Draw a Circus of Movement: Simple Techniques to Bring Characters to Life | Nina Rycroft | Skillshare

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

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About This Class

Learn simple techniques that will bring characters to life.

Explore body posture, forward motion and learn how to apply poses found in any reference to your character. Experiment with body language and exaggeration to bring personality and story to your character. Explore age-appropriate movement, line-of-action and gesture.


  • body posture
  • forward motion
  • to use reference material
  • body language
  • exaggeration
  • line-of-action
  • age-appropriate movement
  • drawing with gesture






Interested in character design? 

Below is my series of Skillshare classes that walk you through the entire process of how to illustrate a character from start to finish. Use this series to either brush-up on a particular skill or work your way through, for a comprehensive guide.

Nina's Skillshare Character Design Series

  1. Face Facts: Beginners Guide to Drawing a Self Portrait
  2. Face Shapes: Draw a Series of Character Using Simple Shapes 
  3. 101 Guide to Drawing Eyes
  4. Emoji Me: The art of Facial Expression
  5. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part One
  6. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part Two
  7. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part Three
  8. Draw a Circus of Characters: Exploring Body Shape and Proportion
  9. Draw a Circus of Movement: Simple Techniques to Bring Characters to Life
  10. Draw a Circus of Line & Gesture: Design a Picture Book Character From Start to Finish
  11. Watercolor Magic: One Character Five Ways
  12. Illustration Masterclass - Exploring Technique and Style
  13. Learn to Use Procreate: Design and Illustrate a Bear Character


1. Introduction: Welcome to Body Works, Part two, where we'll be drawing a circus of movement, learning really simple techniques that will bring your characters to life. Have you ever wanted to know how other artists and picture book illustrators managed to bring the characters to life? No matter how simple or animal or fantasy their characters are, they seem to manage to brings endearing, ah, human qualities to their characters. Enough so to captivate us and to draw us into the story as a picture book illustrator, bringing movement and jester two characters is probably one of the hardest things to try and go with the techniques that I teach in this class. Before you know it, I'll have your characters walking, running, creeping, balancing, lifting and leaping right off the page. In this class, you're going to learn how to position your character into any pose you wish, and we're going to try this with wire frame techniques, shapes and also using reference. We're going to learn about body posture, so leading with the head, the chest and the pelvis were going toe move through forward motion. So walking, running, snaking that sort of thing and they were going toe a tackle, the big topic off body language. So we're going toe, explore exaggeration and visual storytelling. Through this, we're going to dive into a selection of picture books, and this will help us explore age appropriate characters and movement. And it's also going toe, I guess, open up and inspire the storytelling genre It's so with. You're working on a comic and animation anything with storytelling and character. What I teach in this class can be applied to to your character and your work. Anyway, I'm super excited about this class. Can't wait to share all these techniques with you. I seriously think they're going to transform all of your character drawings into something that's just gonna take it to another level. I can't wait to get started, so I'll see in the next lesson. 2. Body Posture: so welcome in this lesson, I'll be taking you through the basics in body posture. Using the boy character that are designed in the body works part one class. So here I have the basic framework for my boy character, and from this I'm going to create a wire frame off the front view and also the side view before you can bring movement to your character. It's really important to know what your character looks like from the front and the side. Here. I'm using the guidelines to transfer the information across from the front view to the side view. So here we have the chin line, the shoulder, the nipple line, the belly button, the hip joint, which is also the same height as the wrist and the crotch, the mid thigh and finger tip line, the bottom of the knee bottom of the calf muscle. And finally the soles off the fate, placing my wife frame underneath the sheet of bank paper. I'm going to use this as reference for the proportions of the character, so leading with the head makes my character look very slumped. You can see how the spine is kind of leaning forward with shoulders forward and the posture of my character looks very different to how I initially drew him, that I'm now going to draw, leading with the chest, which is a very confident body posture. It's open. It's broad shoulders, the arms a back. The head is held high, so my character would come across as much more confident than the previous drawing. So now I'm going to try Ah, leading with the pelvis and you can see I'm moving that pelvis forward, which pushes everything else back. The legs go back, the chest falls back and the shoulders sort of hang a little bit as well. And this is probably the most similar to my my original drawings of the of the characters. So I actually want my character to be moving with the late the pelvis lead. So here we have a leading with the head, the chest and the pelvis. So now that I have my wire frames in place, I'm going to start drawing in more detail off the boy character, using my original drawing as reference. So he's got the large hair, the long T shirt, and he's holding the skateboard and now drawing the character leading with the chest, and you can see how different the posture affects the look and feel of the character and they personality and then leading with the head. The three different body postures portray three very different personalities with the same character leading with the head shows. Uncertainty leading with the chest shows confidence and strength while leading with the pelvis seems to show a sort of a confidence swag. Make sure the printout the pdf work shape for this class is that you can try this out for yourself. Now please join me my next class, where I'll show you how to bring forward movement to you characters. 