Draw Characters 106 Composition and Design | Scott Harris | Skillshare

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Draw Characters 106 Composition and Design

teacher avatar Scott Harris, Painter and Illustrator

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

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.

      Draw Characters 106 Introduction


    • 2.

      Center of Gravity


    • 3.

      Assymetry in Character Drawing


    • 4.

      Squash and Stretch- Animation Concepts for Drawing


    • 5.

      Drawing Action and Re-action


    • 6.

      Gender and Age Differences


    • 7.

      Foundations of Character Design


    • 8.

      Character Focal Points


    • 9.

      Designing Iconic Characters


    • 10.

      Utilising Symbolism When Drawing Characters


    • 11.

      Silhouette Value for Character Drawing


    • 12.

      The Three Core Elements of Character Design


    • 13.

      The 5 Core Elements of Good Character Composition


    • 14.

      Using all of your Drawing Knowledge


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About This Class

Welcome to Draw Characters 106 Composition and Design- the sixth of a 10 part character drawing course that will teach you all you need to know to draw characters well.

Hey, this is Scott! Let me tell you why this is the best character drawing course ever made, and how I'll be able to help you reach your art dreams and goals, whether you're just starting out, or you know a bunch already.

What exactly is Draw Characters?

Draw Characters is a character drawing course where you learn how to draw professional characters in any style for books, games, animation, manga, comics and more. This is a 10 part Drawing Course that will be the only course you really need to learn all the core fundamentals, and advanced techniques to drawing and sketching characters well.

If you’re an absolute beginner or you’re already at an intermediate level, the course will advance your current drawing ability to a professional level. The course is a 10-part guided video course, where the only limit to your progression is your determination and engagement in the rewarding assignments.

Whether you want to draw characters, design characters, create concept art characters for films and games, illustrations, comics, manga, Disney style or other styles, this is the course you need to get you there.

I’ll teach you to draw characters without fear, and I’ll teach you to draw characters well - that's my promise to you!


Finally, Learn Character Drawing Well

Whether you’re a complete beginner, or intermediate at character drawing, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew. Seriously. Inspired by masters and built on the theory of giants, Draw Characters  is one of, if not the most comprehensive character drawing course out there.


Clear, Easy to Understand Lessons (Scott's No Fluff Promise!)

Crystal clear in fact. Learning character drawing and how to draw people effectively means having information presented in a logical and coherent way. This course is modular by design, easy to grasp, and allows you to learn in a well paced, structured way. Engage in the course chronologically, then revise each module at your leisure. Grasp concepts, such as how to draw lips, eyes, faces, and more, faster than you ever have before – there’s no fluff here.


Assignments that are Rewarding

Bridging the gap between theory and practice, each module’s assignments have been designed to both reinforce theory, and feel rewarding. I’ve taken the core of the theory, and purpose built each assignment to help you rapidly progress, and you’ll see the difference in your own work almost immediately. Art is about doing, so let’s get started- let’s draw something awesome!


What's Your Style?

Whether you want to learn Character Drawing to draw for games, comics, cartoons, manga, animation and more, this course has you covered. I'm not teaching you a 'method' or a 'way' to draw, I'm teaching you to be fundamentally good at drawing characters, whether you prefer traditional pencil drawing or you like to draw digitally.


What are Students Saying about this 5-Star Course?

"Probably the best art course I've ever taken -- online or in college. Wonderfully presented, it helped me correct mistakes I'd been making that were really holding my artwork back. I've seen phenomenal progress after 30 days practice of the course material. Highly recommended." 

Dan Rahmel


"Just a perfect 5 stars rating. It's really complete and filled with advice, theories and concrete examples. As he said, it's probably the last character drawing course you'll take. It's all I wanted. Thank you so much Scott Harris!" 



"Amazing course. I haven't even started drawing yet because I'm in awe of how simple the instructor makes even the most complicated techniques look. At last, drawing like a pro is within my grasp! I also like the fact that the instructor allows me to just watch the first time through without worrying about drawing until I'm familiar with the concepts. My next time through the course, I'll be prepared and more confident than ever to begin drawing. Even so, I've already used some of the concepts in this course for a sketch here and there when I feel inspired to draw, and I can tell worlds of difference between my former drawings and newer ones. Laid back instructor, but very knowledgeable. I highly recommend this course."

Eric Beaty

One Last Thing!
The sad reality is that other course creators are copying my content and work - that said, I want you to know that NOBODY will teach you like me.

