Characters in Motion 101: Illustrating Fluid Gestures | Sue Anne Chan | Skillshare

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Characters in Motion 101: Illustrating Fluid Gestures

teacher avatar Sue Anne Chan, Freelance Storyboard Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Line of Action


    • 3.

      Practice Session


    • 4.

      Analysing Movement


    • 5.

      Practice Session


    • 6.

      Finding Key Poses: Simple Actions


    • 7.

      Finding Key Poses: Complex Actions


    • 8.

      Understanding Body Language


    • 9.

      Body Language: Multiple Characters


    • 10.

      Simplification & Exaggeration


    • 11.

      Analysing Simplified Art


    • 12.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

Do your characters pose like robots? Turn them human by learning gesture drawing!

Here's a quick definition so we're all clear: A gesture refers to the movement of the human body. A gesture drawing is a quick, simple sketch that captures the motion of a person

Whether you're drawing an illustration, a comic, storyboard or painting, how good the end result looks heavily relies on how well the original gesture looks in your draft. To give a character life, you have to show them doing a variety of motions from all sides and angles.

Throughout the lessons, we'll learn what principles we need to draw fluid gestures, and practice sketching them using a timer. 

More specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify the main movement in a reference
  • Simplify each gesture to its 3 key elements
  • Create visual contrast in a gesture
  • Draw quickly using a timer
  • Pick and draw keyframes from video references
  • Analyse and draw body language
  • Simplify and exaggerate your gestures

All you'll need to take this class is a pencil and paper, or any digital drawing program you prefer. We will also cover how to use different references like videos, movie stills and illustrations by other artists to learn from!

This class is for anyone who wants to develop or refresh their gesture drawing skills, especially for those who want to push their art to look more expressive and fluid.

By the end of it, you'll understand how to draw fluid gestures and be able to express the motion and personality of the characters you draw. Most importantly, you'll be able to create beautiful art with your newfound gesture drawing skills!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sue Anne Chan

Freelance Storyboard Artist



I'm Sue, a freelance storyboard artist, comic artist and illustrator who loves whales (and animals in general)!


So far, my professional work includes creating storyboards for both TV productions and several YouTube animated series. I've also drafted and drawn lineart for comics on a commission basis and illustrate webcomics in personal work. Usually, comics are my way of experimenting with different types of storytelling, trying to understand other perspectives and it's how I share my personal thoughts.