3. Forward Movement: Welcome back with the help of the round older man that I designed in body works, Part one. I'll be showing you the basics in Ford Movement and then had a overlay. The wire frame movement that you've created with your own characters, placing the wife frames that we did earlier under a sheet of bank paper. We're going to use the side view and mark a line for the ground and the pelvis area, tilting the reference 30 degrees also draw the position off the back leg, the back of the foot pressing off the ground, the spine and the chest, then uses circle to mark where the shoulder socket sits, and from there you can swing both the arms, so drawing in the elbow, the wrist and hands and then the position off the head. Then reposition the reference 30 degrees. Also the other way to draw the position off the front leg with the heel pressing into the ground, then draw the second arm swinging forward. So again, drawing the elbow, the wrist in the hand, just putting in those final touches. And here we have it, the wire frame for walking. Now, the main difference between drawing someone walking or drawing someone. Running is the angle with running the angles of farm or exaggerated as the body pushes forward so he can see. The back leg is really outstretched and the torso is leaning way forward with the head looking forward, the front legs elevated and bent at the knee on a really tight angle, ready to bear into the ground. Using circles to mark the shoulder, elbow and wrist, one on swings back at a similar angle to the front shin, while the other arm swings forward with both hands clenched into a fist, side by side, you can see how much more powerful and angular the running looks compared to the walking. So here we have it, the wife frame for running. So now I will demonstrate a very different kind of forward movement, sneaking slow and cautious. The angle off the body is leaning way back and along the line. I use the wife frame reference to mark the length of each limb, so from the ankle to the knee and then from the need to the hip. So here you can clearly see the line of action from the ankle, knee, pelvis following the spine all the way through to the top of the head from the chest, marking a circle for the shoulder socket. I then draw two curved lines for the position off the arms. Then, following that line of action, I'm mark where their head will rest. So with each one of these forward movements, the most important thing to know is where the baseline or the ground line is. You're sending to know where the pelvis it's, and it's really important to know the line of action. Once you have these in place, you can then fill in the other pieces of the wire frame. At this wire frame stage, it's really easy to make changes to get the desired movement. At this point, it's only a matter of re drawing a circle or line. So here we have it. Ah, wire frame for the forward movement off someone sneaking. Once you have your wife frame in place, you can then overlay it with any character you like. Here you can see how the sneaking dinosaur ended up on the cover of my picture book. Dinosaurs love cheese, so whether your character is animal or human, tall or short, large or thin wire frames work for any type of character to show you what I mean. I'm going to enlist the help off my round old man character that I designed in part one of this series so you can see how I'm simultaneously using the wire frame. And also my reference might my character map to draw this character in motion. The wire frame is essentially the skeleton of the character positioned into a chosen pose, and once you have this, you can overlay the muscle, the flesh, the skin here, clothing and other accessories are creating your character. Make sure to print out the pdf worksheet that I've supplied and post your forward moving character sketch to the project section of this class. So please join me my next class, where I'll be showing you how to interpret movement from any reference and how you can apply this to your characters. 4. Drawing Movement from Reference : in this lesson, I'm going to show you how to use reference any reference, whether it's a photo in newspaper clipping or a still from a movie, and how you can apply this reference to your own character in body works. Part one. Draw Circus of Characters We learned the basics in body Proportion and had a design, a set of characters using simple shapes. So now I'm going to choose the girl character from my set of circus characters, and I'm going to strip back all of her detail so that I can work with her wire frame when drawing movement. It's really important to know what your character looks like from the front and the side. So here I've drawn a wire frame off the girls characters front few and using guidelines, I've transferred the information across to a side view. So this is my circus inspired pose that I've chosen for my character a vintage photograph that