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Skillshare – Characters in Motion: Capturing Motion in Illustration

Skillshare - Characters in Motion Capturing Motion in IllustrationCharacters in Motion


Characters in Motion: Capturing Motion in Illustration : In this class, I will teach you how to sketch and illustrate a character in a scene. From gaming to movies to comic art, my artwork spans medium and is always full of energy and movement, keeping a modern comic art feel.

I will teach you how to execute the finer details of sketching to achieve an understanding of anatomy, the way a body moves in motion, and how lighting and shading work with this style.

What You’ll Do

You’ll learn to sketch a character in a scene by illustrating your own Super Hero or Super Villain in dynamic action.

Having a solid drawing underneath your work is essential to creating polished, professional digital art. The process of establishing structure in pencil and sketching the fine details will heighten the quality and depth of your work once you transfer your drawing to Photoshop.

Class Outline

  • Introduction. Have you ever wanted to draw exciting, dynamic characters whose motion leaps off the page? Let talented illustrator Patrick Brown show you his techniques for capturing motion to create quality drawings that form the basis for professional-looking finished pieces. Having a solid drawing to start from is essential to creating polished digital art and will help to heighten the depth and quality of your work.
  • Sketching the body using simple lines and shapes. Working with nothing more than lines, circles, and a few triangles, Patrick quickly sketches out a character to work with. Using a few simple techniques such as contour drawing, you will sketch a character that is well-balanced and proportional. Quickly find the focus lines of your character to help you orient them on the page and direct the viewer’s eye.
  • Drawing dynamic action poses. Superheroes rarely stand still, and a great pose can give the impression of movement even in a static image. Exaggerated stances and actions give your character the illusion of movement, and with some helpful hints, your heroes will start to take on a life of their own. Patrick gives some tips on how to find the best reference images using Google, as well as how to approach the composition of your drawing in order to create the most interesting poses.
  • Drawing convincing facial expressions. “The face tells the story.” When looking at a character on the page, the viewer should instantly be able to identify their emotional state. Starting with the head and then adding shapes and lines, Patrick imbues his creations with details that make their facial expressions large and unmistakable. He also covers the use of body language and how to make it relate to the emotion being depicted.
  • Drawing your character in a scene. Grid drawing and foreshortening can help create an environment for your character to inhabit. Using the horizon line as a guide, Patrick shows how perspective can be used in scene construction to add an extra element of drama. Dynamic angles and vanishing lines help the viewer orient themselves to your scene, while lines between the characters keep everything flowing in the correct direction. Tricky perspectives are much easier once you know how to find these lines and use them to construct your scene.
  • Final touches. Now that you have your character sketched out, it’s time to start adding details and shading. These little touches add extra dimension to your drawing and give you an opportunity to add a little flair. Keeping a loose style, you’ll learn a few tips on drawing hair as well as how to stylize and exaggerate your character to add excitement to your superhero’s actions. When that’s done, you can then use color theory or color pencil techniques to further enhance your artwork, or take it into Photoshop to create the finished product.

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