Meet Your Teacher

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Scott Harris

Painter and Illustrator

Level: All Levels

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1. Draw Characters 106 Introduction: Hello and welcome to draw characters 106, composition and design. In this part of the course, we take a look at the key essential components of character composition and character design. These two elements to help us establish the visual hierarchy on the page. Helping us and God the viewer, where to look what is important, what is not important, and also helping to keep them engaged in the character drawings that we're creating. We look in depth at posing composition, as well as elements of symmetry and asymmetry, and how to manipulate visual and symbolic as well as iconographic elements in order to keep the viewer engaged with our work. Character composition is really a subcategory of art composition in general. And in this part of the course, I'm going to show you how just knowing anatomy and just knowing how to draw anatomy well and just knowing how to pose well is not enough to create a good character design and how you need to use key compositional elements to create engaging and appealing characters. As usual, I want you to go through all the lessons first and then go through them again and do the assignments. I'm really excited to teach you this content. This is really high-level content and you don't need to be able to learn it, but it's at the top of the pyramid of knowledge. So yeah, I'm really excited to teach it to you, and I'll see you in the lessor's Cheers. 2. Center of Gravity: Welcome to the first lesson of module six. And in this lesson we're going to be looking at how to keep your characters balanced. Now, you might find that you are drawing your characters in a way where they seem to possibly be falling over from one side to another or that they kind of tilt and they just don't seem balanced. And one of the reasons for this is that in general, it's because the head or the center of gravity in general, but the head is not aligning with the feet on the ground. And whenever this happens, the character tends to seem to be falling over. Now the simple rule is, if you can remember to make sure that the character's head is in-between the legs or in line with a single leg, then the character in general will feel fairly balanced. I'm just going to sketch out a example here, a very basic temporary rough pose. And here we have our character's head, nice and in the middle of the feet, right in-between the feet. And you can certainly draw that same head in line with just a single foot. Let's do another example here. And the character will still seem fairly well balanced. So whenever the head kind of leaves the range of the feet, the pose will tend to seem unbalanced. However, this is mainly discussing it in terms of standing poses. What if e.g. your character was leaning, overruled, bending over. So e.g. their head is here. I'm going to draw the body like this. Maybe their legs are over here. Maybe they're reaching down to grab something. Well, why does this still looks balanced? And this brings us to the topic of the center of gravity. As long as the center of gravity of the foam is falling on inline with the feet or around the area of the feet generally in the middle of the feet. You should be good. Your character won't appear to be falling over any particular way. So just make sure that you understand where the bulk of the weight of the form is. If a character is peering over to one side, maybe they're looking over a peer or something like that. As long as in this instance, let's assume that the character's legs do not fit in with the theory that we've learned here. As long as the bulk of the mass is inline with the feet, or that center of gravity is kinda projecting down into the middle of the feet or onto a single leg. You should be good and your characters won't appear to be falling down. So in these examples here, a good general rule is that we want to try to make sure that the hand is usually aligning with the leg or in-between both legs. And in terms of bending over poses or poses where the head is clearly outside of the form and not aligning with the legs at all. That the general center of gravity is aligning with the form so that the bulk mass or the weight is aligning down to between legs are random variance. And in this third instance here, where the head is totally not aligning it all, but the bulk of the mass is, again, between the legs. You should be good. Your characters won't look like they're falling over. And then you may be asking, well, what about in the instance of a character running or jumping or flying through the air, or what have you, how do you make sure that they don't appear to be falling over in that instance. Now the key really is, if you are in fact drawing it in such a way where it's clear that the character is doing an active pose, then you won't really have much of an issue. Because the viewer really assumes based on the activity that yes, this character is in motion. And as such, it doesn't really need to align. It makes sense based on the context of what you're drawing. So keep these three things in mind and you should be good and your characters won't fall over. This is a nice, easy one to remember. Great. See you in the next lesson. 3. Assymetry in Character Drawing: Let's now take a look at avoiding parallels and tangents in our character drawings. And when we think about parallels, particularly, we don't want to just think of two parallel lines. We want to think about anything that parallels ideas that parallel shapes that parallel negative space that parallels objects that parallel. And so the first thing we want to avoid is something called mirroring. Mirroring is when one side of the body tends to overly mirror or the other. So e.g. in this basic drawing here, I'm going to create the arms in a special way. They mirror one another. So pretend I was planning this to be a final drawing and I'm busy doing my dynamic shapes yet, I'm going to have this character's arms basically doing exactly the same pose. This is mirroring, right? So essentially the shape here is mirrored on both sides and it creates a visual parallel for the viewer. And visual parallels are really bad. They suck, they're boring, dull the image to the viewer, and we want to avoid them. And obviously to correct that, we would focus on perhaps making one of the arms do a different pose. So the first thing we want to avoid is mirroring, right? We do not want any mirroring. Okay. Put that to one side. The next thing we want to avoid is something called Sawtooth thing. And sort2 thing is this kind of pattern or shape. You most commonly see this when people are drawing hair or fur. The reasons sort2 thing is pretty terrible is because it too is also a visual parallel. All of these little triangular structures are exactly the same and they mirror each other. And what you want to strive for rather is shape-based composition theory, where you are varying the size of elements. So here we have different size of elements going on for hearing for, and we aren't saw two things. So keeps sort2 thing in mind and avoided at all costs, especially when you're doing here. And at fringes, do not sawtooth. Alright, so that's what sort2 thing is. Then we're going to talk about curves again, straits, particularly in a shape, since, right, particularly in a shape scenes. Let's say e.g. you're busy doing the final touches on an arm and we'll start with the shoulder here and pretend we've already planned out all of our dynamic forms and so on. And we want to draw the arm, and we've drawn the upper arm here, and then we can come down here and we'll just draw in the lower arm elements here, e.g. this area over here is very much paralleling. And you might say, well, isn't this crazy on me going into too much detail? I think that all looks fine. I would say to, you know, we have to basically spend a lot of our time eliminating parallels. And so what we'd want to do here is use the straight against curve theory to try and straighten up one side and leave the other side curvy. And so in this instance, what we could do to modify this is really say, oh, well let's make the tricep more of a straight shape. And you can see that overall, we get a much more dynamic looking arm because we have this visual straight contrasted against this curve. Again, what we're doing here is we are eliminating parallels. So we want to spend a lot of time eliminating parallels in our work and straight against curve for the purposes of eliminating parallels is one of the best tools that we can use. And last but not least, we want to definitely take a position where we are eliminating tangents. And tangents will creep up on you if you're not paying attention to your line overlaps, It's going to make all of these a little bit smaller just so that we have a bit more space to draw here. As a basic example, I'm going to draw a tangent of an arm and a shoulder. It's a common area for attention to occur. So let's say we have our chest drawing over here. And we're going to put our arm over here. And now I'm getting ready to go and do some of my detailed anatomy drawing on top here. And so what you will see sometimes is that people will just put this shape like that and we'll move into the arm. And what is happening is that we're forgetting to put the overlap in to the viewer. It's not clear whether the bicep here or the arm muscle here is the arm itself, should I say is in front of the chest or not? Or if the chest is in front of the arm. There are instances where you really need to show that. And so what we need to do, we've learned about this already, but I wanted to reinforce in this lesson is overlap, right? We want overlap and we have to be very aware of these tangents happening in our pieces. These four things are really, really something we want to be paying attention to. All the term. You'll have exercises dealing with us, helping you to make sure that you're always aware and always looking out for, let's call them the four evils of drawing. Alright? Eliminating parallels. Making sure we're not mirroring elements in our piece. Those are visual parallels, symbolic parallels. Making sure we don't have sawtooth things shaped parallels. And of course we want to make sure that we are showing our overlaps clearly. There were supporting the forms that we've worked so hard to establish in our drawings. Let's move on. 4. Squash and Stretch- Animation Concepts for Drawing: In this lesson, we're going to take a quick look at a concept called squash and stretch. And squash and stretch really just means that if something is stretching on one side, it's squashing on the other. Generally speaking, this is usually has to do with actuation points. So if we pretend this is our hand over here, and this is our forearm and the upper arm. If the actuation point here was to move up in this fashion, we would get a compression on one side and we'd get a stretching on the other. And so this really is the very basics of squash and stretch. That because of a mechanical feature of the anatomy. When the movement occurs, we will get a compression of muscle on one side and a stretching of the muscle on the other side. Now, where this also applies and is extremely relevant. And we will cover this in more detail later in the course, is in terms of character facial expressions. Now, the head also has an actuation point on it, which would be the jaw somewhere around there. And of course that is going to have the expected squashing and stretching occurring as the mouth opens and closes. And it's something we want to be aware of so that we're always keeping in mind what is happening to the muscles? What is happening clinically in way should we be squashing and stretching the actual skin surface area of our characters? But when we come to the face, because there are so many muscles in the face, there are quite a range of movements. So the mouth area can move to a degree. The nose has a kind of a small range of movement, but it can move. The eyebrows, have a range of movements as well. We also have the eyelid movements, the brow movements, and so on. There are many different movements that can occur. So squash and stretch also tends to happen on the muscular level, even when there aren't points of actuation in terms of the actual bone structure. So we really just want to take a quick look at what the concept of squash and stretch is. It's not a vastly broad subject really for us, although probably for animators at something that they really scrutinized over because of course they need to be aware of it in every single scene that they're sketching out. But nevertheless, the squash and stretch is an important thing we want to keep in mind to keeping that realism in that believability. Just say more that believability in our pieces so that their skin seems like skin, their muscles is seem like muscles. And so we're persuading the viewer more so of the existence of this character. And that is our quick overview of squash and stretch. 5. Drawing Action and Re-action: In this lesson, we're going to take a look at secondary animation or secondary actions. And right from the offset before we even look at any examples, because we have the word secondary there. It makes us then think, well, what is the primary animation or the primary actions? Secondary animation or secondary actions and its role with actions, henceforth, really are the things that are happening secondarily to the primary action of the pose. Here we have two examples to gestural examples of a character running and a character standing, carrying a case. And in this instance, we can see here that the primary directionality of each of these, as indicated by a line of action, has got a particular kind of angle to it, a particular kind of tilt or particular direction of action in the pose. Now of course, the character running is doing something way more active than the character just standing still. Yet at the same time, we can use this theory to enhance both of them. A common mistake is for people to draw the secondary elements, doing nothing. Here's our character running. We've got the hair in a static position, the shirt and aesthetic position and the pants are really in a static position. There is no mind to paid towards perhaps these elements are moving as a secondary result of the primary force. And similarly here in the static character, well, we just assume that because the character is static, everything else should be static to what the character is standing still. So perhaps everything else is very much still. The character's hair here is just really straight down. The scarf is straight down, the dress is straight down, and the case is very much parallel. However, a better way to approach this would then be to say, well, what secondary things could be happening as a result of the primary force. Here in the runner. We've got the hair now waving back. And we've got this shirt flicking up back as well. And the Pence are now kind of flailing in the wind a little bit. And it adds an immense amount of energy and dynamism and flow to the piece to have its secondary actions taking place. Similarly in the character that is standing still, it's almost as if we've got a snapshot of her in real life, things are moving and we just pause. That movement in our drawing. Here is tilted slightly back and her scarf is flailing forwards a little bit, who is scared in more of a dynamic angle and perhaps is affected a little bit by the wind. And we've adjusted the case angle as well, perhaps as a result of how she's balancing the weight in her body. So really secondary actions are those actions that are secondary to the primary action that is happening in the entire form. The characters punching a character's fighting with doing a sport or running, even if they're standing in a particular way, we will always want to ask ourselves, what are the secondary actions? Or have I drawn in any secondary actions? Am I drawing things that could have moved, That could have done it in a static way. This is extremely important to remember in your pieces because having secondary elements that I'll state, it can really kill all the work you've put into making the primary action dynamic. As a practical example of secondary actions in a final piece, here we have this blood elf top character who is casting a spell. The spell is not in this particular drawing because it's in fact painted in afterwards. But nevertheless, there is a magic spell sort of happening around this area. And as a result of the force of that spell, we have the character's hair blowing back as a secondary action in the piece. So hair is blowing back. But at the same time she's also moving forward. She's running forward here so we can see your leg one leg other leg coming forward with the other leg coming forward as well. We have a secondary action happening in her dress elements here. In addition, because our bodies in movement, when we look at her jewelry, earrings are swaying and flaming back. Alright, and so are these little jewels on her neck. They're sort of at a slight angle. Nothing is really static. And here we see these jewels as well, float flailing back as the character moves. So there are quite a few elements of secondary actions happening in this particular piece. We even have some secondary action is happening from some unknown source. We have rocks flying in the background, though, that's not really related to the character, but nevertheless, it's still an example of secondary actions occurring here in the dress as well. So hopefully you have a very clear idea of how valuable and useful implementing secondary actions into your work is. And really you want to include them. You don't want to leave them out there. Something that can really enhance your work. So why would you leave it out? So as we move forward in the course, be very aware of secondary actions and be sure to implement them wherever you need to. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Gender and Age Differences: In this lesson, we're going to look at some key concepts that differentiate between the feminine and the masculine forms, right? And we want to use these elements to help us make our men look manly, make a woman look womanly, or vice versa. You can also cross and mix and match based on the type of character that you're doing, whether they're male or female. However, these are the general rules that we want to follow. The general guidelines we want to follow and implement in our work when we're trying to have it feminine looking woman and masculine looking men. In addition to that, we're going to look at some key points that differentiate ages. Alright, let's get into it. The first thing we want to note is that generally speaking, when we're drawing feminine forms, we want to use softer curvier lines and generally try to avoid harsh angles in the lines. Similarly with or should I say conversely, in the masculine forms, we want to have some angles. This adds rigidity and more structured to the look of the line. And so it makes whatever you're drawing with these types of lines look a little bit more robust, a little bit more masculine, little bit more rigid. And of course conversely, there's more gracefulness in the feminine types of lines. This is really straightforward, but it's really one of the most important things when you're trying to get a feminine or a masculine look in a particular character. The next thing we want to look at are the differences between the hips and the pelvis width between the male and female forms. As we've already noted in our anatomical forms module, main teams to have a narrower pelvis and women tend to have a wider pelvis. And conversely, women tend to have shorter shoulders and men tend to have more broader shoulders. And so you have this general pattern in the masculine form of broad shoulders, narrow pelvis ended narrow hips. And conversely in the feminine form, shorter shoulders, wider pelvis, and as such, wider hips. And really, if you just follow this very basic structure, it's a very quick way to have your feminine characters and looking feminine and masculine character is looking masculine. Moving on from that, a critical, critical thing that must be paid attention to, particularly obviously here in the facial area, which is a big focal point for characters, is the neck thickness. When you draw a thin necks on characters, very much like here in the feminine side. The head and the neck area, the head tends to look much more feminine. And conversely, when the neck is made thicker and broader, the head looks more masculine. And this is really, really important because when you start trying to put a thinner neck on a character, you intend to become a masculine. The masculine character tends to look a feminine or too soft. Of course, if that is your goal with the character, then that's fun. But generally, if you're going for a guy, you want to have a thicker neck. If you're going for a female, you want to have a thinner neck. Of course, once again, general rules. The next thing I want to look at is our size. Typically, of course, we're talking in the context of image-making here. We want to have feminine characters or if feminist characters have bigger eyes. And to make a character look more masculine, more robust, we want to have the character have smaller eyes. So this is just another general rule to follow. Bigger eyes are more feminine. Smaller eyes are more masculine. And then of course we move on to nose sizes. It really is a very similar thing just in reverse. More feminine nose is typically smaller and a more masculine nodes is typically bigger, right? Of course, nothing stops you at any point from mixing and matching these various things. However, if your goal is to have a masculine male form or a masculine female form, these are the guidelines you want to follow. Right? Let's move on to age differences. And we're going to take a look here at age proportions. Alright? So first on the left we have a typical aid head proportioned female body, but the wide hips and the shoulders. But the thing we want to pay attention to is really the general eight heads proportions are going on here. And then conversely, we have another form. It could be a young boy or a young girl At six heads only. And so what we've done to achieve this edge difference is generally speaking, compress the torso into a smaller heads amount. Here it's in three heads. And here we've brought the age down somewhat. We've put the entire torso into two heads. And of course, the other proportions are affected as well. We've compressed them into a smaller heads amount, although we keep the head size fairly similar. Generally when you want to edge characters, the first thing you want to do really is compressed the torso. Whether you're going a character with four heads or three heads even or seven heads compressing the torso is the first thing you want to do to get that age difference to show. But the other thing you can do, and it looks a little crazy here on the right side is increasing the head size of a younger character. The minute you increase their head size, they immediately look somewhat younger. In fact, even though these two characters are the same height here, this character tends to look a little younger if we had to put them in the same world, this character on the right would probably be a little bit shorter and a little bit