I've made a copy off. You can draw from images on your screen, but I always find it easy to have printouts of all of my reference material, and I would highly recommend this, especially if you're trying this out For the first time here, I've placed the wife frame underneath a sheet of bank paper, and here I'm simultaneously using the wife frame as a guide for my characters body proportions while using the reference for the position off the body. And you can see that I'm marking the main areas the pelvis, the knee and ankle joints, and you can save up lines in between those two areas, and I'm also transferring across the angle off the leg. Three angles don't change, and here I'm putting in the knee and the other ankle joint. So here you can see I'm marking the shape of the torso and the line of action, and I'm transferring that onto my sheet of paper so that I know where the the shoulder joint will be. And that's marked with a circle. And you can see I'm now filling in the torso area. So here I'm marking where the elbow will be, and I'm drawing a line up with another circle, marking where the restorers and you can see how I am copping the angles off the arm and the placement. So where is the elbow? Where is the wrist? And then I'm connecting those with with simple lines. So I'm now moving across to the other arm and again I'm looking at the angle marking and wear. The elbow is marking in where the wrist will be and then a the hand following the wrist. So I'm just tilting my sheet of paper so that I can. I'm droll the profile of the face correctly and at the right angle, you can see how I've lifted the chin up. So once I have the basic structure in place, I'm now going to add in the detail so you can see how I've got reference off my character as well as the reference of the photograph near me. And I'm just going to move around the illustration and looking at the photograph but also looking at my reference off the character, because I do want the limbs to be correct. I want my, um, you know, the proportions off the torso and the legs and the head to be, you know, to be my character. But I want that kept my character in the pose that's there on the photograph. So I was working my way around the detail that hands Now, if you have trouble drawing side profiles or anything to do with the face in the head. I have got another class that shows you how to draw the head from every angle so you can go back to that class. If you want to sort of have a refresh on how to draw the face, it's really That's probably the hardest thing to draw when you when you drawing your character from every angle so you can see how I'm filling in the legs, the thigh. And now I'm down at the feet and I'm really going back to that reference. Now I want that feeling off walking on a wire, which is quite hard to achieve. So you've got to, you know, really understand. Where is the weight off the character? Andi, How stretches is that lake? You can see how that back leg is quite straight on. The heel is really worked into the into the wire. So and the whole foot is sitting really quite firmly on that wire. So details like that are really important to get the feeling off what the characters actually doing, they can see once I've got the basic shape I can then just start adding in the detail I've got, you know, the address that my characters wearing. But I'm also placing in the umbrella that that is from the reference she's using umbrella to help keep her stable. So it's just mixing those two mixing your the reference that you've chosen from your photograph and then trying to simultaneously bring in what your character looks like in that same pose so you can see how I'm now layering in even more detail. I'm looking at my character drawings and putting in the detail of what she's wearing her hands and bringing in my original side profile. Skitch. Just checking on what that looks like. And I'm done. So while I add in more detail with a lead, a pencil line I'd like to invite. You will, too, choose the reference that I'll supply you, or you can choose something of your own and apply that to your character and just have a go at this. It's a really fun thing to be able to do. It sort of freeze you up and allows you to put your character to into any position like you just don't have any boundaries. Once you know how to applied this kind of technique to your character? I mean, you can have your character doing anything you want it to, so this is a really exciting technique, and it should really get your characters doing anything you want them to do, which is brilliant as faras picture book illustration goes. So here we have it, uh, the final character drawing action movement using reference, make sure print out of pdf worksheets for this class so that you can try this out for yourself. And after posting these sketches, you can keep adding to them As you move through the class. Please join me my next class, where I'll be sharing with you the out of exaggeration. 