Draw a Circus of Movement: Simple Techniques to Bring Characters to Life

Nina Rycroft, Picture Book Illustrator

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11 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Body Posture

    • 3. Forward Movement

    • 4. Drawing Movement from Reference

    • 5. The Art of Exaggeration

    • 6. Body Language

    • 7. Body Language...Continued

    • 8. Age Appropriate Movement

    • 9. Drawing with Line and Gesture

    • 10. To Finish

    • 11. BONUS - Body Language...Adding Detail

17 students are watching this class

Project Description


Create a Character Reference Sheet of your character.
To use as reference for a project, a portfolio piece, a project pitch or to send to a publisher.

Make sure to download the PDF 'Draw-a-Circus-of-Movement-Reference_5pgs' for the wire frames, sketches and character drawings that I produced in class. This can be found in the right-hand-side column of the 'Project' tab. 

1. Character Sequence

Draw a three-part sequence - BEFORE, DURING and AFTER - of your character.
- Use Charlie Chaplin in 'The Lions Cage' as inspiration.
- Imagine your character stumbling across a sleeping...lion, mouse, a puppy or even an elephant.
- Before you start drawing the pose, place yourself in the same position.
- How do you feel when holding the pose? Can you make the pose stronger? 

Post your character sequence in the 'Project' section of this class

2. Body Posture and Forward Motion

Draw your character using the wire frame method (Page 1/5 of the PDF)
- standing (think about your characters body posture)
- walking
- running

Post your wire frame sketches in the 'Project' section of this class

3. Reference Drawing

Draw your character using a pose found in a reference

4. Post your drawings in the project section of this class
- Using the tightrope walking reference that I used in class (Page 2/5 of the PDF) or...
- Use your own reference

Post your reference drawing of your character in the 'Project' section of this class

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