Most of my classes cover art fundamentals and storytelling because that's what drives me to make art! If that sounds like your jam, feel free to join in!<... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Intro: Fluid, natural and expressive gesture drawings. Why it is so hard to draw? Well, my friend, if you learn the fundamentals, it doesn't have to be. [MUSIC] Hi everyone, I'm Sue, a storyboarder and comic artist who's been working in the animation industry for about five years now. I've created storyboards for several 2D animated series, both for TV and on YouTube. I also create web comics in my own time. My most recent series being Kippy and the Whale. The common thread in all of my projects, no matter how different they may seem is having to draw the human body as my main subject. Because every story and illustration needs characters. To give a character life, you have to draw them in many different ways from all sides and angles, doing a variety of complex motions. Throughout the years, I've had to draw hundreds and thousands of gestures in my work. I know many of my peers in the art industry, have had to do the same. This is why it's so important to learn how to draw gestures right. But what is a gesture drawing anyway? A gesture refers to the movement of the human body. A gesture drawing is a quick, simple sketch that captures the motion of a person. Well, I've noticed over time, is there whether it's a storyboard, a comic, or an illustration, how good the end result looked, heavily relied on how well I do the original gesture in my drafts. You can have the prettiest colors, best composition and line art. But if the underlying gesture of your art looks odd, it all falls apart. It's if I tried to add skin and muscles to a body without skeleton. There's no base of foundation. Almost every field within the art industry requires you to draw the human body well, but most struggle to make your drawing look fluid and natural. Is tough because people often don't know what to look for in their references or how to even start a gesture. By joining this class, you'll be able to quickly and easily identify the main movement in a reference, otherwise known as the land of faction. From there, you can figure out how to show it as a hipster angle and understand how to create visual contrast in your gesture. In the first few lessons, we'll do a series of time to practice exercises. Having a tight time limit will help you focus on just a gesture and not waste time on unnecessary details. Then we'll dive deeper into capturing motion by using videos as our reference. You will learn how to pick the best key frames to communicate a sequence of movements. We'll study how to draw body language that reveals the character's personality and their relationships to others. Finally, we'll end the class by trying to push our gestures from our references by simplify and exaggerating the opposes for emphasis and impact. This course is for anyone who wants to develop or refresh their gesture drawing skills, especially those who want to push your art to look more expressive and fluid. To those of you who are true beginners to join, don't worry, I'll give a simplified version of each lesson's assignment for you guys to draw. So that it'll be easier for you to start your art journey. By the end of it, you'll understand how to draw fluid gestures and be able to express the emotion and personality of the characters you draw. Just an extra note, the first two lessons of this class will feature references that include nudity. So viewer discretion is advised. Hope you guys have a great time learning through drawing, and I'll catch you all in the first lesson. See you. 2. Line of Action: Where do we start? [MUSIC] Hi everyone. Welcome to your first lesson. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey to join a fluid gestures. I'm going to start by showing you the different ways you can analyze your reference image before you start to draw. Then I'll share my own drawing process and take you through the different methods I use when I draw my gestures. Hopefully, it'll help you when it comes to your own drawing practice at home. If you're new to join gestures, you've got to focus on three key elements. The line of action, the angle of the shoulders, and the angle of the hips. By focusing on these three elements, you're essentially joining stickmen. Now, joining this stickmen and gestures, really helps you focus on the main movements and not detail all the other aspects like shape, anatomy, and structure. Those are all incredibly important to art, but if you want to improve on gestures specifically, this helps eliminate distractions when you're trying to develop one particular drawing skill. What is the line of action? A lot of people equate the line of action to the curve of the spine, which is accurate but I would argue that it's more than that. In my opinion, the line of action is the movement of the entire body. To make it clearer, I'll show you how I apply this in my drawing process. I like to use Sketchy Daily, which is a reference website where you can customize so many things. Whether you want to draw someone who looks masculine or feminine, whether you want the models to be clothed or nude, right down to the type pose and the type of view that you want. For this session, I made it 30 seconds so that I'll be forced to draw the body in the most simplistic way possible. Unlike their website as well as other similar references in the resources below. I'll be using Clip Studio Paint to draw my gestures, but you can use Photoshop or any other drawing program you like. You can also use a sketchbook with a pen or a pencil. It doesn't matter what medium you decide to use. The only reason why I'm using Clip Studio Paint is to make it easier for me to show my drawing process to you in a screen capture. When drawing gestures I usually start out by trying to capture the line of action, then trying to figure out how the shoulders and hips are bending. This is because majority of the body's movement is informed by the movement of the torso. Then perhaps I'll join the hind and draw the rough impression of the limbs. I try to simplify it to as few lines as possible. Sometimes I might switch the order and draw the shoulders and hips first because I find the angle tricky or I want to capture the angle before I forget it. For example, in this reference image the model shoulders are curved upwards and the line of action is simple but it's quite short. It's almost like a reverse C-shape. I spend a bit more time drawing the head here too, because they're looking upwards and that's a bit trickier to capture. As you can see, I didn't really finish a drawing in time, but I think I got the overall gesture down. One tip for people who want to improve on their gestures is that you may not necessarily want to follow the reference exactly. For example in this image, the model shoulders and hips are more or less parallel to one another. When the tilt and the shoulders and hips are parallel, it tends to result in a more boring and stiff pose. There's a few reasons for this. It looks too uniform, there isn't really a flow to the gesture. You can't really feel where the weight of the body is predominantly resting on. It also tests quite stiff. However, when the angles of the shoulders and hips are posed, it usually results in a more dynamic gesture because there's more of a flow to the drawing. This pose in official terms is called the contrapposto position, which is in Italian so I've very likely butchered the name and I'm sorry for that. It basically means that the figure is standing in a position of asymmetrical balance. This way of drawing shows more contrast in the gesture because it shows the relax and tense parts of the body. The stress points and the pose carry the weight of the body and they relax part carry less of the weight. Think of the joint being like a wave that carries the eyes across a gesture. Slight asymmetry usually creates visual interests and many artists use this concept to draw fluid gestures. This is an art fundamental that has been around for many years. This doesn't mean that you should change the original image in its entirety though. This just means that you are free to alter it slightly, based on what you know will look more appealing. If it's hard to do because you are very new to joined gestures, I think you should actually follow the reference pose as closely as possible first. Then after you finish your gesture drawing session, come back to the reference image and try to redraw it and see if you can improve the flow of the pose. For some reference images, the angle of the shoulders and hips may not be so obvious. For example in this one, you can't really see how the models showed us an angle, because this is side view and then kneeling kneeling down, so the chest and hair are blocking our point of view. To be honest, I struggled quite a bit with this one but that's okay, and I left it in here so that you can see that it's completely fine to make mistakes. If you find you didn't finish join the gesture in time, that's okay just skip on right ahead to the next reference. What I like to do when I encounter a reference that I could've finished drawing in time is I will come back to the image and analyze why without drawing anything yet. This is important because you want to see and break down the posture to understand it better so that the next time you redraw it, you can avoid making the same mistakes. It's a little hard to see because of the lighting, but the cameras angle slightly downwards, so we see a part of their back which means it's not a complete profile view. After realizing that, I also noticed how their shoulders we're tilted. The left side of their shoulders are further inward while the right side is leaning outwards, closer to the back of the head. Whereas for the hips is the inverse angle. This means that the left side of the hips is closer towards the body or leaning inwards while the right side of the hips is leaning outwards. I think it's because the models right leg is bending further and which raise the hip out to compensate for it. While the left side of the hips is forced far the end because the left leg is pointing outward. I know it sounds very convoluted, but think of it this way. Basically it's like Newton's Third Law, every action or every bend the body has an equal and opposite reaction. On my second attempt, and I actually captured a gesture a bit more effectively, and I started out by joining the tilt and the shoulders and hips first, the powerful, most challenging the first time. The second thing I found challenging was trying to capture the line of action accurately within the 30-second mark. I also knew how to draw the head fairly early on because I needed to show how close the head was to the ground. Then I just roughly indicated how their limbs looked. Overall, although this joint isn't really that successful, it's still leaps and bounds in the first try and that's what you're really looking for when you are drawing your gestures, improvement. I hope that helps you understand how to analyze your references and draw gestures better. To sum it up, we need to pay attention to the three key elements. The line of action, the angle of the shoulders, and the angle of the hips. We should also make sure that the references we choose have clear poses, and if we don't finish a drawing in time we can always revisit that reference image and analyze it again then redraw it. In the next lesson, we're going to put theory to practice. I'll put up 10 references timed at 30 seconds each for you guys to draw. Now, if you guys don't manage to finish drawing within the allotted time frame, don't be discouraged. The point here is not perfection is to make mistakes and to learn from them. With that said, I wish you guys the best of luck and I'll see you guys in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 3. Practice Session: Hey everyone. Welcome to your first practice session. As I said before, we'll be drawing 10 references, timed at 30 seconds each. Remember to only focus on drawing the tricky elements and if you can't finish a drawing in time, skip on ahead to next reference image. With that said, let's get started. [MUSIC] Remember to draw just the tricky elements. Move on to the next if you didn't finish. [MUSIC] Remember to jump to the next reference, if you didn't finish in time. [MUSIC] Just two more references left. [MUSIC] You got this. Just one more reference left. [MUSIC] You did it. Congrats on finishing your first practice session. Now if you didn't manage to finish any of your gesture drawings in time, don't worry. Always remember that the goal of gesture drawing is to practice, it's never about making a final art piece. With that said, I hope it helped you guys get warmed up. I'll see you guys in the next lesson. 