5. The Art of Exaggeration: welcome back in this class. I'm going to share with you how to use exaggeration to enhance your characters body of movement. And I've enlisted the help off my strongman character that I designed in part one of this series. So instead of using the classic wire frame that we've been using so far, we're going to go back to those simple shapes that we used to design our characters. In part one, exaggeration is used by illustrators for many reasons. One of them is to make it very clear what that character is doing so dramatizing and embellishing. Ah, what that character is doing really helps the reader understand. So here I've drawn the strongman in a very distinctive pose. He's got all his weight on one leg while the other legs stretched out one arm on his hip. While the other arm is pointing directly up, he seems overly confident balancing or spinning theon object above his head, and because he's so at ease, it seems like what he's caring and holding is quite light. So now I'm going to draw the strongman doing, I guess, the opposite. I'm going to get him to hold something that is heavy. So all of a sudden I'm bending his body the opposite way to what I did for the light pose. The knees will be bent as they bear the weight. And now, if I were to imagine the button as being an extremely heavy object, so if before it was a basketball that say it's now a bowling ball, the arms would be straight and down. Everything would be pulling down towards that. That object. I'm even going to make the moustache react under the strain of the weight. If you've taken my facial expression class, well, now is the time to make the most of it. Once I finish off the face, I'm now making the final adjustments and adding in that final detail. Here we have it, the circus strongman character lifting a heavy object. So now, moving my reference between these two characters to draw something that is very light floating. So I'm only thinking like thoughts when I'm drawing this character and the foot is actually lifting off the ground. You can clearly see here the line of action from the foot all the way through to the hand, drawing one leg, swinging out knee bent and the body arched in that same arch off the line of action that I did from the toe through to the hand. So now Madigan more detail around the arms and the body, and I'm just pulling in the shapes and using the reference underneath to see with the shape of the head and the torso and making sure all the proportions are there. Now I'm just working the moustache, placing in more detail around the single IT area. And if there's changes that I need to make an adjustment, it's simple to do. At this point, we're any at sketching stage, so don't feel too precious about it, really, Just play around with How can you make this more? How can you exaggerate the body position even more so by using exaggeration in that line of action, I can really capture the quality off what the character is doing and making it much more obvious and noteworthy for the reader tilting the reference. I'm putting in that second arm on I'm having it stretched out and hands and the fingers splayed in a sort of ah ah fright kind of movement and in the spirit off very light. I'm going to make my object my button. A balloon. So far, we've done light very light heavy. And now I want to do very heavy. So I have drawn a line of action. I've drawn what will be a rope and I'm drawing the hand and the arm that's now going to pull on that rope, using strong angles to amplify the pose, trying to create this tension with the rigid legs, the arms and shoulders pulling up and back. And I'm nestling the head in between the shoulders. Eso there really is a sense of yanking and pulling from from that rope. A lot of the times, I actually find it really helpful to put myself in that position. So if I'm to draw this particular position, I would physically do it. And then I would know what it feels like. And I find that helps with my illustration. Ah, lot of the time. So anyone point while you're sketching, I don't feel afraid to try new things. Push something out further, try rearranging, sort of where the shoulders are, whether where the back is, how you going toe? Interpret that the story of that character, even more having to make it easier for the reader to understand what that character is doing. The pose that I put my character in should be enough. So no matter what object I use, the story of my character should remain the same. So here we have it, the strongman character demonstrating the out of exaggeration with light, very light, heavy and very heavy objects. Please join me my next class, where I'll take you through the out of body language. 6. Body Language: Welcome back in this lesson will be looking at the out of body language to help me. I'll be enlisting my seamstress character that I designed in body works part one of this series. In this lesson, I'll be stripping back to the characters. Initial simple shapes to create a Siris of poses are then use this as a base to layer in more and more detail. You may choose to work on your own character, or you can use my character placing them into similar poses that I offer. In this lesson, the idea is to bring your character to life by telling a story through their actions. Sub To bring in the story element, Imagine your character as an actor in a silent movie. Much like a picture book story. A silent movie relies on the actions of the character to engage the view and walk them through the story. So, in this lesson will use Charlie Chaplin's body language in The Lion's Cage to inspire body language for our own characters. Placing my initial shape drawing under a sheet of bank paper I'm going to use. This is reference for my characters, proportions, shapes and lengths of limbs, etcetera. So going back to Charlie Chaplin's silent movie, I'm going to imagine my character having just stumbled across the lion. My characters just seen the state of the kitchen. The lines just left it in, and she's not too happy at all. So an upright, strong stance hands on hips, broad shoulders, chin leaning forward and the body language pretty much, says angry. So here I'm drawing the side view of my character. The lion seems to have vanished weight on one leg, knock kneed, soft shoulders one. I'm hanging by the side while the other in a thoughtful gesture, resting under the chin. My character is looking a little confused and unsure. So now my character is curious. She's looking to see if she can find the lion. She doesn't want to disturb the lines, so