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Making characters less stiff

squiddler

Member
Every thing I draw always looks kind of weirdly posed
How do I make things look more fluid?

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HistoricalyIncorrect

Shekel collector
Actually the first pic immediately gave me the 1920-1940 idea of fashion so being stiff fits it perfectly.

And I am not an artist to give advices like that >.<
Perhaps some different poses? Maybe a background?
 

squiddler

Member
Actually the first pic immediately gave me the 1920-1940 idea of fashion so being stiff fits it perfectly.

And I am not an artist to give advices like that >.<
Perhaps some different poses? Maybe a background?
I will try different poses and backgrounds, thank you! And the first post is a pun based on 1920-1950’s style. It’s Betty Crocker spaniel and Eartha Katt.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
I think the problem is that they're standing in a rigidly straight way.

In reality, unless you're purposefully trying to stand like this, the body assumes a bit of "S - curve". The hips and shoulders aren't perfectly parallel to the ground, neither to one another, the legs aren't perfectly straight.

Maybe look up "contrapposto" and make some drawings using that pose. It's a good place to start, it helped me a lot.
 

squiddler

Member
I think the problem is that they're standing in a rigidly straight way.

In reality, unless you're purposefully trying to stand like this, the body assumes a bit of "S - curve". The hips and shoulders aren't perfectly parallel to the ground, neither to one another, the legs aren't perfectly straight.

Maybe look up "contrapposto" and make some drawings using that pose. It's a good place to start, it helped me a lot.
I was actually just thinking about contrapposto! I learned about it in an art history course in high school but somehow never translated it into my doodles. I’ll re-study it and try that, thank you!
 

MissNook

Well-Known Member
Awww I like the two ladies in the first drawing ^^

I can advise observation drawing to improve the stiffness. Drawing real people, in natural stance will make you loose the stiffness. However it's not that easy to do (especially if you're shy), so you can also practice line actions and gesture drawing by using those kind of sites that have a lot of references photos of poses: line-of-action.com: Practice Tools for Artists - Line of Action and photos you find on the net. I like that video from Proko about how to actually use those kind of tools (he's done several about it, maybe that can help too :) )

Also remembering that bodies part are curvy helped me to lose some stiffness in my art. For example, forearms are curvy towards the elbow and more straight towards the wrist ^^

Hope that helps!
 

Tendo64

Cat With A Guitar
Well, in the case of the first one, the upper arms are a little too straight for the pose the canine character is in with their arms outstretched, and in the second, the reptile character looks stiff because their legs are really close together, when people tend to spread their legs out a little in real life because that stance is uncomfortable.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
One way to keep the body from being stiff is to break it down into shapes and use action lines.

If you draw the torso as one unit, of course it's going to be stiff. I usually decompose my torsos into 2-3 shapes, depending on the overall body shape of the character.
Think about the skeleton when drawing- the rib cage usually gets it's own shape. The pelvis also usually gets it's own shape, with the spine being the action line.

I excel in diverse body shapes, so I also will add bellies and rolls depending on the shape.
 

squiddler

Member
Awww I like the two ladies in the first drawing ^^

I can advise observation drawing to improve the stiffness. Drawing real people, in natural stance will make you loose the stiffness. However it's not that easy to do (especially if you're shy), so you can also practice line actions and gesture drawing by using those kind of sites that have a lot of references photos of poses: line-of-action.com: Practice Tools for Artists - Line of Action and photos you find on the net. I like that video from Proko about how to actually use those kind of tools (he's done several about it, maybe that can help too :) )

Also remembering that bodies part are curvy helped me to lose some stiffness in my art. For example, forearms are curvy towards the elbow and more straight towards the wrist ^^

Hope that helps!
Thank you I’ll check this video out!
 

squiddler

Member
One way to keep the body from being stiff is to break it down into shapes and use action lines.

If you draw the torso as one unit, of course it's going to be stiff. I usually decompose my torsos into 2-3 shapes, depending on the overall body shape of the character.
Think about the skeleton when drawing- the rib cage usually gets it's own shape. The pelvis also usually gets it's own shape, with the spine being the action line.

I excel in diverse body shapes, so I also will add bellies and rolls depending on the shape.
Yeah I think one of my major issues is I’ve sort of turned the body into one stiff piece and am ignoring the joints and how each part behaves individually. I will try and break them down more, thank you!
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
Yeah I think one of my major issues is I’ve sort of turned the body into one stiff piece and am ignoring the joints and how each part behaves individually. I will try and break them down more, thank you!
Its less the joints and more decomposing /the whole body/ into shapes.

I highly suggest using photographic references for drawings. It really helps. Good luck!
 
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