anonymous asked:

Any tips for drawing a underlying skeleton for poses? Whenever I try it, they always seem stiff. And Viv never seems to use them...

Some tips for if you’re laying down guidelines/structures for your poses:

Use thin lines

Thin lines give you more space, to be able to see your guidelines better when you flesh it out, and add your character’s details later. Also it’s easier to erase!

Don’t worry about the initial structure being stiff!

Skeletons are there to give the pose solidness and act as a base to flesh out your pose, so don’t worry if your guidelines/skeleton is looking stiff or sketchy, it’s just like drawing a stick-figure after all! They’re there to make sure limbs are of the same length, and proportions are consistent (unless you’re drawing foreshortening or angled poses).


Perhaps one of the reasons why your structure is stiff perhaps you’re gripping your pen/pencil too hard, which results in creating shaky lines? Just relax your hands and shoulders, flick your wrist when drawing short contours, lift your arms for longer and smoother lines.

If you want tips in terms of practicing : Do figure sketching (with references!).

Just grab a reference image of a pose online (LINK):

You can trace over them using basic shapes and lines, as if you’re drawing a stickman, but a little bit more complicated.

Or you can draw the structure from scratch and use the image as reference!

Then you flesh out the anatomy, with basic geometric shapes or contours, whichever way makes it easier for you to understand how it comes together.

This is my way of laying out the shapes and lines, but your structure/method may vary after practicing and trying out which way you’re the most comfortable with. 

Tracing over reference images (and practicing) will give you a good grasp on how the structure looks/works, the movement range limit of each limb. You can do this with any reference image, with both humans and animals, even insects, vehicles, objects! It’s all about breaking down anything into shapes.

(Additional info: The purple lines are part of a contrapposto, when the lines of the shoulders contrast with the line of the waist. It gives a curved look to the body, and makes it more dynamic compared to a basic standing pose.)


It’s a two-fer! Courtesy of @dcwomenkickingass, and specifically this post, I had to do an edit of these, while my storyboards wait. 

I’m not going to go into long explanations here, I hope the drawings do speak for themselves. In the first case, it’s a Land being Land, although I do have to say that he did give a butt to Silk, as opposed to his usual ablation of hips and gluteus maximi. However, he unfortunately did it wrong. 

Artistic anatomy is all about drawing structure, from the inside out. Your muscles by themselves can’t look right if they aren’t placed on top of a properly proportioned skeleton.  Boobs won’t look right if they aren’t drawn as following the curve of the ribcage, its center line, or the movement of the arms which either pull or push on the pectorals on which the breasts hang. The arms back mean the shoulders are lowered, and the angle of the hands will be different since there’s a ¾ turn on the torso. It shows that Land is drawing by guessed shapes, copied contours and practiced repeated motions. There’s no real structure underneath his shapes.

And if we look at the legs, I can only picture Kitty Pride phasing out of a wall: the legs look like they got mangled up to look like stumps. But even structure-wise, there is no thought put into whether the pose actually works, which is why it looks so clumsy. The legs should be reversed due to the line of action that’s in the torso but not followed through into the pelvis and legs. And I’ve been using the coil technique a lot in order to make my volumes work - it should be obvious by the roughs above - which help me figure out things like foreshortening. 

Silk too was a problem of lack of structure, proportions all over the place, and lack of weight and purpose, but it felt moreso than Spiderwoman. I used the same pose Land did but worked out the skeleton first, using rotation arcs in order to properly proportion the length of the various limbs. I don’t know these characters and I might not have used these poses, but Silk here definitely looks like she’s dancing.

The variant cover by Manara looks like a pose right out of porn, pelvis up and cheeks spread, costume looking like body paint, and it makes me very uncomfortable. She doesn’t look like a superhero about to strike, she looks like she’s about to get… well, it’s a porn pose. This is sexualisation. It also reminds me of the Dog Bone sexy shape. 

So I turned the pose sideways to figure it out, and to see what would work better. The sideways pose as is, as you can see, is angled to do quite the opposite of ass-kicking. Were she to try to leap from that pose, she’d fall flat on her face. The second pose is the “coiled like a spring”, but in the camera angle of the cover, it’s an ugly, ugly pose. So I tried to do something in-between, and just by making the pelvis horizontal and lifting the torso off the ground, I’ve managed to move the center of gravity so her weight is on her feet instead of her knees, she can use her arms to maneuver in most directions, and you still get an interesting body shape to look at. I think this works better, and much more ready to spring into motion.

Wanted also to say thanks for all the reblogs, likes and recent follows! I appreciate each one of them, and it’s because you’re still sharing and commenting that I came back to do this. However I’m still really busy! I won’t be posting a lot, but I do plan on posting more than I have. Back to storyboards for me! 

I was on the toilet with that last ask I answered so I decided to actually sit and try to help the best way I can. Anon, I’m still in an art rut especially with anatomy and I’m totally not the best with it, but let me link all of you to some things I like to look at on my spare time.
I don’t have any anatomy art books, so I wouldn’t know who to recommend, but I DO have a lot of youtube videos I watch. Here’s some that might prove usefeul::

  How to Draw: Foreshortening with the Coil Technique
How to draw twisting forms

How I sketch Poses

Force Drawing with Mike Matessi part 1 << fav

Force Drawning with Mike Matessi part 2 << fav

Gesture drawing with Chris Warner

Analytical Figure Drawing with Michael Hampton << fav

Michael Hampton part 2 <<fav

How to Draw Gesture with Proko << fav

how to draw structure in the body with Proko << fav

How to draw from reference with Will Terrell  << fav

My favorite books that I have on hand to practice gestures/anatomy with ARE MY HOLY BIBLES.
This one has a wide variety of body types and therefore is my fav…the chubs….>:3

The main idea to keep your gestures from looking stiff is to remember the line of action

ALSO SERIOUSLY JUST GOOGLE ANYTHING from man butts to back to arms to head angles if you cannot sit in a figure drawing class like me. Here’s a short gif of my process to sketching a quick figure

I’M STILL LEARNING MYSELF and it’s fun to practice with friends!! I also enjoy playing around with styles, majorly disney artists such as glen keane
Edit: Pixelovely is a good gesture drawing site