she's trying to tiptoe as quietly as she possibly can. Slow, elongated strides, arms and hands out wide, ready to find something with this, posed the characters reaching up to investigate a noise of some kind. There's a strong line of action through the reach, from the tip toe on the ground all the way up the side of the body to the tip of the finger and to keep balance. The other foot and arm are leaning out very much like a dancer's pose. In this particular post, my character seems to have come up short. Once again, I have a very strong line of action from the fetal, the way up through the front of the body. The fate of firmly planted together on the ground for strong, straight legs on the chest is up and out. One hand is nestled into the hip with a very angular elbow, while the other is reaching forward, holding out the offending Krisha. My character is not looking very impressed at all. The mouse is now as frightened as my character terrified. The mouse starts running across the width of my characters, stretched out arms from one hand to the other, bent over, leaning forward, squatting down. This is just such an awkward pose, but a little bit comical as well. Disappointed and a little fed up, my characters marching away, her shoulders slumped forward and her arms hanging down in front of her. You can literally see her eyes rolling back into her head as she lets out a big sigh As the story unfolds, my character is looking towards the audience. Her arms have been to the elbow with their hands out and facing up her head, tilting ever so slightly as her shoulders shrugged. Her weight is casually leaning onto one foot with the other flicked up with the ankle. My character's story finishes here as part of your project. I'd like for you to draw a simple three part sequence featuring your character and then post it onto the project section of this class. Use the lying cajas inspiration, but really. 7. Body Language...Continued: welcome back in this lesson will continue looking at the out of body language with the help of my seamstress character. Now I'm going over my initial line drawing sketches that I did with using the simple shapes . And I'm just using the reference off my seamstress character that I did in Part one, and I'm just placing that on the side, and I'm trying to bring in the detail from that character map into these character and movements sketches. So as I layer in more detail, I'll be thinking about not only the body language but also the facial expressions, the eye movement and whether I can add any other gestures that could possibly help convey the meaning that I want to put across to the viewer. I also need to think about the constraints off the costumes and accessories that my character is wearing and how they can possibly be used to my advantage here, for instance, or even ears and tails on animal characters. These can will be brought to life, and they can help punctuate a feeling or an emotion that you're trying to convey. Now. This is where it's really important to know how to draw your character well. How to draw your head from every angle is an absolute must. If you're wanting to draw your character with more ease and confidence, I've listed some classes that may help below. So here I'm actually moving through this quite quickly. I don't overwork it at this stage. I just want to get a feel for what my character will look like and the general movement. So I'm just building in the detail over the top of the basic poses that we did in the previous lesson. I'm thinking about the shape and the size and the length of the limbs on dime, thinking about the hands, adding different, adding in more detail on the hands and the feet. I think this is really important toe start focusing on at this point, and once again, you don't just want to be able to draw the body from every which way. You also need to know how to draw the head and the face from every which way. Knowing this will give you a real sense of creative freedom. Because once you go enjoy a character in any possible pose, well, then the only constraints will be your imagination. Body language requires a broad interpretation. There's no absolute meaning corresponding with a certain movement or pose. It's a really general feel and interpretations of body language very from country to country and culture, the culture. So it's not as universal as we once thought it to bay body language consumed quite overwhelming, especially if you get into the science of it. To avoid any misinterpretation, you really need to get a sense of how that pose feels in a way you need to become the actor in the play, even if it's just for a moment. So to get a sense of whether or not I've got the correct pose for my character in a certain situation, I actually like to place myself in the exact same position as I want my character to be in . So I try to imagine the situation that my characters in I try to feel what a character's feeling and if it feels authentic, then you got to go. So the idea is to keep it simple. Go back to that idea off the silent movie and physically act out the part yourself. Find the best possible pose that you can use to convey a story of the character and see if it feels authentic, and then bring that to your drawings guy under standard, many different levels of feeling. And here, in this particular listen, we've covered a more exaggerated approach. But there are also times when a story or a character needs to be more subdued, more quiet, and I guess the same idea applies across the entire spectrum of movement. If it feels authentic to you, then it's also going to feel authentic to the viewer or the reader of the story. As you work through your poses, make sure to continuously refer back to your initial character sketches. It's really