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Bringing Drawings to Life

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By GoblinQueeen   |   
Published: September 4, 2005
© 2005 - 2020 GoblinQueeen
A tutorial focusing on bringing more life to still works such as character designs, illustrations, and sculptures.
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For a while now I've been wanting to put together another tutorial I thought might be able to help some people. Unfortunately, almost that whole time, I wasn't sure what I could really offer that hadn't been done a hundred times already by people far more qualified than me. Then, in my animation class the other day we were talking about the 12 Principles of Animation and keeping them in mind with our current projects. I was working on some concept development art, not animation, but that's when it hit me, I use those same principles all the time, with illustrations as well as animation.

Well, I figured since I used them all the time, it might be helpful to other people as well who might not have been exposed to the 12 principles, or who just never thought of applying them into their still illustrations. I am by no means a master of these ideas and have never claimed to be. I'm sure someone could go through my gallery and pull up a hundred pieces where I've failed to follow my own advice here. So no, my art is by no means the perfect example, I'm just an artist who wants to share what she can. If you find this useful or informative in any way, then I'll be happy my time was well spent.

As always, if you have questions on something I talked about or want some clarification, by all means, ask and I'll try to answer. Along those same lines, if you want some advice (along the lines of what I've done with the drawings in here) on a specific piece, you can post it in my forum here: [link] but be forewarned, it is for serious critique only.
One last thing, if you are looking for help with any art medium, check out It's a relatively new club bringing together artists of all mediums and skill levels to help each other and give support to those that would like it. Whether you want to give help or get it, everyone is welcome :)
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anonymous's avatar
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Aliensvoid's avatar
AliensvoidHobbyist Digital Artist
that's pretty neat.
KatrinaTiaJasmine's avatar
KatrinaTiaJasmineHobbyist Traditional Artist
Where is the tutorial, how do I see it?
BeetheGatekeeper's avatar
BeetheGatekeeperHobbyist General Artist
Just what I needed! I need more going on in my art, and wasn't sure how to get there. Thank you!
Paloceropalo's avatar
interesting, thx very much :)
HeroineMarielys's avatar
HeroineMarielysStudent Digital Artist
VERY HELPFUL GUIDE!! I've recently reevaluated my works and realized that there all TOO FLAT. So I need something that could help me fix that.
DwarfPuddle's avatar
Wonderful tutorial! :)
Kendra-candraw's avatar
Kendra-candrawHobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful guide thank you!
CaughtinMyHead's avatar
CaughtinMyHeadHobbyist Writer
Really useful advice and things to think about, helps a ton. Deffidently worth checking out and reading, thanks so much
Unpolishedknight's avatar
UnpolishedknightStudent Digital Artist
Absolutely brilliant tutorial for people to check out, it helps heaps
GirlofClay's avatar
GirlofClayStudent General Artist
Wow, this is really useful!! Thank you so much!!! :D
raiki-XD's avatar
Thanks, this is really helpful!
edgarfilipemoreira's avatar
edgarfilipemoreiraStudent General Artist
I can't open it ... Can anyone help me , please ? :c
suki-sama90's avatar
click on download image ;)
sgtcarrotop's avatar
very good tutorial very clearly represents the 12 principles. job well done. however in the end 11 out of the 12 principles can be formulated as a state of mind or awareness. so for the most part those eleven all you have to do is understand them and keep them in mind as your drawing. number 11 the one that is less mental and more physical seems to be my Achilles heel. i cant seem to get a good control on my line quality. for the most part my line quality is very sloppy and its very deterring since honestly you cant draw anything if you cant even control you pencil.... so this is where my dilemma comes most people say making quick brisk lines while using the arm helps the quality from looking wobbly.this works for the most part but causes the line to go where i dont want it to go... so honestly wtf do i do? not to be so depressing but ive basically done every thing to try and help it. i dont look at the tip, i dont grip the tip, i visualize the line that i want (however getting that is the problem) i do draw lightly as to use the more line method. essentially im just asking htf do i achieve good clean line quality that is both accurate and able to vary?
GlassMouse89's avatar
This is very, very good, and definitely not something I've heard a thousand times before. I mean, I've heard most of the principles, but putting them into some kind of structure is incredibly useful to someone like me (who'll cry "but WHY doesn't it work?!" anytime I'm critisized ;))
Thanks a lot for this tutorial.
Simi94's avatar
Thanks so much for this great tutorial! :)
ToastyGlow's avatar
ToastyGlowProfessional Filmographer
Well, I can see this tutorial has gotten a lot of attention, so probably this comment will be one among many deleted because there's no time to reply to all of them.
Regardless! I just wanted to say that a long time ago, when I was a bit more of a kid than I am now, I stumbled across this and tried very hard to take it to heart. It's just as helpful and enjoyable now as it was then. :)
einspruch's avatar
einspruchHobbyist Digital Artist
This helped me out greatly. Recently I'm feeling that I needed to start over, and this is just what I needed. You said a lot of things that I couldn't have put into words myself. Thanks.
tomllama2's avatar
tomllama2Student Digital Artist
This was immensely helpful, I've always had trouble with stiff poses and figures not quite looking right, I'm going to try these ideas right away (:
anonymous's avatar
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