Because you asked, let’s talk about bodies now. I know some cartoonists like to just throw anatomy out the window altogether, which can be fun and creative, but I prefer to know what’s inside and behind the things I’m drawing, I like to know what constructs a body, including the human figure, so #1 advice would be to just do a lot of figure drawing when you can:
It doesn’t even have to be 100% realistic all the time, just learn to do it properly. After a while, you’ll be able to whip up a body in whatever pose you want without references. I drew these two tutorial pages without checking references or anything, these are just blind doodles, which shows that practice and the knowledge of structure work wonders! (And that I probably should’ve checked out some muscle references afterall but ehh close enough.)
And now, onto how you can get creative with what you’ve learned.
As it is always, just the sheer shape of a character’s body can be an instant visual indicator of their personality. Use this wisely and strategically. Unconventionality can add to this too. (Toothpick arms on a round-bellied character can look quite comical. Or sometimes it’s just a nice change.) However, though that kind of stuff is a long way from realistic anatomy, I still prefer to always make up a core structure to a given character, however impossible their body may be biologically. This way you won’t have ill-proportioned characters, you won’t lose control over them, and you can pinpoint where their centre of gravity is, and so on. Learn to find the possibilities of breaking free from realism but limit this freedom so that your character still makes sense and doesn’t lose form like a melting pudding. Know how far they can bend, stretch, etc. This would be vital if you were to make the character move. Take this jumping sack, for example:
This was just some weight practice from a few of months ago, I only posted it on my other blog just because it wasn’t anything interesting, really. (Look at it go “woouummmpfh”. ^^) That’s why structure, joints and weights and centres of gravity matter. You can get creative and simplify bodies to whatever extent you feel like but I personally prefer to keep characters make sense - it’s a bit harder to make work but it pays off so much when they can be shaped more dynamically when the need arises!
That’s all, you can find tons of anatomy tutorials and references around the internet and, if you can’t get a chance to go to a firgure drawing class, I’d even suggest doing favours for your friends/family/boyfriends/girlfriends/mysterious neighbours in exchange for them posing for a couple of hours for you. (Or blackmail your crush into it and write in about how it went. Or, don’t take life advice from me and you’ll probably be fine…)
Hope this is helpful and, as always, have fun drawing!
Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I apologize for the delay on my OC final edit and I am working diligently to get to it as soon as possible! I’ve been backed up with homework this past week since it’s the first week of my first semester of college so please bare with me. I appreciate the patience and support and I hope to make an artistic post soon!