younger than the character on the left. We want to keep in mind that when we want to show the difference in ages, we want to start changing the proportions and compressing the torso and increasing the head size a little bit. That's the very first thing. The second thing is fairly straightforward, that forehead size is one of the biggest indicators of age. So here we have four short, roughly drawn diagrams showing the difference that forehead size makes to edge. As we get older, our foreheads get shorter. So we start here with the number one as the oldest character. Here. We move into number two, slightly bigger forehead character looks slightly younger. Number three, a slightly bigger forehead, and the character looks younger. Store. And then over here on number four and more of an extreme example. If you look at babies, they have absolutely massive foreheads, right? And so it's really just a basic rule to follow. So obviously three is more of your teen age group and then to your young adult, and then one you're older adult and so forth. And those are some key guidelines to getting gender differences and age differences into your work fairly easily. Let's move on. 7. Foundations of Character Design: Welcome to the lesson on the foundations of character design. And I'm emphasizing the word design. It's gonna be a bit of a talky lesson, but extremely, extremely important. Alright, so when we're talking about character design, the first thing that we really want to be aware of is vision. Now, early on the course are emphasized how important this is. Vision or the story, or the feeling, right? Or the idea. Okay? Now, being able to draw well and being able to create good characters are kind of two different things. You can be good at drawing, whether observational or imaginative, but whether the character that you're doing itself is a great character, is a well-designed character is another matter entirely. And so what we want to do before we get to the page, right, to draw the actual character. Perhaps we could do it on another page to do some planning or thinking in our minds is we want to constantly be aware of and asking ourselves, what is the story of this character? What are they? Feelings of the character? What is the idea behind the character? And basically this all falls into vision. You wants to have a strong vision of what you wanna do. And I don't mean a strong image in your mind what the character looks like. Now, I want us to think more about not, I wanted to draw this thing more like I want to create this person. So you're not going to make an, IT, you're going to make a right. And getting into this mode of thinking gives you a far, far, far richer, deeper drawing of a character. At the end of the day, you want ideally people to look at your work and buy into and believe in the character that you're creating. In order to do that, you have to already understand who they are as a person, outside of the realm of thinking about drawing implementation and outside the wrong thing about drawing theory, the implementation of how we draw things. Because here we want to work on our idea. Alright, here's another example for you to think about. If you have a poor idea that is drawn really well, it's still a poor idea, right? If you have a great idea that is drawn badly, it's still a great idea. Maybe the idea is not if communicated effectively, but the idea itself is still very good. This is one reason why I personally believe everybody has the ability to draw, because everybody is creative. Drawing is just really the implementation of this creativity. Alright? Because we can all think of really good ideas. We can all create really cool characters in our minds. All right, so some questions we want to ask while we're thinking about and planning is the first big important question is, what is the character thinking or feeling? What is the character thinking or feeling? Right? So we want to say to ourselves, Okay, We got this idea. We wanna do this type of character in the moment that you're drawing it, in the moment that you're trying to capture in the image. What is the character thinking? What is the character feeling? And why do we want to ask ourselves these questions? What impact will it have on the drawing? Well, if we know what the character is thinking, we know how they might move. If we know what they're feeling, we may know how they might move or express themselves. These things may have been tied to what they're wearing on that particular day. And you can see how deep the rabbit hole actually goes. It's quite a complex world that we're trying to do. Because when you're creating deep characters, they require deep thought. Also ask yourself, what choices is this character going to make in the scene? So e.g. if I said to you, well, let's draw a character drinking a glass of water. If you only thought to yourself, character drinking water, then you're drawing what the character is doing. And the best advice you can get when it comes to character drawing is draw what the character is thinking, not what they're doing. So now, if you converted your mind to draw in where the character's thinking, why are they drinking the gloss of whatever? Are they thirsty? Is that water? Is, are they famished? How are they feeling as they drink it? Right? And that might change subtleties in the piece. How they hold the gloss, what the expression on their face looks like on a really thirsty, or they're just having a large drink, or they're at a restaurant, or they just finished running a race. And this impacts so much about how we implement in our drawings, right? How we implement what the characters are thinking and feeling doing the drawings, right? Other questions to ask or who are the characters? Who are they? Do they have names, right? What are their aspirations? And knowing this helps you, again flesh out what they wear, how they move. E.g. you might say, well, what is all this that he's talking about saying how they move? Does it really impacted anything? Of course, it does think about this. E.g. you notice a man at the mall and he looks kind of sad. You've never met him, you've never spoken to him. He doesn't appear to be crying, but you're quite certain that this person is down, perhaps down on his luck. And what tells you that the way the character is moving, perhaps his shoulder positions, right? Perhaps his head position, perhaps these arms are hanging very parallel, that is sides and he's moping about. And why is his body doing that? Because of something going on in his hot, something going on in the inside of him. And so we get into the hearts of our characters were able to draw, they're outside, they're outside movements and they're outside posing to reflect what is inside. That is just some of the magic of character design where we are able to draw characters that are believable because they have this hot to them. They're not just drawings in a sense. They're kind of images of characters that could very viably be real, right? And they have a world and the story and to live. Right? So the other thing here is that you want to get the feeling, you get the feeling, feel what the characters are feeling. Consider their purpose, right? So let's put that here. Feel what the characters are feeling. And also consider their purpose. And you'll find when you feel and you're trying to feel what the characters are feeling. You can take on the role of an actor or an actress, right? Where you have to become something else to make people buy into this character or the story you're really telling with the character. You can see that story feeling the idea, the emotions behind what you're doing are extremely important and they add so much value to your drawing beyond just your bed drawing skill, just beyond your ability to implement anatomies and workflows and all of these years. Other things. Something else that we want to think about though, is once you start getting into this mode of getting ideas and visions and stories and things like that. We tend to do work that is quiet cliched, right? It's quiet cliched. Let's just see here the shade. Alright, don't know why did a small edge doesn't matter. We tend to do work that is quiet, cliched. And what we want to do is avoid this because a cliche in itself, the accretion idea, e.g. a. Wizard, that kinda looks like Gandalf. It's very much a cliched character. The cliche in itself is a type of symbolic parallel. When you draw a cliche, someone sees that it's a cliche. They recognize that. They say to themselves, Well, I've seen that before. That's what they would probably say. So I've seen that before, I've seen this kind of Wizard before. And so what they're doing is they're imagining the wizard they've seen before. They're imagining your piece. And those two images in the amount of very much like two parallel lines. And as we know in character design, we hate to parallels. We want to eliminate them. What can you do to take ideas that you love? You want to do fan out of your favorite characters. You want to do new ideas, you want to do love wizards, and you do love fantasy for argument's sake. What do you do? And the key is to take that particular genre and ask yourself, how can I add a twist, right? How can I add a twist to it? How can I mix it up so that it becomes something new, that it is no longer a parallel. So that's really where you want to go. You want to bring a kind of symbolic asymmetry to the idea. And the things we've been talking about in this lesson do not underestimate them. You really can't get away from thinking about how the character is feeling and so on, a story, they're feeling the world, the idea in all the various things we've touched on. And then still expect the piece to be really good and really engaging for viewers. When people look at images, something you as an artist must recognize is that the consumption time of an image is very short, right? You look at an image and perhaps in even 1 s, you may click to the next image. And so we, as artists, have a very small timeframe to try to capture the imagination of the viewer, even if your drawing is really good, but it lacks these elements. People will just click Next after a second. And what we really wanna do is try and extend the viewing to 2 s, 3 s. Maybe they download and save the image. Maybe they like the image. Maybe they add you to their favorite artists lists on whatever platform you may be on, maybe they remember you. And the way we do that is don't just give them a good drawing. Give them a world and a character and a WHO that they can believe in. Alright, I hope I've been emphatic and I hope you starting to see a picture of an potent this stuff is, Let's move on to the next lesson. 