4. Analysing Movement: Welcome back, everyone. Let's continue on our gesture drawing, this time though, let's draw the full body. [MUSIC] Hey, guys, I hope the last practice session wasn't too hard on you. I noticed it's tough to draw anything within 30 seconds, but note that exercise was just to get you guys used to drawing quick so don't worry if you didn't manage to draw much. For the next practice lesson, you guys would get one minute to draw each reference so that you'd get more time to draw the torso and the limbs. Just to let you know, everything we learned in the previous lesson about finding the three key elements will apply to all lessons moving forward, including this one because the tricky elements are the base for all of gesture drawing. In this lesson, I'll talk you through how to observe and analyze your references by sharing a screencast of myself drawing so you can see what I'm paying attention to when I'm analyzing my references and what I choose to draw. These are the four tips for gesture drawing we'll discuss throughout this lesson. We'll look at how to identify the angle of the shoulders and hips when the reference shows a profile view of the model, which means that we're seeing them from their side. Then, we'll analyze how to draw a gesture when a model is twisting their torso in different directions. After that, we'll see an example of what an ideal reference looks like and analyze what aspects of the pose, makes it perfect for gesture drawing. We'll also cover what references you'll skip drawing especially if you're a beginner. Once again, we'll be using SketchDaily for our references, and we'll be setting our timer to one minute for each one. For this first gesture drawing, I'll play the screencast in real-time so that you can see what my thought process is when I'm drawing and analyzing the image. At first, I thought the angle of her hips were level, but if you look closely, you'll notice that her hips are seen from the side and leaning downwards towards her left. This is because her left leg is resting on something which makes her hips slant down towards her left side to distribute her weight evenly. I drew her head slanting down to a left and sketched in her head and torso next. I then drew her head looking a bit too far to her right here, and it took me a few tries to draw the curve of her hips as her right arm is partially obscuring it. When I drew her legs, I tried to capture how her right leg is tip-toeing because her weight is mainly being supported by her left leg, which is nearly on her bed. I focused on drawing her torso and her legs before sketching her arms since the arms were the easiest parts to draw. The screencast on myself gesture drawing will be sped up by two times from here on out. The sooner you can see the overall approach I take and ways I analyze each reference when I draw. This reference image is a bit tricky because you can see the back of the upper half in this lady's body, but you see the front of her lower half. This means that there's a twist in the torso. You can see a little bit of her back in the upper half of her body, but for the lower half, you see the front. I had to go back and forth between joining her legs and torso so that I could capture her overall gesture. Then I came back to make it look more obvious and indicate that her torso is twisting her body in different directions. It's generally best to draw out the basic overall gesture, because if the reference switches to the next one, you will have at least drawn a majority of the previous drawing. In my best to show a little bit off the back of her shoulders, by drawing in a line to indicate her spine. I also positioned the socket of her arm a little bit below her spine and her neck to indicate that there's a little bit of her back that you can see. This is actually the reference I will recommend you guys to choose to draw in your own time because the angle of the shoulders and hips are very obvious. All of the limbs aren't obscured by any body part or objects, and the references silhouette is clear. What I recommend to do is to just roughly indicate the way the limbs are moving so that you don't forget it. As I said before, it's good to draw the basic overall gesture first because you capture the core movement of the reference even if SketchDaily moves on to the next image. Sometimes they will include more than one person in their references so you can go ahead and skip this one. We won't be trying to draw two gestures at once for now. For this one, the live action was very obvious, the tricky part was figuring out how to draw in her shoulders and hips. This reference shows mostly the side of her body except for her head that's looking downwards. What I recommend students to do when they have a profile view they need to tackle is just make the angle of the shoulders and hips follow the angle of the limbs. There are exceptions to this advice, of course, and I'll get into that later in another drawing. But generally speaking, following the bend of the limbs helps me in drawing a gesture that's seen in a profile view. Because her right leg is leaning on a chair, I drew her hips following the snot of her right thigh. I got the overall movement of the body right but I think her head was a bit too small here. As for her shoulders, even though it's hard to see due to the strong cast shadows, I managed to make out that her left shoulder, is slightly below her chin, which means that her shoulders are leaning down slightly towards her left side. For this reference image, the angle of action once again, it's clear, but the angle of her shoulders and hips are unclear because it's a profile view. We can use the same approach as before. I drew in the angle for shoulders and hips in a similar direction to the slant of her limbs. Her hips wouldn't slant to the same drastic degree that her thigh does, however, because that isn't physically possible, and it will look odd. I just drew in her hips, certainly tilting upwards roughly in the direction of her thigh instead of following the exact steep bend of her right leg. Once again, you can skip any reference image that includes more than one person. There are some images where the angle of the shoulders would be a bit different compared to the bend of the limbs like this one. Here you can see a little bit more of her front and you can see that the arm on the other side, so I'm talking about her right arm here, is slightly below her left arm. That's the reason why I drew in her shoulder angle like this instead of following her arm angle. For students who are absolute beginners in drawing gestures, I would actually recommend you guys skip drawing the reference images that have poses where it's a profile view. Because it takes a bit longer to analyze how the shoulders and hips should be drawn. For the rest of you do, I highly recommend you guys give it a try because it can really push your gesture drawing to the next level, especially in reference images that show a twist in the torso. From here I'll let you guys move on to the next practice session where I'll put out five references timed at one minute each for you guys to draw. Always remember to start by drawing the tricky elements first and never beat yourself up over not finishing a drawing in time or drawing it badly. You can always come back to the reference after your session and try redrawing it according to our timer. Once again, the point of gesture drawing [MUSIC] is to make a mistake and to understand where to improve from there. Not to create the final art. Well, that's it, I wish you guys all the best and I'll see you in the next lesson [MUSIC]. 5. Practice Session: Hey, everybody. Hope you're ready for a second practice session. Some to before, we'll be using timed references, but now we'll have five references timed at one minute each instead. Let's get started. [MUSIC] Remember not to add any details like fingers or faces. [MUSIC] Just move on to drawing the next reference if it changes before you can finish. [MUSIC] You're doing great, just one more reference left. [MUSIC] How did it go this time? Congrats if you managed to finish drawing everything. If all your gestures look scratchy and incomplete to you, don't worry about it. Always remember that the point of gesture drawing is to practice, it's never about making a final art piece. By the way, all future drawing exercises will be home assignments instead, meaning, I'll either attach references in the resources below or ask you guys to look up your own references to draw after the lesson. Every assignment will require using a timer, and I'll specify how long to set the timer for at the end of each lesson. I'll let you guys rest now. Or you can watch the next lesson if you're eager to learn about finding and drawing keyframes. Either way, I'll see you guys around. Take care. [MUSIC] 6. Finding Key Poses: Simple Actions: Hi everyone, welcome back. We're going to use a different kind of reference this lesson. We're going to use videos instead. Video references. Why should we use them in the first place? I'll explain to you why we're using video references. What key-frames are, show you the key-frames I chose, as well as the gestures you can draw from them. Then, I'll show you the five principles to keep in mind when choosing and joining key-frames once you practice this at home. After that, the rest of the class, will show a screen-cast of me joining and sharing my thought process when referencing key-frames. Using video reference helps you enhance your art by analyzing the way bodies move and propel themselves forward or in any direction. The best way to analyze a way a body moves is by choosing key-frames from your video. But what are key-frames? Key-frames are basically a visual summary of the progression of movement a person makes in a video. Usually a person's movement in a video can be summarized into 4-6 key-frames, give or take. To be specific, they are shots that define the starting and ending points of any smooth transition. To show you what I mean, I'll share a video I referenced of a person falling down. I'll show you the video first, then I'll share the key frames I took from them. These are the key-frames I ended up choosing. These key-frames show the rough overview of how the position of every part of his body changes as he falls down. These are the gesture drawings I made based off them. I'll play the video again, but slow it down this time, then talk you through how I chose key-frames from it. What I'm doing whenever I'm choosing my key-frames is observing whenever there's a change in direction, when the model moves into another action or falls into another pose. I only choose a key frame when there's a shift in movement or a shift in weight from one part of the body to another. Don't choose every single frame as a reference to draw. You want to limit yourself, to choosing and drawing only good key-frames, the ones that follow the five principles. Let's go over what these principles are. The first principle is that you have to pick poses with clear silhouettes and a clear line of action. Remember all that we learned in the first lesson, all that still applies here. You want the key-frame to has as few confusing or obscured elements as possible. If any part is hidden, it should be hidden in its entirety. A clear line of action is the overall main movement of the body, which as I said, the first lesson should show a clear direction in it's movement. The second principle is to pick poses that show anticipation. This pose shows exactly how one action leads to the next. Let's go back to the video of a man falling down to see an example of a pose that shows anticipation. Here, Here goes from trying to reach up, to falling down, and grabbing onto the fireplace. There's anticipation in the first key-frame because we're anticipating him to fall down in the next frame. We see that because of how precariously he's tipped away upwards on just one foot and how far to his left he's leaning in this pose. This preludes the following key-frame. He's falling down and trying to grab onto the fireplace. Seeing this key frame as a follow-up to the first one is unsurprising because we see the lack of balance in this previous pose. It hints at whats to come. This is another example from a video of someone jumping. I'll let it play again, but in slow motion this time. Here are all the key I got from this video. Among them, this key-frame best illustrates what I mean by a pose that shows anticipation. Here, she's crouching down with the arms back. You can see from her pose that she's ready to launch herself forward. It makes a nice key-frame where she's already in the air, make sense. A pose that shows good anticipation will depict a person about to move their bodies position. In the first one, the change happened by accident. In this one, the change happened on purpose. Now, onto the third principle, make every post purposeful. Don't draw extra poses. When we look [inaudible] at our video, we see many poses that he shifts into. But why do we only choose this six key-frames instead of joining all the other in-between poses like this or this one. The reason why is because we want to prioritize the poses that look best when it's taken out of it's context. A pose like this reads much clear to the viewer if it's used at a still illustration, comic, storyboard or any outward that features people. The point of joint gestures is not only to understand how to draw fluid movements, it's also to learn how to draw gestures that look easily readable to anyone who will be viewing your artwork. Being picky about the key-frames that you choose is a good way to learn what poses will work best for your artwork. This is especially important for those of you who want to get into animation in the future, because that will be the main thing you'll be doing at your job. Fourth principle, create confident lines, not scratchy lines. This one applies to drawing your key-frames rather than choosing them. I mentioned this briefly in the first two lessons, but I'll reiterate it here. Drawing confident lines takes much less time than scratchy ones. It also forces you to really try drawing and committing to the last action you drew. It's okay if the gestures you draw look wrong. What's really needed, is to draw it confidently then move on. Even if the gesture doesn't look nice, it's always better to restart your gesture drawing if you make a mistake, rather than fussing over refining just one key frame. After many rounds of consistent practice, you'll notice that your latest drawing will look significantly better than your first. Drawing scratchy lines will only slow you down, so keep moving forward. Our fifth and last principle is to start by drawing the skeleton, otherwise known as the three key elements. This was already mentioned back in lesson one, but I'm emphasizing it again here, because this is the base [inaudible] of all gesture drawing. It also helps