important that you keep your characters looking consistent throughout the story . Things like curls here, parting was the length of skirts and shorts are getting that detail will only make it character farm or riel. Head over to my bonus. Listen, if you want to continue adding in more detail to your characters, if not, please join me in my next lesson on age appropriate movements 8. Age Appropriate Movement: Welcome back in this lesson will be looking at the importance of age appropriate movement. When I'm working on a picture book. I always like to keep in mind the age of my audience. And the readership for a picture book is usually between the ages of zero and five. If you think about a child's world, it begins very much centered around the immediate family and pits. Then, as the child becomes older, their world expands to include extended family and friends and the local community like daycare, kindergarten, the local shops and library and eventually, when the child starts going to school. Not many picture books feature very young babies, as they're not yet mobile enough to carry a story rhyme, sing along and board books work really well for his age group. Like Helen Oxen, Berries, Clap hands. As a picture book illustrated, it's really important to create characters that the reader can relate to. To create a successful character, you need to be able to make them and their interactions believable and authentic. This is why it's so important to understand age appropriate movement in Margaret Wilds Midnight Babies, and James has illustrated a very unlikely scenario off babies creeping out of their cots in the middle of the night to meet with their toddler friends at the local park with not an adult insight. This book is more of the imaginary world. However, the baby's in the book a cruel total and move through the stories. If they were true to their age, the reader needs to feel comfortable enough for them to have the character take their hand and literally walk them through the story. If you think about a child's world, it begins very much centered around the immediate family, like in John Marsden's Milly, a great example of everyday life for a young family. Sally Ribbons. Gestural illustrations really capture the obstacles off the four year old character Millie and her struggles to readjust to the new baby. The scenarios in the story really mimic the four year olds movement beautifully. By age six, a child has mastered the fundamentals of movement. They can walk, run, skip, climb, balance and are probably ready to start dance lessons or join. The local sports team ensues. Ely's picture book Shadow. The main character is seen balancing, reaching, squatting, jumping, dancing and diving as she becomes more and more immersed in her shadow play. So this makes for a really fun age group to illustrate, I'd have to say that eight Years is probably at the top end of the age group for picture book characters, especially for a main character. The older character may appear as a mentor type like in Lien Fams, Big Sister, Little Sister. Well, they may be old enough to be experiencing a deeper, more emotional experience in the story, like the love and loss depicted in Margaret Wilds, Harry and Hopper. So whether your audience are babies, toddlers, preschoolers or primary school Children, the same rules apply as an illustrator. Always keep in mind your Target age group. Get to know that audience. How do they move? How do they interact with each other? Because the more accurate you are in depicting your character, the more relatable and appealing your character will be. Join me in my next class, where I'll be sharing tips on how to bring movement to your line work 9. Drawing with Line and Gesture: Welcome back in this lesson. I'm going to take you through the process that I used to bring movement and gestures to my line in this lesson abusing my ivory black Doohan flooring pencil. But you're more than welcome to use any sort of pencil that she haven't hand the line work that I'll be sharing with you to complete the age appropriate character. Lineup illustration is a style that I'm best known for. It's a style that I've developed over the years, and it works beautifully when combined with water color or inks. So the first thing I'm going to do is to place my working sketch under a sheet of bank paper. Now, if you're thinking about adding color to your line illustration of the later date, then you may want to trace your image onto a thicker, smooth watercolor paper, and you may need a light box to be able to see through the thicker paper. So the idea of this is organized chaos. We've figured out exactly what we want with the sketch underneath and over the top. We're just going to pull out and focus on the things that we want to keep and kind of ignore all the I guess the messiness. You want to keep the line work as clean as possible and as confident as possible as well. So when I work on illustrations like this, I focus on the detail. First eso the face, and if the faith face works out, then I'll spend more time on the rest of the illustration. Sometimes it works the other way around. We want to loosen up and just kind of get a feel for the illustration. So you might go for the back of the body or the or the hairline or something like that, and then use once you've warmed up to the idea of the illustration, you then moved toe the more accurate Daito around the face and hands. But you can see how, um when I've just drawn the other, the belly and the arm I'm trying to use as minimal strokes as possible. I'm trying to be quite precise, and I've got my illustration underneath to guide me, and I'm just moving around the baby in his rhythmical liners. I possibly can. So I'm just trying to understand what areas that I