I didn't really plan ahead on what I was doing with this dancer. I was just drawing, kept on drawing, and this design simply came out as I worked. This is really the enjoyable thing about all creative process. 20. Project Illustration Demonstration: These pictures. Okay, Let's come up with this idea. Okay. Okay. Yes. With respect to every 15 seconds. Okay. Okay. Okay. And the teacher. Let's see. Okay. Okay. Okay. 21. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on completing the class. We started with understanding movement dynamics, practiced our figure drawing. We covered everything from changing body shapes to playing with proportions and you went deeper in search of your unique illustration style. I hope that you are now more confident in your ability to illustrate relatable people in dynamic poses. Share your progress, exercises along with your final project. Do the project gallery on the class page so we can all take a look. Remember to let your style shine through your illustrations. Be adventurous, explore, and try out in your drawing strategies. I think we create our best work when we just let ourselves be out there and do our thing. Thank you for joining me in this class. Please stay in touch. You can find me on Instagram and follow me here on Skillshare. I'll see you in the next class. 22. DANCERS Process Timelapse Videos: We make these sentences. Well, in this case, right? That was it. Exactly. And there is a difference. That's it. Okay. Okay. Right. Okay.