a lot to roughly sketch out how their leaves are positioned right after you draw these three key elements. After that, you can draw the rest of the body. Now that we know why we're using video references and what our five principles are, let's get into the screen cast. I mainly pulled my video references from YouTube, but you can reference any website that hosts videos. Let's look at the video of a person falling down because we need to pause and choose key-frames from this segment, we'll need to slow down the video in order to make that easier, Let's go into settings and slow the video down to 0.25 speed. The reason why we slow the video down is so that we can see the movements clearer. We'll have an easier time pausing and choosing keyframes we want to draw this way. I usually start out by scrubbing through the video to find which poses look clearest and shows them leading into the next action. I will play, pause and rewind as slow-motion repeatedly to get a better sense of how the action starts and which pose I would like to end at. For this gesture drawing session, I chose this pose as my first keyframe and this one as my final reference keyframe. I chose these two references because they've clear silhouettes and a clear line of action. Is best to choose the starting and ending key-frames first before you choose all the other ones. Once you understand how a model's pose starts out and how they end up, you'll better understand how to choose keyframes that best represent the sequence of actions that lead up to the final pose. For this gesture drawing session, the end result is this posture. Every keyframe you choose should be analyzed in this way so that you view the gesture joint in contact to its main movement, instead of just as a still image. We will also be using a timer for every keyframe that we draw. All the videos of myself joining had been sped up by two times. I started by joining in the shoulders and hips, then try capturing the line of action. I had to rejoin a few times because I realized he hasn't really done much to his left yet, as he's only just starting to reach upwards. Then I drew in roughly how he's stretching out his limbs. I drew on his left arm reaching up, but I didn't draw his fingers on his left hand because what's important is to capture the overall gesture. I finished off by drawing in his legs, his left leg on his tiptoe, while his right leg is pointing upwards and outwards to balance himself. After that, I did choose the next keyframe. To do that, I just scripture the video again multiple times. As mentioned before, the second keyframe I chose was this one. Although this pose is similar to the first one, there are subtle key differences between them. He's leaning further to his left ear, his arm is stretched out higher and his balance is teetering over to the left more dramatically. His right leg is also pushed up higher because he's trying to overcompensate for how much he's lining to his left and for the amount of weight he's putting on his left leg. You can also tell that his left foot won't be able to keep him grounded. We need this pose to show why he ends up falling down. The first keyframe isn't linear as precarity to the left. So it doesn't really look like he's going to fall over. This one we need to choose this keyframe as a follow-up so that it will lead to the next one. We start with the line of action, then capture the angle of the shoulders and hips as usual. I roughly mark out the way his legs are position so I can draw them out later in case time runs out. When drawing in his left arm I exaggerated how much is arm is trying to reach upwards and drew it leaning more to his right. This is the hand that he's turning to overcompensate for his body losing balance. Starting to fall on his left side, I did the same when joining his legs in. I made his left leg have more of a dramatic lean than shown in the reference. This difference becomes way more obvious when you compare the finished gesture drawing with the previous one I drew. He's leaning much further to his left and this leg is clearly losing balance, indicating how his body will fall. I went with this post next because it's clear and shows him grabbing onto the fireplace, placing his left shin flat on the ground to buffer his fall. His right leg kicks up really high to compensate since gravity is pulling him to follow in his left. I drew his shoulders and hips in first, then extended the line for his hips far to the right because his right leg is tilting in a similar direction. The original image doesn't show his leg kicking up as high. But I decided to exaggerate and dramatize the angle to emphasize how imbalanced he is and to make him look like he's falling down hard. Whether or not to exaggerate main movements in a pose is up to you. If you're new to gesture join and don't know when it's suitable to exaggerate a pose, you can stick to drawing what you observe from your references for now. The change between this and the previous pose is stark. He's halfway towards the ground now and it's holding onto the fireplace out of desperation. It goes from him trying to reach upwards to him losing his balance, then falling down. While falling down his bodies knee-jerk reaction is to try and lessen the blow. The only thing that's hitting the ground at the moment it says left shin, trying to minimize the damage to his body. I chose this as the next keyframe because we need to show how his hands starting to slip away from a fireplace because gravity is pulling him down and now he's fully fallen onto his left side. I drew in the tricky elements first, marked all his limbs, then during his torso and his hands slipping off the fireplace, It wasn't sure exactly where his legs will come out from, mainly because I didn't indicate his torso's length. I circled in roughly where his bum is to make it easier to tell. His left leg is bent, so it's foreshortened, which is why it looks much shorter than his right leg. For contexts, foreshortening is a distortion that seen by the eye when an object or a figure is viewed from a distance or at an unusual angle. In art, foreshortening is a way of drawing an object or figure with depth. As I said before in lesson 2, don't worry too much about this topic for now because it won't be relevant in your home assignment and I'll explain it further in a future lesson. I only brought it up briefly here because I use this technique when drawing this particular keyframe. I scrub through the video again to try and figure out how to connect the previous keyframe to the final one. After going through it a few times over, I settle on this one, where he is turning halfway from lying on his left side to rolling on his back. I drew in his shoulders first then his hips and try to the reference again to see if they're tilted to the same degree. His hips are at a steeper angle than shoulders. Then I rough down his line of action and marked out the way his limbs at positioned. Drawing his legs in first, since they are tricky to capture compared to his arms. I join his shoulder blades to make it clear that we're seeing is a back view. When you see this final gesture in comparison to all the previous drawings, the progression of movement becomes clear. Here is where he alters back then falling to his side. We started off reaching upwards to losing balance, trying to base his fall, losing grip now, running off to his side. As shown before, this will be our final keyframe because he has a clear silhouette and his big movements end here. His shoulders and hips are fairly easy to capture here. On this line of action, which I figured out was his spine connected to the movement of his right leg. Once again, I marked out all his limbs and quickly drew in the bottom plane of his jaw so it is clear we are seeing the underside of his chin. Then I drew in his back lying flat on the ground and his legs. I left the eyes as the final part to draw because I felt that his legs will be more complicated to capture it and his arms. Now, that we've drawn all the key phase, we can see how he ended up in this position. Compared to the last one, he's now fully lying on his back. His right leg is more bent and his head is located to ceiling instead of to his left. Bring it back to the beginning we see that as movement goes from reaching up to losing his balance to basing his fall and losing grip, then rolling onto his back and finally coming to a stop once he's lying on the ground and looking up to the ceiling. Now, that you know how to pick keyframes from video references, here's your assignment for the lesson. Find three video references online to reference in the same way that I did. Give yourself one minute for every key pose that you draw. You can also share as a project alongside other students and discuss. The next lesson will also feature a video reference. This time, it'll show a gymnast doing her routine. That lesson will be for students who are looking to push themselves further and for those who are more advanced in their gesture drawing practice. To those of you who are true beginners, I don't suggest you try this because it's quite complicated to follow. I would suggest you guys to skip to lesson five instead. If you're feeling confident or curious however, go ahead and I wish you the best of luck. All the best guys and I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Finding Key Poses: Complex Actions: Hey, everybody. Let's dive back to using video references. The difference this time lies in the complexity of the actions. [MUSIC] As I said before, we'll be analyzing complex actions this lesson, we'll be referencing a gymnastics routine done by Neviana Vladinova. I gave myself one minute to draw each frame like before. But if you guys want to attempt this type of complicated video reference, I recommend you guys time yourself at two minutes per pose instead. Like before, I'll show you guys the video in full first, and then I'll show you how I picked and chose the keyframes and key poses. That was the video at full speed. Much I had a previous lesson, we're going to slow the video down to 0.25 speed so then we can see her actions clearer. [MUSIC] I sculptured a video reference to see which poses stood out to me, which ones look clearest, and which section didn't have cuts in-between. Meaning, I didn't want to choose a pose where the cameras were cutting from one angle to another. Your video references have to be at a static angle where either follows the person as they move or if they still. I opted to start with this pose because it was the first clear pose with a static camera angle. Meaning, the camera didn't cut away from her the entire time. You can see every single part of a body and her silhouette is incredibly clear to the audience. Now that we have our first keyframe, let's look for the final one, so that we understand what all her actions and movements will lead up to. Here I am scrubbing through the video and try to figure out which key poses to take. Since this routine is complicated, I sculptured the video many times to analyze which keyframes I want to choose and which should be my last pose. I opted for this pose as the final one because once again, has a very clear silhouette and line of action. Like before, I'll show you a screencast of myself drawing the first keyframe in real-time. The following will be sped up by two times. I started a timer at one minute and attempted to find the line of action at first and then the shoulders and hips. Her line of action is very clear, so it was easy to capture. Since we are viewing her from her side, I drew the tilt of her hips at the same angle as her legs. Like in the last lesson, I roughly drew her limbs in advance to make sure I know what to draw in case time runs out. I just have to make sure that my drawing showed that her arms and hands are supporting her weight. Since she's in motion, her weight is dropping her body forward and the next few phase will show her landing on her back. If you look at our reference closely, you'll see that her arms aren't straight, they are bent and curved in a way that's going to propel her body forward. I try to insinuate that, when I drew her back and legs in, making obvious that her hands are pushing her body forwards and downwards by capturing the bend of her arms, so she'll end up bending on her back. The key thing here is to get the overall impression of the gesture down. Sometimes you may overrun the timer by a little bit, and that's okay. I then sculptured a video to look for the next keyframe. It took a few trials because there are many options and her movements are complex. I didn't want to jump straight to the pose of her already sitting down, so I rewound the video multiple times to analyze how is she moved into that position. I ended up choosing this keyframe because you can clearly see that her weight is shifting from her hands to her back. You can also see a clear silhouette of her legs. You can see her right legs tying to bend and her left leg remaining straight. I drew in a tricky elements first, as usual, the way her hips tilt, fullness [inaudible] of her outfit. Whenever you guys feel confused by a reference, you can check if the person's outfit cuts it off at the hips like swimsuits do. If it does, it makes it easier to double-check how the hips have bent. The torso and the final gesture was a bit too elongated for my liking, but that's all right. You can see the differences between both poses when you compare them. In the first, she's holding her weight with the hands, but in this one, she's falling forward so her weight is shifting away from her hands to her back. For the next keyframe, I went with this pose of her lying on her back. This is to show how her movement goes on carrying the weight on her hands to falling on her back, then she'll rise up to a seated position. I drew the line of action and noticed that her shoulders are aligned to the upper