8. Character Focal Points: In this lesson, we're gonna be learning about character composition, focal points. Alright? Now, if you've ever done photography before, you've learned anything about art, you may have heard of this rule of thirds, right? So the picture plane, as they say, is divided into thirds. And the areas here where the lines intersect, Consider the good locations to put focal areas of your picture. So I'm gonna do just a very basic environment. Let's put a mountain up here. And we can put a sign up here, y naught. And that would be considered a pretty reasonable composition because we've positioned the peak of the mountain there on that focal point. And we'll just do some background mountains here. And we'll just add some extra emphasis there. But really it doesn't matter. The point is that we have a system which is the page or the picture plane here to help us calculate where the good focal point areas are. Now of course, this is one system or a few systems you can use. So what we're doing is we're saying, alright, we're going to define, divide the page into these thirds. And wherever there are intersections of these three points, we can put focal points. And then you can build systems where you can read, divide the page into more squares and find new focal points and have a one-two-three system of focal points going and so on and so forth. But the problem with this top of compositional for compositional system, which is a page-based compositional system because of this picture plane area in red, the border is, our page, is that we cannot use this type of compositional system to compose the characters composition. Not sure if we're laying out a character on this page, e.g. yes, it would be a good idea to perhaps put a character here. We'll put a character here if this were vertically and we can have the character standing over here and so forth. And that would be fun because we're laying them out based on the rules of the page. But how do you compose a good character? Now of course, there are quite a few theories to that. But before we get to that, the first thing we want to learn about really is the importance of the face and the hands in a character. Drawing. The head of a character is always our number one focal point. It is always our number one focal point regardless of what is happening in the rest of the form, the head is always the number one focal point. And the secondary focal point really is the hands. The hands are always our number two focal points. The reason for this is because when we see other human beings, we tend to look immediately at their heads first. Perhaps they're talking or they're saying something. And then we look at their hands. What are their hands gesturing toward? What are their hands are doing? And so we tend to ignore in some senses what's happening with the rest of the form. That doesn't mean we can draw it badly or ignore it suddenly not, but the focal points of the peace teams to be primarily the head and then the hands. And so what does this mean for our practical implementation of drawing? Well, it means one, that we want to draw the head well, draw the head well, and draw the face well. Okay, we really want to put a lot of attention into drawing the head well and the face. Well, the second thing it means is it's Tom people to get really good at drawing hands, right? We need to draw the hands. Well, if you mess up the hands, it can actually mess up the whole piece. And obviously similarly, if you mess up the head and the face, you can mess up the entire piece. Let's say for argument's sake, you draw, drew a perfect body, awesome buddy, awesome hands, and you messed up the head. You might as well throw the piece away because the key focal point of the piece has been messed up. Now, it's very important that we take this super serious. You can actually get away with a mediocre body, awesome head or some hands, but you certainly can't get away with the vice-versa of that. However, there's something else we want to do in terms of composition when we're talking about character drawn. And that is because we know that the head in the hands of focal points, we can manipulate this to create a visual loop. And what do I mean by that? Well, we know that generally they're going to look at the headfirst. What if we positioned the hands in a way where they float in some kind of system, let's say e.g. this character here is pointing to themselves. With the hands float in a particular way as to create a visual loop I haven't drawn in the body here, but bear with me. Just draw that in a quick. And so what we're doing here is let's say his hand is on his hip. We end up looking here at focal point number one, which is the head, the face. And then we started looking around the piece. But you can see here that we have this directionality happening with little characters left hand. And despite what may be happening in the legs or the feet, this hand has a directionality there and it has a sneakily put in pointer in the thumb pointing back to the character's face. And so what we're doing is we're creating a visual loop. And why is this visual loop important, or why is this visual loop a good idea? Because it keeps view is engaged in our piece and they can't understand why they keep looking at it. Now, hopefully, of course you've implemented the head and the hands and the face really well. So that's already an engaging reason in the piece of art that you're doing is really a nice piece of art if you've done your refinement in your structure and everything's really good. But these are sort of, I don't want say sneaky, but it's, these are some kind of subconscious things that we're doing in order to keep view is more engaged in our work by creating visual loops. And this isn't a new concept. This isn't some kind of crazy new concept. It's done all the time from landscape paintings to portrait paintings. Various techniques are used. Whether they're playing with the value or the edges, or the amount of detail they are doing things to keep you looking at their piece. And often you wonder, I don't know why I like this piece of art so much. Well, take a look and say to yourself, are they creating a visual loop between focal points, focal points leading to each other in a way that keeps my eyes engaged in moving around the page. Alright, hopefully this has been an exciting thing for you if you didn't already know, because it's quite fun to do as well. Now of course, not every character pose you do and every drawing you do is going to have this particular if you're doing concept art, there were focusing more on the design of the character in terms of their outfit and their costume, and not so much about engaging because that work is created for something else, for a video game or for a form. But when we're talking about explicit character drawings and character art for the sake of being viewed and enjoyed. Doing these visual loops is a very good idea. But we want to cover an additional topic as well. That topic is the face. And what I want to point out here is that the face is such a wonderful Canvas for its own types of composition. And it hasn't structured order of what is important on the face. If we're talking about just the face on its own, then the number one focal point of the face would be the eyes. Of course, it seems pretty obvious, but let's just state it anyway. Our number one here is the eyes, and then our number two focal points on the face would be the mouth, right? So whilst it's a lot harder to create visual loops in here, It's important to note that people will look at the honest first and then kind of look at the mouth as a secondary focal points to backup what the eyes are doing. So e.g. this might look very strange if I make the character said and looking up and smiling, although they look a little unsure now that looks a little weird, but nevertheless, where I was trying to make the character look sad. So in order to backup what's happening at focal 0.1 in the eyes, olivine wants to match what is happening in the mouth. So maybe the math moves to more of a sad kind of mouth. Alright? And something to think about in regards to this is the order of importance in terms of overall composition. Where primarily the eyes or the headline. This is in terms of our emotions. In communicating emotion. Secondarily. The math supports the eyes, the mouth is the sub-headline. And then the body. Primarily starting with the hands and then the body supports what is happening on the face. All right, So we want to think about these focal points in terms of the entire body, the head and the hands being super important in the rest of the body. Being focal 0.3. We want to think about those loops and we want to think about the order of composition and importance on the face with the eyes being pivoted really important. And then secondarily the mouth and in the hand sample and the rest of the body supporting what's happening in the face. And this really is our character composition focal points. Let's move on to the next lesson. 9. Designing Iconic Characters: In this lesson, we're going to be talking a little bit about designing iconic characters or character iconography. Now when you think of the word icon, like someone is an icon, or why is this person an icon? Or you think about characters that you know are very familiar to you, whether they're from books or video games or movies or what have you asked yourself? What is that one thing? That if it were taken away from that character, would have that character cease to be who they are? If you change that one aesthetic visual thing about them would have them cease to be who they are. Iconography in character design is all about taking away things so that there are only a few things that are truly definitive of that character's visual aesthetic. So e.g. if you were drawing a magical girl, you added millions of pockets to or in a magical dresses and medical gloves and a crown and a one, and these types of boots and these various color schemes and so on. In that sense, she would have many elements that define who she was and what she wanted to try and do with your characters is distill them down, remove elements so that you have a particular look that is quite definitive of that character. To further expand on this, Let's take a look at some examples. Here I have drawn just a basic faceless character is a no named character. She's doesn't really exist to anybody in any context. There's no story to her or anything like that. But if we start adding a degree of iconography to her, you'll notice that she starts to become somebody. In this instance, she looks a little bit like Wonder Woman, and that's because she has the hairstyle in the crown and this stall on the crown. Things that are iconic of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman would cease to be Wonder Woman in many respects, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between her and anyone else if she didn't have her crown. In the second example, I'm sure you can guess who this is Princess Leia from Star Wars. Her hair buns or her main iconographic elements. They define who the character is. And if we only saw a silhouette of Princess layer, we would know it's her because of the distinct shape and the distinct iconography of her hair bands. Once again, a popular video game character. This character now looks like Tracer from a video game called Overwatch and her large goggles and her funky hairstyle or her definitive elements. But even more so than that, it really is Her goggles that define her. If we took her goggles away, we might assume it may be tracer, but we're not quite sure if it was really hurt. Her goggles really, or her main thing right here, main icon. And just as an aside, I added this last one. I don't know if you can guess who this particular part might be. But there are certain elements that define this particular character. And if we add just a small splash of color to this particular scene here, we start getting a picture of another very popular icon, right? And that in that sense, is using color as well as design elements for the iconography. So going back to the beginning about designing iconic characters and character iconography, the short version of it is really that when you're designing characters and you want your characters to be unique or iconic, particularly your hero characters or your main characters. What do you want to strive for is not adding elements to make them more unique, but seeing how many things you can remove in order to distill the character down into a purist, the most pure form of themselves that were used to remove that one thing, they would cease to become that character. But as you add that one thing in, they become the character who you've designed them to be. The question we want to ask ourselves when we're designing our own characters is what one thing, if I removed it, would have my character cease to be iconic or had your character cease to be character, you've designed them to be so focused on distillation, if you will, not adding millions of details that will perhaps frivolous or meaningless, right? That is the end of this lesson. I'll see you guys in the next lesson. 