Saturday, September 03, 2016

Drawing people and animals quickly - Line of Action and Drawing a Verb

You know I love classes, online ones in particular. I'm always on the lookout for something new to learn and stretch myself. So now, I'm doing another Craftsy online course, called "Figure Sketching Made Simple". Just my cup of tea - I want to draw people quickly and sketchily, but I've been torn between trying to get a "proper" likeness and my usual mad squiggles. This course should help me find a method that works!

The first thing I've learned about sketching quickly is to think about verbs, and to draw verbs. I know that sounds strange, but when you think about it, it's quite obvious - it's not that I want to sketch that particular lady sitting on a bench, reading a book or that man walking his dog. I don't even know who they are. What I'm trying to capture is the action - someone's reading a book, someone, anyone, is walking a dog. It doesn't matter if they are male or female, black or white, tall or short. What matters is what they're doing - the verb!

So, to capture the verb, you need to draw the "line of action" - which is really the shape of the spine, the angle of the head, the weight on one foot, that captures the action, the verb.

It's hard to explain, but the teacher, Suhita Shirodkar, gives excellent demonstrations, using videos rather than photos, to demonstrate the main concepts. Which is great. Because real life is more like a video than a photo, particularly when you're trying to sketch someone and then they just decide to walk away!

So I practised a few of those at home, with my three favourite models!

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