arms, so I marked it out. The ankle of her hips, follow the purple pattern of her suit. It was pretty easy to figure out. I roughly drew in her limbs, the profile view of her head, as well as the baton she is twirling. Now you can see the flow of how the body's moving from doing partial handstand to propelling her body forward, not yet landing on the floor but preparing to rolling onto her back while she's still holding her baton, about to move into a seated position. After that, she throws the baton up into the air. I sculptured a video again to see how the pose will ultimately end up to keep in mind what the end goal is. I settled on this pose because it has a pretty clear silhouette and you can see that she's throwing the baton up into the air, while also seeing that she's moving from lying on her back to shifting the weight onto her hips into a seated position. The line of action for this image was straightforward, but I found it tricky to estimate how long her torso was. I ended up drawing her shoulders and hips a little too far from one another. Sometimes when you draw a gesture, you might find that you need to redraw certain key components like the tilt of the shoulders or hips or even the line of action. In this case, I re-drew her hips to be higher up because the torso looked a bit too long. I didn't draw her left shin and left foot because it's obscured by her thigh. We can see how her complex movements can be broken down. Her weight in this drawing is carried by hips and left leg. Once you look at previous drawings, now you can see how the weight has been shifting from her hands to her back, to her hips and see that her hand is coming up to throw the baton up into the air. This really helps you as the illustrator understand your drawing and context to her movement. Because when you only referencing static images, it's easy to forget that the pose you are seeing is only one moment capture from a larger movement, it's not a standalone image. Video references help us contextualize the models movements. We get to see how they move from one pose to another, or more specifically, we get to see how they shift your weight from one part of the body to another. For the next pose, I chose this one because she's in a seated position. You can see that she just caught the baton, it's back in her hand. Although I can't capture the motion blur like the video does, I can indicate that she's caught it. Her legs are also angled in a way where is shifting her weight from her hips to her feet. Once again, I wanted to get the line of action down quick. The tilt of her shoulders and hips are very similar in this posture. But if you look closely, her hips are tilted at a slightly steeper angle because her right leg is pointing out and it's raised higher. I exaggerated that contrast in my gesture drawing. You can see the exaggeration more clearly here once I drew her back and her left leg. I enunciated the curve of a back a little bit more to introduce a little bit more movement and I drew in the batons that she's holding, the one she caught and the one that she's holding in the other hand. I didn't really finish drawing her feet, but that's okay because you can see the movement of her body and that's the main thing we want to capture, how she threw the baton up and caught it, and how she's shifting her weight from her hips to her feet. We went from number one, having her weight on her hands, number two and three, rolling onto her back, number four, shifting her weight to her hips, number five, coming up to a seated position. It took me a while to figure out which keyframe I wanted to settle on, but ultimately, I decided on this one because she's throwing the baton up in the air, her pose is pretty clear and it's also showing the in-between bend of her legs shifting from her hips to her knees and then to her feet. Like before, I marked out how each of her limbs are bending and I drew her leaning a bit further forward compared to her pose in the reference. This exaggeration is the enunciate the way she's throwing her baton upwards and show that she's leaning into the throw. I drew her left leg in knowing that that's the main part of her body carrying her weight. For this gesture, I didn't draw in the other arm because it was mainly obscured by her body anyway, and I wanted to focus on the baton that she's throwing up in the air. The change in movement is clear. Her weight is now lifted by her left shin and right foot. Previously, she was sitting and preparing to throw her baton and now she's risen up and she's throwing her baton lightly into the air. I sculptured a video one last time and the the next keyframe I chose was when she just caught her baton, right before she moves into her final pose. The difference in the bend of her body is going to be more subtle in the next two gestures. When drawing the line of action, I was trying to capture the emotion, which took a few attempts because I was unsure how far forward she was leaning and whether it would work if I exaggerated her pose. I opted not to exaggerate her pose this time because in the next keyframe, her back will be upright. This time I drew in her right hand that's holding the other baton and I think I pretty much managed to draw everything within the allotted timeframe. Her right shin and left thigh are straight rather than bent now. Before this, she threw her baton up and now she's caught it with the same hand. Her right arm is now stretched up and holding the other baton, when before, her right hand was completely obscured by her torso. Here, will be the conclusion of our gesture drawing sequence. The line of action for this one was surprisingly a little bit tricky to get, whereas the weight of her body was partially on her knee and leg and partially on her other foot. But it was pretty easy to capture the way her arms are bent because it's a very obvious and clear silhouette. I also realized that her hips are bent in a way where you only see the side profile of it. I also drew in her hips at a very steep angle because her left leg's shin is pressed down onto the floor while her right leg is supporting her weight by her foot. Whereas for her shoulders, you can see more of her back, similar to one of the references in our previous lessons. After drawing in her head, I drew in her back, then her left leg and arms, which are turning her batons inward. Although the differences between this gesture and the last one is a little bit more subtle, you can see that her right arm is in a different position, holding the baton upwards and her left arm has turned so that she's holding the baton inwards. Her legs are also moving in a way where her body is leaning forward this time instead of leaning back. Here you can see the gesture drawings in context to one another, how every gesture and every pose shifted the weight between different parts of her body, from her hands to her back, rolling up to a seated position, throwing her baton, kneeling up to catch it, and throwing it back. That's how I draw complicated gymnastics routine. I hope that helped you guys. Now, I know I just went through a very thorough analysis of my workflow, but you don't have to follow it to the exact same degree. You could alter it and reorganize how you work. For example, you could choose all your keyframes first from your chosen video reference before you draw your gestures, then draw them following a timer. You can alter the workflow in a way that feels most comfortable for you. Your assignment this lesson is to choose and draw keyframes from a video reference featuring a person either doing a dance or a sport, a martial arts routine, or any complicated action that you find interesting to draw. These kinds of references are tough to analyze, which is why it's so important to keep rewinding, and pausing the video reference so that we get to choose the right keyframes for our practice. Keep in mind that a point of gesture drawing is to try, so don't beat yourself up over getting anything wrong. [MUSIC] Now, if you want to, you can post your drawings up as a project to share and get feedback from other students or from me. Either way you choose, I wish you guys the best of luck, and I will see you all in the next lesson. 8. Understanding Body Language: How do we draw body language that shows a character's personality? Let's find out. [MUSIC] Hi, everybody. Welcome back. In this lesson, we'll be learning how to draw gestures that express different personalities through their body language. I'll explain how to do that, then share with you tips on how to choose good references. I'll also show and explain the references I chose for myself and ways I analyze them before and why I draw through a screencast. After the lesson, we'll revise what foreshortening means in art and why we should avoid choosing foreshort in references whenever we practice gesture drawing. Not every gesture in your drawings will be action-packed. For most of us, majority of our drawings will feature poses that are more mundane or subtle. The tricky thing is to figure out what pose will show a character's personality best, what body language will your character have. One of the ways to improve how you draw body language of your characters is by taking references from movies stills, and drawing gestures from them. I often use stills or movies or series to analyze how characters pose and carry themselves whenever they do mundane things or whenever they're feeling emotional. I find that these references tell a hidden story through their movements because the actor is embodying their character through their physical movements. Most of the stills that I get are from film grab, screen musings or cinema shots. I've linked all the websites below and the resources for you. If you want to take references from a specific movie you can find from the lists. Feel free to take screenshots of your own from it. Here's three tips on how to choose and draw movies stills. The first tip, is to choose a variety of character archetypes for each gesture drawing session. If you choose a reference that depicts a shy person, the next one should be one of an aggressive character then maybe choose a reference of someone coma refractive, et cetera. The point is to choose to draw characters with vastly different personalities so that you can improve your understanding of how to draw different types of body language that expresses different types of characters. This way you'll be less likely to draw everybody posing in the same way, even if they have different personalities when it comes to drawing characters of your own. The second tip, is to choose movie stills that showed a full body, or as much of the full body as possible. It can be tricky to find a still like this, but it just takes some time to click through and scroll to find it. If you want to choose an image that cuts off at a knee or below that's fine too, as long as you'll be able to more or less guesstimate how the legs are positioned. The third tip, is to choose stills from movies or series you've already watched. Is better to be familiar with a character you'll be drawing, because then you already know their personality. Knowing who the character is helps you analyze and recognize how their body language conveys their personality. For example, if you know a character is determined, zany, and eccentric, you'll be able to pick out how the actor expresses that persona in their pose. If you know a character is quiet, graph, and stoic, or if they're dominant, imposing, and threatening, you'll be more likely to notice that shown in the way their posing, if you already knew their personality beforehand. If you haven't seen any movies on the list, choose a still that features a character whose personality you already know off. Then you at least know roughly who they are and be able to pick up the subtle of visual cues, the actor chooses to manifest in their demeanor to show the character's personality, even if you don't know the full story. Let's take a look at four examples I managed to pick out. This first still is from a movie called Moonlight, showing Chiron as a kid, at an age where he was ostracized and getting bullied. This post shows his shy nature and vulnerability. His knees are bent up to his chest to hide his body. His arms are wrapped around his legs pulling them closer to his torso and his head is angled slightly downwards whereas eyes are distant. When a character's knees are brought up to their chest, is usually a visual indication that they want to protect themselves. They're guarded, some consciously try to create a boundary between the outside world and the most vulnerable parts of their bodies, their chest and the rest of their torso. His arms around his legs reinforced that, and how his body is sloped down shows a lack of confidence in himself. In this still from the movie I Saw the Devil, this character named Kyung-Chul is waiting to attack a lady. Although looking up to someone it's usually an act that shows respect to the person you are facing is clear here that he isn't looking up to our admiration, because of the way he's posing. His pose shows him asserting dominance and nonchalance about the assault he's about to commit. His glaring at her leaning forward with legs apart which is a threatening gesture. His elbows are resting on his thighs with one hand holding a cigarette he just took off his mouth which indicates he's done this many times before. This is just casually smoking in front of her. His left arm is clearly injured yet his body language is both dominant and threatening, another indication that he's done this before and he's so used to it that he doesn't need to be in full health to threaten others around him. This still from In the Mood for Love shows Su Li or Mrs. Cheung, a similarly put together an elegant lady who hides her vulnerability for everyone except for one person. She's doing something mundane here but the way she's crossed her legs and her perfect posture shows that she carries herself in a very ladylike and poised manner. Someone doing something as casual as reading a newspaper will usually slump down, or sit in a more comfortable or relaxed way, but she positions herself like this. It's as though she always has to be composed and well-mannered even when doing simple actions. Through this mundane tasks, her character it shows subconsciously through this invisible way of storytelling. Now, this still from Mad Max Fury Road shows a character's emotions rather than their personality. This character is named Furiosa. She just had a painful realization. This pose she's in shows her agony and with one look, you can tell that her host has shattered without needing to ask. She's knelt down which shows that she's at a low point in her life. The shoulders are tense and has a rigid with split. A subtle detail that shows how stress and tense her body is reacting to the situation. Of course, she's leaning back slightly with the head facing the sky screaming out, the most obvious indication of her despair. It's a deceptively simple pose, but it tells a lot with so little. Let's get into a screencast to see clearer how to draw these types of poses out. I chose to draw this reference from I saw the devil because I wanted to challenge myself and see if I can draw his dominant code yet casual demeanor. I started off by making a silly mistake by trying to draw his head before any of the three key elements. The element I focused on first was a tail of his shoulders, because I felt that are the most prominent part of his gesture was broad shoulders followed by the line of action, which is defined by slouch. Then I roughly sketched out the position of his limbs and drawing what I felt was the trickiest part to capture, his right hand, casually holding a cigarette. Then I sketched out the rest of his limbs and made sure not to add detail to his hands. But I still roughly indicated the sling of his arm cast to indicate that he's hurt. This is the final gesture drawing I ended up with. The bend of his head is further to his right in my drawing, and his slouch is deeper. I think my gesture was more bold and casual than the original. I'm all right with that, because the goal of using references IDs are more so to get inspiration from rather than to create an exact copy of their gesture. Those are all the tips I can give for choosing, analyzing, and drawing movies still references. Now, before I give you assignment, remember that you shouldn't choose still stuff or shortened. I'll explain it in more detail just so you understand what references to avoid choosing and why. For shortening is an effect or prospective or angle of vision, is when you see a specific object of figure in depth. Basically, it's a way of seeing or drawing a person view from an extreme angle. Your eye is seeing that for high above, below them, or in any extreme angle. Take a look at this image of a cylinder. If you see this cylinder at any angle between a side view and top view you'll see the cylinder being foreshortened. A lot of artists uses simple shape as an example, because it's easier to see how the sheer of the cylinder changes when you change the angle you're viewing it from. Looking at is foreshortened reference image, we can see how the length of each individual part of his body is significantly different from when you view them straight on. This is because of the distortion. From this point of view, the length and size of his feet is longer and bigger than his torso, because his feet and his legs are closer to our eye than the rest of his body. This distortion changes how we perceive the length and width of different body parts because of our point of view, and this is why references IDs are difficult to draw quickly. Since heavily foreshortened references are already incredibly complex to the draw, I don't recommend students choose references IDs in the first place. This is because in more so all falls under studying the underlying shape and structure of the human body rather than analyzing the body's main movement. I'm teaching you the basics of this drawing method just so you're aware of its existence and roughly how it works. With that in mind, here's your assignment for the lesson. Collect four stills showing a single person, you can find out through this lesson's links I put under the resources below. Each link has a list of movies they can choose from, so just choose the ones that you're familiar with. If you chose a challenging reference for yourself to draw, remember that if the timer runs out, you can always redraw that reference again. Every time we feel dissatisfied with a gesture drawing because it looks bad, or we didn't manage to finish it in time, let's remind ourselves that the main point of gesture drawing is to keep practicing and improving. Now, I hope you all have fun drawing your movie still references, and I'll see you guys in the next lesson where we will continue using the same types of reference, but we'll use one that features multiple characters instead. All the best and take care. [MUSIC] 9. Body Language: Multiple Characters: [MUSIC] Hi everybody. Let's find out how to join a body language for multiple characters this time. [MUSIC] Last lesson, we analyze how to join body language that shows a character's personality. In this lesson, we're going to study how to join body language that reveals the character's relationships with others. The timer isn't as relevant here, since we'll be focusing on analyzing their body language and will be joining two people at once. But we should still set a time limit so that we don't first offer any details and so we focus on the gesture's most distinctive mannerisms. Don't pressure yourself if you run over time, but try not to spend too long doing your gestures either, because they not only feel a purpose of this class. A lot of the time, our art will feature people interacting with one another in a variety of ways. Single person references reveals a character's personality, while multiple person's references exposes the emotions characters feel toward each other. The body language each character shows when they're interacting, tells us a lot about their relationship in that moment. How to draw body language that shows what dynamic characters has and how they're feeling towards one another helps immensely and telling their story visually. Is basically the old adage. Show don't tell. If you're able to draw gestures, the accurately depict characters emotions towards one another, you'll be many steps ahead in your art. To help you with that, here's four tips on how to choose and draw multi-person references. The first step is more for the joint side. You should look for contrast or similarities in their postures. Notice how they're leaning. Is it away or towards each other? The both characters seemed to like each other. There's one character who look disinterested with the yellow skin, are they at eye level or is one person looking up or down to the other. Are they facing each other. Are even looking at each other. Are they in physical contact or not. The contrasts are similarities in the way they pose is important to note. You see if both characters are on the same page with each other. If their relationship in that moment is harmonious or antagonistic, and if their poses indicate a power differential between the two. My second tip is very similar to previous one I gave above single references. Is to choose stills from movies or series you've seen before. The reason is almost the same. It gives for knowledge of personalities both characters have, which I said before, will help you notice how is expressed in their body language. But another reason is that you also know the backstory behind the character's relationships with one another that will give context as to why the nature of their relationship has either changed or remain the same in that movie still. They helps you analyze the frozen moment and see how the act has expressed their character's feelings about the other through their gestures. The third tip is to choose a variety of character interactions. Is still you pic should be different from one another. If your first pic is one that shows lovers kissing, the next should be of enemies fighting, or friends hugging, or maybe family members arguing, etc. This helps you better understand different kinds of relationships and which parts of the personality each character can bring out of the other. Whether they are resentful lovers arguing on the verge of a breakup or their friends reconciling after a misunderstanding. Dry gestures opposes that shows various types of relationships will help you improve how you convey stories through gestures. The fourth and last tip is the same as the previous one I gave about single references. Is to choose movies stills, that showed a full bodies or as much of their bodies as possible. It's fine if part of their legs are invisible as long as their overall gesture is clear and you can see how most of their bodies are positioned in relation to each other. Here's another slideshow break enough for references I chose each one between two people. In a quiet place, Reagan and her father Lee are having a disagreement in sign language. It's clear that he's trying to get her to see his point of view. Looking at the body language and their poses, we see him bending down to be at a lower level than her. Which is a visual way of showing him trying to relate to her. Lean nearly below her eyeline is subconsciously trying to indicate that whatever difference of opinion he has with her, is it because he's looking down on her as a person? It reveals that he views her with higher regard to himself. On the other hand, rigors body language shows her indignant frustration. She is looking down, meeting is gaze, her back is straight and her legs our apart standing her ground. Her expression in her hands, a more confrontational as she's standing right in front of his face because she doesn't feel like he's actually listening to what she's trying to say. She's emphasizing her words. Body language and romantic interactions can also show a difference in personalities between characters. For example, this kids from Scott Pilgrim versus the World between Scholar and Ramona hinder each person's approach to romance. Ramona is not bold forward. We see she's holding onto the back of his head roughly is hair and her other arm is wrapped around his shoulders, pulling him closer to her. Alaiser also bent and pressed against his. She's resting mostly on her side, pressing herself up to him, and her overall posture is relaxed. Scholars also into the case, but he's a lot more uncertain and reserved in his pose. His arms are wrapped around her too, but they're timidly holding onto the shoulders and upper ways. If we look at his hands, they look more rigid and stiff when he's holding her while hers are free and relaxed. He's legs are straight but cross. He's sitting in a casual way. His overall posture is rather awkward and reserved since his movements are more restricted, compared to hers. Between the two of them is clear that he's a shy one who isn't leading their romantic interactions. This still is from Mary story. It shows Charlie and Nicole moments after they have a huge argument. There's a contrast between both their postures. You see Charlie kneeling down and holding onto her distraught, ashamed, unapologetic while she's standing up, but comfronting him by ruffling his hair. Both by physical contact yet neither of them are looking at each other. The way he's kneeling, bend down and leaning into her hips, while holding onto her knees, shows his desperation as well as the shame and interpreting. Nicole is kneeling towards him and slightly roughly his hair. We can see they're still affection between the two characters. A body language shows more than that, however. She also has some shame and hurt over the thing she said and heard. That's shown by how she's looking away from him. She's not looking at him looking down at her knees, even though he's right by her, holding her. It's a complicated scene that's fascinating to analyze because of how multi-layered the interaction is. It's a mixture of care and shame, shown to gesture body language. This one is from a thriller called I Saw the Devil. The interaction between both characters are obviously antagonists in this still. One person is in a compromise position while the other looks over him. The venom of this movie is the one on the left who's kneeling and restrained with his head on the chopping block while the protagonist of the film Soo-hyeon and Sita are leaning over him, looking down on him with a glare. There's obvious resentment from Soo-hyeon towards the man before him because he's looking down, imposingly and showing dominance in his gesture by having his legs wide apart and leaning over him. From the way he is sitting he's not in any rush to finish him off. He's simply looking at him friendly and waiting which indicates that this is an action of the cold blooded vengeance rather than an impulsive rash of violence. The other men's arms are tired across his back, kneeling down his body bend forward and not looking up to him. He was barely conscious. The way his body isn't slack and his hands are curled upwards, suggests a still loose it to some degree regulated free himself. However, it's clear in this still that Soo-hyeon holds the power between the two of them now. This time I choose to draw this reference because I wanted to capture the attention and tenderness in their argument that often occurs between a parent and child. I gave myself two minutes to draw this reference. I started out by drawing the line of action for both characters. After drawing the shoulders and hips I made sure to mark up all the limbs and notice that I needed to readjust their position on the Canvas. Since I wasn't enough space to sketch their legs. Once I drew the head in I focused on sketching [inaudible] limbs out first, especially since her hands are the most distinct parts of her gesture. I left these limbs as the last part to sketch out, as I knew that it will be easier and quicker to draw as posture. Overall, I think the sketch captures their relationship dynamic in that moment. I'm fairly satisfied with the result. That's how we analyze body language that shows the relationships between characters. Your assignment for this lesson is to choose and draw four stills from a movie you've already seen before or at least know the basic story of. You can find them through this lesson's links I put under the resources below. Give yourself three minutes for each reference. For this assignment, only choose movie stills that feature two characters in them, so that you'll be able to focus on depicting their relationship dynamic. I know I keep repeating this, but don't fail to adjust just a wonky. What's important is developing your ability to analyze body language. In the next lesson, we'll cover something on the opposite end. We'll discuss how to simplify and exaggerate our gestures. I hope you guys have fun drawing and I'll see you all in the next one [MUSIC]. 10. Simplification & Exaggeration: How do we simplify or exaggerate a gesture? Let's find out. [MUSIC]. Last lesson, we practiced how to adjust subtle body language that shows the relationships characters can have with others, in this one we'll do the opposite. We'll learn how to simplify and exaggerate our gestures. Simplified or exaggerated poses can help big movements be expressed better, and emphasize the main actions in your gestures. It helps create more dynamic poses, as well as clearer silhouette and action adding life emotion to the drawing. The tricky thing is figuring out when should we alter a gesture, and if we do, which parts of the pose should be exaggerated or simplified. Here is five tips to know when you should push or simplify a pose. The first tip is that, you should push a pose whenever it looks the person in your reference is moving or falling into an action that's a different direction from before. Remember what we learned in lesson 3 and 4. If someone is moving or falling in a new direction, like in this previous reference we analyzed, is usually a good idea to push and exaggerate the line of action to signify his impending fall. The second tip is to push a pose when you want your gesture to show that a person is exerting a lot of effort, or if they're about to move into a big action. For example, a reference of someone pushing a heavy object can be exaggerated to show how hard it is to push forward. Or if you want to show someone about to jump really high, you can exaggerate a pose to indicate how high the jump would likely be. The more exaggerated the lean, the higher we anticipate the jump to be. Basically, you can exaggerate a posture of any reference where you want to bring out how intense their current movement is or how dramatic it would be. My third tip is to open up a gesture if the reference has parts of the body that are partially obscured. What I mean by open up is to alter the posture in your reference to look clearer by repositioning the limbs in an unobtrusive way when you draw them. When the person in your reference has a hand or a leg obscured partway, you can either choose to hide that part of the body in its entirety, or bring the body parts out to clarify the gesture. That way you simplify the posing or a gesture drawing so it is much clearer. Either that or you can slightly change the angle you're viewing the model from so that you can see the way the body is positioned fully. When I drew this reference of a man jogging, I altered it so that we're viewing him more so from his side rather than head on. That way, his silhouette will look clearer and more open and we can see leaning forward into his jog. An extreme example of changing angles is when I drew this reference. The gesture drawing I drew is from adjustically different angle from the original. Now, this isn't a good reference for gesture drawing in the first place and I don't suggest any of you choose references like this, because his arm is severely foreshortened here and he's leaning far forward wearing dark colored trouser, so it's not easy to see how his right leg is positioned. The original reference is a view from his back. I changed our point of view to see him from his side instead. I only chose his reference to myself as a challenge and to illustrate how much you can change a reference from the original if you want to significantly improved the gesture. Generally speaking, you should never choose references like this to draw gestures from. The fourth tip is to execrate the pose if it looks too stiff for your liking. Some references may look clear, but the posture comes off as too posed or stiff the draw. In this case, you can exaggerate the line of action to leave further into the direction it's going in. A gesture drawing has more life. The fifth and last tip is to really push and exaggerate a pose when you want to practice drawing gestures with a more cartoon style. Think of old-school 2D DC sketches or any gesture that old Looney Tunes cartoons make. If you'd like to draw characters that have cartoon silhouettes in the future, then you should practice exaggerating a postures in your gesture drawings to an extreme degree. You can develop your understanding of how to achieve poses, characters, and cartoons art out. However, this doesn't mean that exaggerated gestures are only drawn to create a cartoon effect. Even if you prefer more realistic art styles, you should still exaggerate the line of action when it's appropriate to. Just alter a pose to look more fluid and dynamic instead of over dramatizing a pose. The same way a cartoon character sketch would. But how do you actually implement these drawing decisions when you're altering a reference gesture? Here's a screen cast of myself drawing to show you how I do it in my own practice. This was the examples I gave earlier about clarifying a pose. I drew two versions. The first one, I drew her left leg fully covered by her right so that the silhouette of her legs would look clearer. I also brought her right arm out further and positioned her head to be looking more towards the front and angle is slightly downward as though she is currently preparing for a drive. For the second version, I decided to bring her left arm and leg out to see how that could work. I also drew her head looking towards her right arm and grabbing the seat belt. It feels like she's stretching out a bit more to grab onto the belt and pull it down. Between the two of these, I prefer the first version I drew where I decided to obscure her right leg further because her posture looks more natural that way. But I'm glad I tried an alternative method just to see how it could work. This is another reference I've shown you guys earlier of a man pushing. I drew two versions again. The first one is only slightly exaggerated, while the second one is exaggerated to a more extreme degree. For this first one, I made his line of action more curved, angled his head further downwards, and hunched his shoulders up higher to show him exerting more force. His thighs are stretched out further here too, so that it looks like he's starting to strain. These edits are minor so that a gesture drawing doesn't look too different from the original. I just enhance what's already there. The second version and it's very exaggerated further. I alter his line of action to be a very tight curve, and during pushing onto the object with his forehands exaggerate his shoulders to show how much effort he's putting into the push. His head is too angled downwards here, but I decided to draw his neck sticking his head out as though he's really straining. His legs are stretched out further here too so that he has more ground leverage to push the object behind him. Between these two versions, I prefer the more exaggerated version I drew because of how much more prominent the line of action and the emotion in this drawing is. That's where we should simplify and exaggerate our gestures and how to do it. However, keep in mind that we don't always have to alter our gesture drawing to look different from our reference pose. Let's cover when we shouldn't simplify or push our gestures. Number 1, do not exaggerate a gesture when a reference pose already has a strong line of action and looks dynamic. This pose, for example, has a prominent line of action and you should focus on trying to capture instead of altering. Same goes for this one. Pushing this further will make the pose look somewhat overdone or distorted. If you get reference like this, focus on capturing the motion in the pose that's already there. Don't change them. Number 2 is similar to the first point. Don't simplify a pose when it's already very clear in its original reference. References that have poses like this one here or this one are already easily readable, so they don't need to be changed in your drawings. You only need to alter your pose if you notice there's any visual ambiguity or uncertainty. Only then should you alter the gesture to look clearer. Otherwise, focus on capturing the posture as it is when you practice. Number 3, don't exaggerate a pose if you are true beginner to gesture drawing. What I mean by this is that, if you haven't had any experience with drawing before this class, I recommend picking references that already looks super clear and dynamic, rather than trying to exaggerate or simplify a reference that lacks clarity or looks stiff. This is because very new artists need to prioritize and focus on developing the observational and analytical skills. It gets very confusing if you're trying to draw a gesture within a short time frame while also making quick find decisions on how to alter the gesture from its original posture. For those of you who fall in this category, this lesson is just to teach you the theory in advance. I'll provide alternative references that doesn't require you to alter a pose for you guys to draw in this lesson. Everyone else who has either self-study our fundamentals before or attended former art lessons in university or in school, or is currently working as a professional artist, should do the assignment I give at the end of the lesson. Those are all the tips I have for simplifying and exaggerating your gestures, when and how to alter them, and when not to. Your assignment for this lesson is to simplify and exaggerate these five references. In the resources below are references I've collected for you to do just that. Remember the set a timer for each one. This exercise should be set to two minutes per reference. Just know that the timer is only there to force you're not to fast over detail. So don't panic if you run over time. Also remember that it's better to retry drawing the reference again from scratch if you feel that you didn't have enough time to simplify or is that you had a pose well enough instead of spending extra time refining one drawing. To those of you who are true beginners, you should be practicing drawing references that are already clear with a strong line of action by using five references I've attached below, label under beginner references. The timer for each one should be set to one minute. In the next and final lesson, we'll be analyzing the work done by industry veterans because these artists are experts at creating fluid gestures. I'll be referencing their art for both you and I to learn from. For now, I wish you guys all the best in your homework assignments and I'll catch you guys in the next lesson. See you. [MUSIC]. 11. Analysing Simplified Art: Welcome to your final lesson, let's end the class by analyzing amazing drawings done by other artists. [MUSIC] In this lesson, we'll break down various artworks done by four professional artists. We'll see how to simplify an exaggerated gestures and dissect what might have been their thought process when they were drawing their characters. I'll also use one character drawing for each artist as my reference and show you how I learn from redrawing their art. Then I'll give you a final assignment for this class and share some advice on how to use art references ethically. The first artist whose work we'll analyze is by Xin Yingzong, a character designer at Pixar. These are gesture drawings Yingzong posted on her social media, and she was kind enough to mark out the line of action in each gesture for her audience. Notice how every limb she drew surpass the main simple motion in each gesture. Analyze the bumps and parts of the body, she decided to exaggerate in her art. In this piece, the silhouette is very clear and the character she drew is leaning far forward. Both flicks look very natural because one follows the line of action while the other is bent to provide visual contrast to the smooth motion of the model's body. Even in the subtle gesture drawings she makes, the line of action is too obvious and the silhouette of the character is very clear. Among all her gesture drawings, I decided to use this one as my reference. I love the fascinating way she exaggerated the model's body, and I wanted to try redrawing this to see if I could pull off such a heavily exaggerated gesture. This was my third attempt at drawing this gesture. I had a tricky time identifying how exaggerated the character's line of action is and had to revise it by redrawing their thigh. By this time, I more or less got the angle of the model's shoulders and hips, but it was hard to figure out the torso and the left leg, so I barely finished it in time. In the end, I didn't got a spirit of the gesture down, but I made some mistakes. The original character's arm is much closer to their torso and their right foot is actually facing frontwards. I drew the head a little too small in proportion to their body too. Overall, this turned out better compared to the previous two attempts I did. The first one was awkward because I over-exaggerated the model's hips and drew the hip angle too far downwards. My second attempt wasn't there either because their left leg doesn't look level with their right, so it looks like it's floating above the ground, non inline with the left foot. Despite the flaws, I'm relatively content with the third result, and I feel like I learned quite a bit from redrawing this. The next artist's work we'll breakdown are by Toniko Pantoja, the Director of Brushtale Works, who's also a story artists and animator. These drawings from him are character concepts he drew from one of his projects, and I really loved how well he captured the line of action in each one. His drawings combines what we learned in previous lessons. We see how he catches the body language to show what character this person is. Likely someone rough and tough from the way they're eating and combative way they're posing, and each pose is clear with a strong line of action. Same goes for the character concepts he drew here, depicting someone who seems to have the opposite personality from the previous character he drew. When a drawing is a strong line of action, you'll feel it in the movement even if it's a still image, this one shows multiple characters running, and because of how succinctly he captured the motion each person's run, it feels like a snapshot of various characters running away. The reference I've chosen from his works is this abstract from an experimental comic that he drew. I drew this wolf character because of the way he's throwing all its way into the punch. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could capture the strong motion as well as he did. After the first reference, I decided I should give three attempts to every reference I redraw. This was also the third try. I got the line of action fairly quickly and left on a position of the wolf's limbs. It was tricky to capture how the limbs are bending, but I did a decent job. I also find it tricky to drawing the wolf's arm, especially since it's partially obscured. Overall though, I then I got the line of action fairly well, but the head should be positioned a little higher and slightly more to the left, and the arm, she bent more because the original wolf had already punched the opponent in this panel, so the arm is angle for the downwards. More other attempts were all right, but he has similar flaws. My first attempt especially suffer from having too much scratchy lines in the legs, but that's alright, I learned a lot and have a greater appreciation while drawing fighting scenes. These next few pieces are drawn by Lois van Baarle, a well-known digital artists and character designer who shares most of her paintings and sketches online. All the characters she draws look incredibly fluid because as you've guessed by now, the line of action is always strong and the way her character's limbs are positioned are drawn either to follow the line of action or to add contrast to the gesture. She also often uses the contrapposto position to enhance the poses her characters are in. All the artists I previously analyzed used this technique too, but I feel that's especially prominent in Lois's work. She uses technique to highlight her character's personalities, made them look fluid, free and emotional, and it adds to the dreamy quality in every piece that she paints. I chose to draw this illustration because I thought the way the character's dancing is so wonderfully lively and I love the bubbly vibe. As always, this is my third attempt at drawing the reference. I got the line of action pretty quick and promptly roughed out the position of the limbs. I was trying to make sure I got the character's torso and thighs right. They're also tricky as well because they're bent in a very distinct way. I ran a little over time because I drew in the head last, but I'm actually fairly satisfied with the final gesture. The only parts I would change is that I draw the character's head, leaning slightly less dramatically to their right. Draw the right arm bent at a sharper angle and stretched their left arm further. Now let me show you my first attempt, so you can see what I realized when redrawing this. Although this first trial is fluid, it's completely unbalanced as though they are going to fall to their left soon. Lois's character isn't leaning that far to their left. In fact, the character's head is actually leaning further to their right side, not further to their left like what I drew. In my second attempt, I tried to fix that, so the line of action and the balance and the gesture is better here, but I botched it when I drew in the character's head. But the third try I knew what I had to change, so it's much improved on the first one. This was tricky, but also really fun to dissect the illustration and get over the illusions my eyes are playing on me. The last artist's work we'll analyzed is David Ardinaryas Lojaya, the art Director of Coral Island and the character designer at Disney. These illustrations by David are perfect examples of what we discussed in the last lesson. Every drawing here is based off real people and the references poses have been altered in a way that enhances the line of action. Some drawings have even been completely changed, like in this one, where the model is sitting down and a dog has been positioned behind the character instead so that our viewers focuses on the model. Each character's pose embodies the main spirit of the original reference. This one, maintains the cool persona and brought build up the model despite changing the pose completely, and this one leans into the way the model's head is bent. I imagine David drawing the model's right arm holding their head to give a visual reason why they are bent so far to their right, and that's also why the bag has switched to their left side. Drawing the model this crossed also adds to the elegance poised to the drawing, and basic character silhouette look more interesting, while enhancing the line of action. The other drawings David drew, though seem to be based off any references, but they all maintain the same strong line of action. More so exaggerated in a cartoony, yet believable in engaging way. Among all the illustrations, I decided to redraw this sketch, it's the most heavily exaggerated and cartoony piece I found from David's site. I thought it'd be fun to see how well I can draw someone so heavily stylized in my own way. This was my third attempt as usual, and I got the line of action quickly since it's so obvious in the original reference. I quickly roughed out their legs and had to redraw the angle of the shoulders because I got it wrong the first time. I roughly drew in the eyes, then fleshed out the legs, and finally the loosely hanging arm. The only thing I dislike in this third attempt is how long I drew the left arm. It should have been drawn shorter ending above the ankle. Otherwise, I think I got the line of action and overall tire spirit of the gesture. This is my first attempt, which is all right too, but I think I could have exaggerated the back a little more and refines it in parts. My second attempt is actually the drawing I liked best. We should break the third time to try and have it going on, but I feel like this gesture, got the line of action well and the length of a left arm is actually accurate here. The only parts that are wrong is the line depicting the character's right foot. The original foot is front-facing. I drew it facing too far inwards instead, that and then right arm should have been drawn smoother. Despite that, I still like this drawing the best and appreciate how expressive David's original drawing is. That's all I have to say about learning through analyzing and redrawing other artists work. Something important to note is that if you want to share your redrawing art on social media, make sure you credit the original artists and link to their illustration. I think it's never okay to post redrawing art up without crediting and linking to the original artists because then you don't bring the attention back to their work. This way is expressing your description as a redraw and people see and know the purpose of you redrawing the original artists work, which is to learn from them and to see how you would draw the same thing in your own way. This is similar to the popular draw this in your own style art tag, a popular challenge within the online art community, where you refer to a drawing another illustrator put up for anyone to redraw in their own style. Only in this exercise we'll only be redrawing quick gestures instead of finalizing the illustration. Another important thing, never trace another artist's work because that's not how you learn to draw your own gestures or improve art in general, and it's plagiarism. This is a serious thing and it's outright stealing within the art community. There's a difference between a draw that's in your own style challenge where you redraw an artist's work from scratch and give proper credit and a plagiarized art piece posted online. The point of a redraw is to re-interpret the character another artist drew, which requires you to draw for a blank sheet of paper, so in other words, transformative and the function is educational. Tracing is simply photocopying another person's art. It does not add educational value and it's profiting off the artistic choices of another illustrator. I hope that explanation is clear enough for you all. The main thing is to have fun analyzing your favorite artist's work. As long as you make it clear there is a redraw, credit them, and don't trace, you're good to go. The last thing I want to note is that when you're redrawing illustrations by another artist you admire, do your best not to compare your skill level to theirs. I know many artists who end up feeling inferior or beat themselves up over not being as good as another artist. It's not a fair comparison because these artists has spent years on their aircraft and everybody progresses differently depending on their circumstances. I've heard a saying in different forms from various artists, and if I'm not wrong, Toniko Pantoja was the first is share it in this summarized sentence. Practice makes progress, not perfect. It's a spin on the common saying practice makes perfect, but personally I feel there's a lot more accurate to show an artist progression by saying in this way, I'd like to say because it only compares you to your own past, not others, and it doesn't focus on achieving perfection, because honestly, profession doesn't exist. As cheesy as it sounds, as long as you're trying your best and doing what you can to work smart and hard, you improve bit by bit, and that means something. Your final assignment is to redraw five references drawn by your favorite artists. For those of you who don't really follow many artists online, I've attached five references for you to redraw in the resources below. Set your timer to two minutes for each reference. Once again, you can redraw these references as many times as you would like to fully analyze what the artist's chose essentially in the gestures they drew. All the best to your last assignment, and I'll catch you in the next one where we'll have an overview of everything we learned and share some closing thoughts. See you all. [MUSIC] 12. Closing Thoughts: Hey everyone, congrats on finishing this class. I know there was a lot to learn, but you watched and study each lesson which I think it's pretty amazing of you. Now, let's revise everything we've learned throughout this class. [MUSIC] In summary, we learned how to find and draw the line of action, the angle of the shoulders and hips, as well as how to analyze our references. We also figured out how to identify key frames from video references, ways to show your character's individual personalities and relationships with others by analyzing body language, practice, simplifying and exaggerating actions and our gestures and how to break down the way other artists draw their gestures to improve your own. Now that you know the different types of gesture drawing of practices you can do, here's some piece of advice on which ones do you prioritize depending on which field of art you'd like to specialize in. Those who are pursuing careers in animation and comics will benefit most from finding and drawing key frames or simplifying and exaggerating their references. Aspiring graphic designers and illustrators should also prioritize practicing simplification and exaggeration although illustrators will also benefit greatly from using Movistar references. Generally though, I recommend everyone practice all types of gesture drawing because it helps your abilities across the board. This is especially true for those of you who are undecided about what they like to specialize in or those of you who are art hobbyists. That advice I shared earlier was just to let you know which types of gesture drawing sessions would help the most according to your chosen path. Here's a final reminder that making mistakes is all a part of process. Most important is to analyze why it occurred. Go back to analyzing the original reference to figure out ways to better capture that gesture. Every artist goes through this process in some form. Even working professionals who are masters of their craft do the same. Personally. I think it's a wonderful thing that we never stop learning and discovering ways to overcome our challenges no matter how long we've been drawing even if it can be quite frustrating sometimes. Making new mistakes is proof that you're pushing yourself to evolve your art. There are something to be proud of. Thank you so much for joining me in this class. You guys have come so far and I truly believe that your art will continue to grow. I wish you all the best in your art journey. See you. [MUSIC]