10. Utilising Symbolism When Drawing Characters: In this lesson, we're going to learn about shapes symbolism, and how it relates to character design. Now, the basic shapes of square, circle, and triangle have certain sort of almost embedded meanings in us. They mean particular things to us. And when we apply those general shapes, so our character designs, we can imbue our characters with those particular meanings as well and utilize the shape language of the shapes symbolism to reach our ends in terms of our drawings. Let's first take a look at the humble square. And the square is symbolic of amongst other things, strength, trustworthiness, dependability, and power. Squares and square shapes like rectangles and other similar shapes seem to be strong, robust, durable, and so forth. And when we imbue our characters, particular character heads and their body shapes with this type of shape square, they seem to be strong, reliable, and dependable characters. When we think about circles, we get a completely different vibe. They're curvy, they're round. And so we think about things like friendly, soft, cute, gentle, kind, even. And round shapes are usually used on characters that are very friendly or Hubble or cuddly, the good characters or the cute, sweet characters. And triangular shapes had a sense of mystery. There Sharp, those three corners are very sharp. They give a sense of evil. They also give a sense of danger. Even in our society, many sons that we have that are triangular are usually warning you of something. So triangles are very much warnings as well. So I have some examples yet, just showing three character heads and what the different shapes of those heads due to the characters. The first character on the left is a guy. He looks like a dependable, everyday guy who you can trust. Somebody could probably lift heavy boxes for you. Then the second character is an enemy's style girl or manga style girl. And she looks cute and soft and she has a lot of round forms. And then last but not least, we have a character that is not too trusting and he looks a little bit suspicious. And his overall shape silhouette is of course that of a triangle. Overlay the shapes. Hopefully you start getting the general idea of how powerful using basic shapes symbolism can be in bringing an archetype to your character, whether they're good or evil, dependable, or a mix of shapes. It's your call on how you want to use them. But I want to make you aware that shaped symbolism is there for us to exploit when we're designing characters. Let's move on. 11. Silhouette Value for Character Drawing: Silhouette value refers to the value that the overall silhouette of our character drawings adds to the piece and brings to the piece good silhouette value is clear, understandable, readable, and makes sense to the viewer. As you can see in front of you, we have five silhouettes. And I need not label what they are because you can already tell what these objects are simply by their silhouette. Hopefully you can already see that silhouette has quite a lot of weight in terms of the understandability of the subject matter. In our character work, we want to be sure that we are making a clear and a readable silhouette and that we can bring some of that value that the silhouette adds to the piece overall. Let's take a look at example. This piece here is quite hard to distinguish. We couldn't really tell what's happening here. And you can try to wager a guess what this piece is. It looks kind of mutants to me. Might be someone sitting on a mushroom. I'm not entirely sure. They have some kind of manly hairdo and perhaps a ponytail or something in there. I'm not sure. Right? This is an example of a bad silhouette. It doesn't really give much information. We have some hints that it's a human. It's got a head shape, ish, some Harish possibly, and these are probably fingers, but there's not much else here. You couldn't really ask a five-year-old, Hey, what's going on here? They probably wouldn't be certain of what is this, in fact, even is. But when we make sure that our silhouettes read well in our pieces, we suddenly have a completely different vision entirely of what is going on. So clear and readable silhouettes are definitely something we want to be aware of and something we want to strive for. However, usually speaking, when we learn about silhouettes, that leads us into another problem. And this problem is called fly swatter. As we seek to make better silhouettes, we sometimes get tempted to draw every single component of the body outside of the form. And so we end up having characters that kind of look like they've been hit with a fly swat. I'll just draw this little dude out over here. And he's a bit of an extreme example, but you'll get my point. He looks as if a flashcard has come and literally smacked him completely a giant floss what is hidden. And he's really kind of like squished onto the page as if he were splattered right onto the page. Now of course we want readable silhouettes, but at the same time, we want the silhouette and the forms of the drawing to read well altogether, in order for us to actively persuade the viewer that we have realistic believable forms. We need to introduce overlaps into our work and sometimes we need to hide body parts. So if e.g. this was a drawing of someone with one hand on their hip and the other on their leg would probably still read pretty fun as a silhouette. But we're hiding the right-hand side arm. And because we're hiding the arm, the viewer gets a sense that the overlaps the arm. And so we've introduced a sense of depth, right? So wherever there are overlaps, we're introducing depth. And here we can even hide the back leg with the front leg and the silhouette will probably still read, right? So what we wanna do is find a balance between silhouette value and having our overlaps and making sure that our image does not fly swat. Take e.g. the two people on the bench, we can see generally that they're sitting down, they're looking toward each other. We can't see their arms that well, but we can see their legs. And yet we know that there are overlaps happening and that there is depth happening. And this is the kind of balanced we want to strive to achieve. Good silhouette value, goods silhouetted, read that is clear and easy to understand. But at the same time we don't want to fly swatter characters, squish them so that all limbs and all elements of the drawing are available in viewable at the same time. Because that then kills the three-dimensionality and the depth that we want. This has been useful for you. Let's move on. 12. The Three Core Elements of Character Design: They may be three seemingly simple, easy to understand things. However, these three elements are essentially the core overarching things we want to always be focusing on when we're drawing characters. The facial expression, the character's pose, and their clothing and accessories. But simple looks are deceiving and there's a lot more depth to this regarding the facial expression. Whenever we're working on a character, the head is the number one focal point and so is of course, the face. The facial expression needs to read clearly, exactly the feeling and the emotion that we're going for in the piece, whatever that may be, whether the character is stoic, whether the character is excited, sad, or contemplated. We need the facial expression to read. And it's first and at the top of this list, simply because compositionality, that head is number one and we want to always remember that. However, that number one focal point needs to be supported by the pose. Whatever the face is emoting or doing based on the feelings that the character is experiencing. The pose needs to support that to the post, needs to read well, it needs to be dynamic. It needs to have a great silhouette. It needs to have dynamism. It needs to have overlaps and flow opposing curves and many other theories that we've learned along the way. And the posing is an especially tricky part because many people find that they tend to master the head, get the heads that they want in the style that they want done well. But when it comes to character posing, it remains a mystery. However, in the next video, we will cover this extensively. Nevertheless, the pose pivotal to supporting the facial expression. And last but not least, is the clothing and accessories, or the outfit or the costume that the character is wearing. Why this is important is it tells the viewer about the greater world that the character is in. Imagine if you will, the character in a construction outfit or a character in a submarine outfit, it tells us a lot more about the greater world. It gives us a greater idea of context and story to the character. And we can say a lot about the character's personality, what they wear, how they wear it, the colors that they're wearing, the styles that the where and the way that they do their hair and so on and so forth. When you are designing characters, make sure that your workflow order in your mind in terms of the ideation of the character is making sure that facial expression reads, making sure the pose supports that facial expression, and then making sure the clothing and accessories also tie in. This is one of the keys secrets of good character design. Covering these basis and constantly thinking about them as you work through your piece. This lesson may seem somewhat simplistic and straightforward. However, don't be deceived by the apparent simplicity of these three elements. If you are someone who is very perceptive, we'll start to realize that these three elements can be translated relevantly to a vehicle design environment, design, industrial design. And they really mark out the three major elements of all designs that we want to focus on. In the upcoming demos, we will go in-depth into the practical reality of implementing these three core topics. So consider these your three main goals and your three main points of focus when designing your characters. See you in the next lesson. 13. The 5 Core Elements of Good Character Composition: What we're going to learn about now is perhaps the most straightforward explanation you will probably ever receive of dynamic character posing. Character posing can often be very tricky. A lot of times, artists will find themselves having to utilize and lean on reference too much because they find it very hard to think of good poses. Or if they think of good poses, it's very hard to implement those poses in a way that things don't look static or strange. But with these five very straightforward rules, I suppose I wouldn't want to call them rules with these sort of five straightforward guidelines, you're gonna be able to dynamically pose character as well. Let me say just before we get started looking at these things, that this is one of those, one of the most important things I would ever teach you, top of things. So really if you commit to memory these five things or heck, if you write them down and you use them as a checklist fashion, right? As you're drawing, you will be able to dynamically pose characters really well by just following these guidelines. Obviously, you also need all the other theory. That's just how it works. But these five guidelines or a shortcut, if you will, to easily understanding how to dynamically pose and what elements to include when you want to dynamically pose your characters. I'm going to list them out. And then we're going to go and look at what they are. The very first one is the lines of action. Lines of action, that would be the primary line of action. And then the secondary lines of action. The next big one are the horizontal and the vertical tilts. The third one are twisting elements, right? You might be like twisting elements. What does that mean? Twisting elements? The fourth one is foreshortening, right? And the fifth one is multiple. Object overlaps. Let's take these guys, pop them in the corner, right? And look at them one at a time. These five elements with you include every one of these five elements in your character drawing. You're going to have a dynamic pose, right? Of course, once again, with all the previous theory gesture, we want the gesture to be strong, etc., etc. etc. But these five elements, you can really check box them and say, Have I got this, have I got this, I got this right. Let's look at line of action, the primary line of action, secondary infection. The line of action, as we discussed in module four, refers to the primary line of gestural movement in the form. Here, when we're talking about in terms of dynamic posing, we want to make sure that the overall rhythm of the primary line of action, which is this big line we've got running through the form here. And the rhythm of the secondary elements. That would be the arms and the legs flow with one another. That there is a kind of flow, a rhythmic flow that we're not having. Weird, Let me do this a different color at weird angles coming out like a line and arms doing this in an OMS doing this. There's no flow in that. It's kind of counter to the rhythm and the flow that we're seeing when we have a good primary and secondary lines of action. Let me do this in a different color just to emphasize them. So these would be our secondary lines of action. And then the big red one in the middle is our primary line of action. So if you're looking at your piece and ensuring that your primary line of action and your secondary lines of action flow well together. That is the first key element to dynamic posing. Let me also say that you of course, need to ensure that your forms of following this flow. And that would bring us to our opposing curves theory where elements are opposing, of course, based on the angle of the limbs and the angle of the various elements of the body. But we need the opposing curves to work. And this is where we get that term, rhythm once again, so you can see it pulsating, everything flows in a rhythm. You want to check the box that you will pose has a strong primary line of action, right? And we want to exaggerate that. So that because we know that detailing and bolding detail on top kills the gesture quite, quite heavily. And then we want to have secondary lines of action that flow with the primary line of action. And that is our first thing that we want to take care of when we're doing dynamic character posing. Raj, horizontal and vertical tilts. We covered this in the gesture module, module four. And that really is ensuring that while you've got that flow going effect, Let's use that previous example. While we've got that flow going, we want to make sure that the airline, the shoulder line, the pelvic line, if possible, the knee lines are not parallel with one another, right? You can see that all of these lines would converge at some point. Okay. And those are the horizontal and the vertical tilts refer to just the vertical versions of those tilting. So if at all possible, you want to ensure that they aren't parallels yet. Now just keep in mind this is more of a guideline because they are gonna be times where you may have the airline and the shoulder line parallel or what have you. But the idea is you want it to constantly be striving to break these parallels because doing so adds dynamism. It makes the piece not look static or like a sticker or like a dead object, or maybe like a figurine. It makes the character look real as if you've caught them in a moment of time. So you want to make sure and check the box that the horizontal and vertical tilt severe and that there are no parallels between these lines right? Now in terms of twisting elements. This refers to, possibly by now you've probably been drawing every element facing the same direction. So as a demonstration, we'll draw character here just to quick gestural drawing. Okay, so there we have our forms. And let's change the tilt that pelvis. Doing a dynamic, quick dynamic forms, sketch it. Right now in this example here, we've got the head facing this way. The chest is facing this way, right? The pelvis is facing this way. The knees are both facing this way. We haven't really drawn in the hands, the arms, the arms and things, while these guys are actually mirroring each other a little bit. But nevertheless, you can see the bulk of these big elements. They're all facing the same direction. Now, twist refers to adding rotations to things and rotations can be in arms. So e.g. you may draw arms and hands or you may draw a fist coming forward like this perhaps. Right? However, to twist it, what we would do is we would actually give it a bit of a rotation and have a twisting in. And that is an element or a way for us to imbue more dynamism in our piece. So in this example, if we took this character's head and we just flipped it around. We've now got a more dynamic piece of the chest is facing one way and the head is facing the other. And indeed we can even make the pelvis face the opposite way as well. And really it's about thinking about those points of articulation in the form in the body. Where can we twist things? Where can we rotate things, right? And we use these twists in combination with a horizontal and vertical tilts to bring in a lot of dynamism into the piece. So this looks like a slightly impossible pose just because of the degree of the twisting will learn about someone that they can probably reproduce this. But I'm not sure exactly what pose this would be. But the idea is that we're rotating elements. We're rotating, we're adding rotations to the arms and legs and the feet, wants to twist things, right? Twisting elements here we rotated. They had so they had enough faces that way, in the chest faces that way, and the pelvis faces that way. And a lot of the time you're going to see the rotation is happening around the pelvic area and the head area. These are the main these are the main zones, right? The main zones. But as I said, there's nothing stopping you from having the wrist twist or the feet ankles twist, have the feed point in different directions. You can you can do so much with the twisting. And it's, it's pretty straightforward. It just think about where are those points of articulation, right? And that is what twisting elements, making sure that the entire body doesn't just point in one direction. And if possible, try to get three different three or four twists happening in the piece. Three or four, somewhat obvious to us that the viewer can clearly see. One thing is pointing this way, and other things pointing this way, and another thing is pointing this way. This is actually how we add that dynamic detail, if you want to call it dynamic detail into a piece without actually having to render tons of millions of details trying to draw in dynamism like that. We kind of imbuing it with these subtle things like twisting elements, right? Then coming to 0.4, foreshortening. Foreshortening as I've done in this risks yet, is we tend to generally not do too much foreshortening because we're, we're afraid, generally speaking, because it does seem complicated to foreshore an elements. But this really goes back to us drawing in 3D. If you were going to draw a fist coming down like this, e.g. you might draw it like that. But it might be more dynamic to have the character lift up their arm and actually have the hand overlap the back of the arm. And so we have this dynamic foreshortening happening with the hand is clearly closer to the viewer, right? And it's coming toward them. Now, you get something called extreme foreshortening. And that's sort of those scenes where the character's head is kind of like down here. And maybe it's a superhero and they're flying forward in their fist is really huge like this. And you can do that as well. It's really the same principles of drawing through drawing in 3D and just resizing based on distance. Alright? So perhaps there's our character there. Okay, so that's extreme foreshortening. But extreme foreshortening, It's great for extra drama and that. But I think in your general character designs, just ensuring you've got some foreshortened elements in the piece and there doesn't have to be the body specifically. It could be a sword, e.g. the character, imagine this character is holding a sword. It could be a sword coming forward toward the camera like that. And that you have at least, I would say 123 foreshortened elements in the piece if possible. And again, this now adds additional dynamism to the piece because not only do you have a character in a scene, but there's things showing depth in the scene, things coming toward the camera and showing that the character maybe further back or further forward or what have you. So foreshortening is our fourth really, really, really important thing we want to be implementing in our character posing. And let me just pause there and say that we all going to have plenty of demos where you will see this happening constantly and you'll hear me talking about it constantly. And that is how we can achieve dynamic character posing. And of course, the last one is very important. Multiple object overlaps. Now if we look at this character here, let me get a different color to draw over. If we look at the character here, at least in this dynamic view, we have to ask ourselves what is overlapping? Well, obviously there's not a lot of details yet, but really the only overlaps I can see is the head over the neck. And I'm assuming the sword is here, the sword overlapping these elements of the body. And that would only count as two overlaps. And that's quite terrible. We want to have multiple object overlaps. So whether this is objects and clothing that is overlapping elements on the character's form here then overlaps the character's head objects, perhaps a belt strap that's overlapping. You want to ensure that you have multiple points of overlap. And again, don't fly swatter, the piece. Don't fly swatter, if you can, move an arm behind in the piece can still look great and dynamic due so hard that arm, because then you're introducing another overlap and you can actually circle and count the overlaps in the piece. Multiple object overlaps, making sure there are a bunch of different objects that all your big overlapping objects, I would say a minimum of five to seven. Of course, everything I'm saying is really just guidelines, draw and implement things as you need them. But remember, you want to have a quantity of foreshortened elements and multiple object overlaps in the piece. Because once again, when we overlap, we imply depth and then we also therefore implies dynamism in the piece or add it makes it look more believable. And these things are really crucially one of the greatest art secrets. I suppose, that there are doing all five of these things in a piece. Bring your artwork to levels, unprecedented levels of awesomeness. All right, let's now take a look at some examples where we're going to be identifying these elements in these two pieces. And I'll just use different colors here to indicate them. And it would be a good exercise as well for you to go and find some artwork that you really like or that inspires you and do these same draw overs over those pieces and see if you can find the multiple object overlaps and the twisting and the tilts and so on and so forth. Alright, so let's first take a look at the line of action here. This guy right here, he has that kind of line of action in terms of his primary line of action. And then his secondary lines of action here. This, this arm here is doing this and that one's kind of going like that. This one is coming around, this one's moving in. Then the legs aren't really detailed here very much. Alright, so those are lines of action. Could be a little stronger, could definitely be a little stronger. The chest, could it be out a little bit more? Of course, there's always things to improve, but nevertheless, those are our lines of action making sure that flow is there. Rash. We can look at our horizontal and vertical tilts. There's our online she has a shoulder line. The pelvic line is a little hard to read here. But based on the indication of the belt, it's probably around there. Right? And so we have no parallels in our horizontal torts. And generally speaking, if that's the case, you generally don't have parallels in your vertical tilts either. Although the pelvis here may may be similar, It's hard to read that one. Alright. Then in terms of twisting, no twisting happening in this piece. So I'm actually going to write here no twisting. And when you're doing your roughs, if you notice that you might want to introduce some twists into the piece, I'm talking about a major twist. See, I don't see any major twisting really happening. His head is tilted a little bit. You could argue that it's a slight little, little bit of a twist. But generally speaking, I would say that there's no twists, major twists happening. The risks on twisting either on the hands. So take a note of that on your pieces because it's somewhat thing you can improve and something to definitely improve on in the rough stage, right? And foreshortening. Here we can see this hand is foreshortening. It's coming towards us, certainly far larger than the backend. And there are of course, more smaller examples of foreshortening. Little horn here is foreshortening a little bit. And the sword hilt here as it goes down into the sort area, you can see that there is no parallel here. It's also going back into the distance. So the hand and the entire sword itself or foreshortened elements. And there's a degree of foreshortening happening out on the arm. It's coming towards us, right, foreshortening. And then I'm just going to take these layers away. For our analysis of the multiple object overlaps, you will see how important multiple object overlaps are in how many there are in this piece. And that's what gives it its sense of dynamism in a way. So e.g. we have the horns overlapping, the face of the ring, overlapping there to the earring overlapping the year. The whole head overlapping the neck, the head overlapping the hair here and here. So we've got a bunch of overlaps there. The shoulder and the arm overlapping. The sword carrying thing image again. I've forgotten his name all of a sudden, but anyway, we'll leave it at that. The hand overlapping the chest here, nicholas overlapping the chest, the shoulder overlapping the hair. These elements here, overlapping the hair. This whole hand and arm section, overlapping the characters, entire body, the hand overlapping the sword, right? The sword overlapping the thumb. Because of these elements are being foreshortened. We have this hilt section here overlapping the sword blade. And then we've got all of these elements overlapping to the belt, overlapping the cloth, the cloth overlapping the sword sheath, and the cloth overlapping the knee pad here. This hone spikier overlapping multiple things. It's overlapping its own base and it's overlapping. The sword sheath has a cloth overlap. And so when you start introducing lots of these overlaps, you get tons and tons and tons and tons of dynamism in the piece. But you need to be aware of it and you need to be brave and your drawing to make sure that you're not floss holding the piece. Now, sure, I can definitely say, I'm pretty certain that the silhouette of this character doesn't read a super strongly, typically because of the ponytail, it's changing the shape of the head. But I'm going for those overlaps really adds dynamism when you're not looking at the silhouette. If I was focusing on sort of what I might have added a negative space shape here just to Show that this is a character whose arm is on their chest and so on. These things you could do when you're in that mindset. But nevertheless, this is the example of the multiple object overlaps. So we're gonna look at another example. Please do go ahead and find odd work that inspires you and taste. Test and approve these elements that I'm talking about, these five key elements. Let's take another look at another example here. We've seen this lady before. Let's look at her line of action. Quite a nice line of action here. In her form. Let's just say it's something like that. It's a nice S-curve. Just want to make sure that that's 100% right. Something like that, right? And we have the arm elements flowing. When I say flowing, you must always think about this in terms of opposing curves. How is the, what is the general dynamic form of this hand? Okay, It's that, so therefore, I know that it's going to flow that way, which means the next flow line will be opposing, right? And that is how we ensure that everything flows, making sure the opposing curves flow nicely into each other. Similarly here on the leg and the left leg is opposing like that. And so we have nice flow. And now supposing curves. Throughout the piece. Right? Let's take a look at the horizontal, vertical tilts. So there's the airline, the shoulder line, the pelvis line, and the knee line, all completely different. Great. That box is checked. Cool. Right twisting. So here we have kind of a dynamic degree of twisting. Her chest is twisting this way. I'm kind of trying to draw a 3D arrow there. It's sort of facing towards us. Her chest, her head is facing three-quarters to our right. Her pelvis is facing three-quarters to our left. Now, he has an instance here on her foot where we could have actually added additional twisting. The foot could have come down more like this. And you can see immediately as I twist it, it actually looks better, right? It would have been better if I had gone thoroughly through the twists and contemplated what was happening. Here. We have a slant hand twist to the right, just slot. It could have been enhanced a little bit more. And here also, the hand is a doesn't actually seem like it's twisting that much. So this seems like another lost opportunity where this hand could have twisted a bit more to the right for that extra added bit of dynamism. Alright, so those are our twists in the piece. And then in terms of foreshortening, we have this knee coming forward and then the leg trailing backwards. We have this hand coming forward and some foreshortening happening on this arm. This hand is foreshortening forwards as well. Right? So it's coming forward in space. Looks about, it, looks about it for the bulk of the foreshortening, we could argue that this piece of hair is coming forward as well. All right, and last but not least, let's move to the multiple object overlaps. Here we have just tons and tons and tons of them happening the ear over the hair that urine over the ear. Let's just zoom in here. The head over the neck, the Nicholas over that, this piece of hair over multiple objects. The hair overlapping itself at multiple points. This piece of hair overlapping the arm. This arm overlapping the hair, this hand overlapping the dress, the dress overlapping the knee, the front knee overlapping the back of the legs. The stress overlapping that leg. So you can see there are major and minor overlaps happening. This overlap here. There's a minor overlaps, the clothing overlapping the breasts, the chest area, which would be a major overlap, overlapping the hair and the background. Minor overlap of this ornament on her arm. You can see there are multiple object overlaps happening in the piece. And these, once again, they really add that dynamism here. This piece of cloth is overlapping the background piece of cloth, and the foot is overlapping the back of the dress. And no doubt there are far more as we work through the piece, There's quite a few of these instances of overlapping happening, right? So that is fundamentally the end of this lesson. These five key, key, key elements to dynamic character posing. I don't think that it has ever been stated this simply in the straight forward, so to speak. But nevertheless, here you have it. Follow these, check the boxes and you can create a dynamic character poses out of your mind. Alright, I'm not saying to forego reference. Sometimes they are very complex poses that you're really going to have to reference. But for the most part, if you follow these guidelines, you can draw pretty much most common poses, most common actions. When you have these five elements, these five tools at your disposal. Alright, we've got a bunch of demos coming up, but we still got a few more theory lessons to go. I'll see you guys in the next lesson. 14. Using all of your Drawing Knowledge: Here's a phrase I don t think you expected to hear in the course, use all of the Buffalo. Now what does this mean? Well, let me first tell you where I'd first heard this from. A friend of mine a few years ago, was telling me about a particular podcast he had heard with a particular director, Brad Bird, who worked on The Incredibles at pixel. And he's one of the top dogs there. And at that time, apparently in this podcast, I think he was talking to his animators or his artists or something like that. And he was telling them to use all of the buffer. And this reference to the buffalo comes from the American Indians who would never leave any part of a buffalo that they had killed go to waste. So they'd use, they use the skin for clothes. They maybe eat the meat that use the horns for this and the hooves for that and the bones for this and that. And they used all of the buffalo. They never let anything go to waste. And I really wanted to tell you guys about this, because what it really means for us is use all the elements of theory that you use, every trick in the book that you have to make your art work amazing. So when we think about this e.g. something simple, let's say drawing in 3D. We want to look through a piece and make sure we've drawn everything in 3D. Let's not draw anything flat. And if we have drawn something flat, we've wasted some opportunity. We've wasted some piece of the buffalo that we could have used, right? So we want to try to not be wasteful. We want to use all of their buffalo so to speak. So when we know about horizontal tilts and twists, and we know all the various theories that we've learned so far, opposing curves and line waiting and being loose and so on and so forth. And of course, there's many theories, I'm sure you know by now all these many theories that we've been learning, we want to use all of them and we want to push our story of a character because story is another piece of the buffalo and feeling and emotion. It's another piece of the buffalo that we want to use. We want to use every element we possibly can to make our characters really, really great. So I wanted to share this with you. Hopefully it's useful to you and you'll remember it. Use all of the buffalo use all the theories. Don't leave anything out, don't waste any opportunities you have to make your piece just that tiny little bit better with 1,000 tiny pieces, you can have one really great piece. Thanks guys, and I'll see you in the next lesson.