need in what areas are most important Teoh to explain what that baby is doing and kind of just leaving out the rest of it. So I'm making sure that each of these illustrations are resting on the same ground line. It's really important that they all look like they're walking on the same level. And here I start again on the face and the nose and the eyes. And again, if you're having trouble with drawing faces, do go to my other classes and, ah, and brush up on those skills because they really are important when you are trying to bring movement to a character. Now this toddler has a really round belly, so I really want to accentuate that and all at the same time. The underlying thing is this line of action. All these babies are moving in some way inform. So look out for any shapes and any sort of line of action movement that you can see and try toe pull that out as as much as possible. So I'm now thinking off Hey, Stals and, um, and again, I don't want to be over working the hair and coloring in with detail. I want to keep those lines quite confident. and strong and and as minimal as I possibly can. But at the same time, I do want to be ableto add in the detail like the fingers and understand exactly whether thumb sits on the toes and all that. All those details that really make the character I need toe already focus on those as well . So here we have my four year old character and she's, ah, much more active character. She's skipping and kind of pushing off on the ground. Uh, there's her hand on her arm that I'm working on. I've just, uh, quietly with the simplicity of the face in the hair. And you can see I'm kind of quite random with what areas I work on. First on, it's just the idea of that skipping and that line of action you can see that really arch in the back and from the toe and the ground all the way through to her head is a really nice shape happening there, so really make the most of things like that when you're illustrating. So when you re working an illustration like this, you can start thinking about clothing. You can think about small changes with hair. You may like Teoh see them where something slightly different. You might want to change the position of the arms or the hands ever so slightly. So you can see here. I'm moving the back arm around a little bit more, so it's a It's a time to kind of re evaluate. Just get that final. Is this illustration working exactly what it how I wanted to, and you can make those slight adjustments if you want to. You see a lovely line of action through this character's profile here. You can also see very clearly with this illustration that the line is not the same. Wait all the way through. I press and I lift and I pressed and I left, and I tried to change the energy and the weight off that line. No, if you find yourself nervous or sort of drawing really small and tight in any way, there are a couple of things that you couldn't go. You can stand up instead of sitting down. You can work standing up with your page comfortable in front of you. I find that really helps me, especially when I'm working a large painting. You can also put some music on, you can kind of shake it all out. Andrea Lee just kind of loosen up, almost like warm up before you start illustrating and just try to so change the energy of yourself to more upbeat energy. And this really does translate across to illustration, so it may seem strange at the time, but it really does work so you can see how I've overlapped that lot last character with the character in front of up. Because of the head distances between each character, it kind of made sense to bring them close together. So the overlapping leg kind of works with the the trousers and the leggings on the on the two girls. So now I'm going to work my way back from the start to the finish line, just adding in a bit of shading around one side of each character. Most of the shading is going to happen on the on the back limb, and, uh, the left hand side of the character on disorder said a little bit more volume. Stick around for the bonus class if you haven't already, and I really look forward to seeing your class projects off bringing your own characters to life with movement. So if you like this class off, banned any off interesting or helpful, please do give it a thumbs up or a review, as it's really gives the class more visibility on skill share, which will allow others to find out more easily. 10. To Finish: so thanks for joining me. I can't wait to see your projects. Please post a sequence of your characters in the project section. Make sure to download the pdf so I've supplied Has these will really help when it comes to putting your own character reference sheets together? Such a story cap in this class, you flint had a position your character into any pose using wire frames, simple shapes and reference. You've learned about body posture with examples off leading with the head, the chest in the pelvis. You've learned about forward motion were given examples on walking, running and sneaking, and you flirt the out of body language using exaggeration, visual storytelling and line of action. You've also learned about age appropriate movement and drawing the gesture. So if you found any of this class interesting or helpful, please give the thumbs up or even a review, as this gives the class more visibility on skill shares that more people can find it and take part. I hope I've given you enough material and enough ideas. Teoh start thinking about how you can make your characters more lively and real, and that's the whole idea is to just bring your characters to the next level and bring a bit more movement in the excitement to your your drawing. So I look for to seeing your work and I'll see around. 11. BONUS - Body Language...Adding Detail: