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Nsio Explains: Advanced Dynamism by Nsio Nsio Explains: Advanced Dynamism by Nsio
EDIT: The date is wrong, it should read 4.1.2015 ^^'
12th installment in "Nsio Explains" tutorial series delves deeper into the world of dynamism. Although I already have done a tutorial about dynamism, I felt it was necessary to explain dynamism in greater detail. 

Magic of Dynamism
You may already have heard about dynamism and line of action, but how much do you really understand what they are and how they work? For long I haven't been able to explain them very well for myself either. I just knew that some lines, poses and compositions just look dynamic and other don't. Maybe you will find this useful as well.

The main job of dynamism is to make your drawings look natural. However, dynamism isn't synonym for natural. It just makes the drawing feel natural, because it helps to justify your artistic actions. The reason for this is that humans just find dynamic flow very captivating. Composition is just about guiding the beholders eyes across the canvas and also persuades him/her to keep looking at the art. That said, your drawings don't have to be entirely realistic, or even possible if you just can justify your actions.

Although dynamism itself is basically just one phenomenon or concept, it can be broken down into several sub-types. These include, but aren't limited to, dynamism of line, perception, depth, repetition, gesture, action and view. I'll try to explain the ones I mentioned briefly.

Dynamism of Line
I have already explained this mostly in Line Dynamics tutorial. However, this is important to know, because every form of dynamism can be thought as a flowing line. It's also very concrete and easy to understand, which makes it that much easier to understand the concepts of dynamism better.

Dynamism of Perception
Now that you know that dynamism can be thought as a flowing, it's time to move on conceptual thinking. Most of the time, dynamism isn't blatantly visible, but is hidden behind visual cues the artist has carefully planned and laid on the canvas. These visual cues causes us to perceive hidden lines or paths if the artist has been successful. 

In fact, you could say that dynamism is just something you want to see when looking at art. Good artists just know how human perception generally works and offers visual cues to manipulate the viewer to see things like depth that doesn't really exist, on canvas that is. Although you may not be aware of it, you already know how things should look. That's why artists need to be careful not to make visual cues that confuse the viewer, because this will break the illusion. The more realistic look you aim for, the more unforgiving art is.

The reason many sketches look more interesting than finished pieces is the fact that the artist has left so much up to the viewer to imagine. Sketches offer just the crucial visual cues needed to understand the piece. For example, I believe that you likely see that arm I drew bending. Fully rendered drawings, especially with very photo-realistic execution, leave no room for imagination. That makes the viewer think there is nothing more in the drawing. Sketches, however, engage the viewer so much that they come up with the content on their own. To continue with the arm example, you may even imagine a foxy lady sitting on cozy chair.

Dynamism of Depth
While perspective is a concept for simulating depth, dynamism of depth is an idea which guides the beholder deep into the canvas, greatly emphasizing visual depth perceptions (I have few examples of this later). Although depth perception can be induced fairly easily with things like overlapping and size difference (distance scaling), dynamism of depth needs a path, preferably a dynamic one, from point A to B to make the feel of depth obvious.

If I should explain dynamism of depth with a concrete example, I would draw two arcs, one with fixed and the other with varying line weight. The one with fixed line weight would look as if it was literally on the canvas (dynamism of plane). The other one, however, would look like the other end of the line was farther away. For another example, I would draw several circles, starting with a large one and then gradually drawing smaller ones. Although I have clearly drawn different sized circles, you are more likely to perceive as if the circles were equal in size and forming a path in to the depths of the canvas.

Dynamism of plane isn't all that bad though, it just has its own uses.

Dynamism of Repetition
I found this quite interesting form of dynamism.

Drawings often have elements or patterns that repeat. However, the question is what kind of repetition is appropriate: absolute, varying or full random? In order to choose the right method, you need to understand the nature of the elements and repetition taking place because their execution affects overall dynamism of your drawing.

Absolute repetition often has to do with artificial things, such as mechanical stuff, decals, structures, tiling etc. Absolute repetition may not have any real dynamism in itself, so dynamism needs to be achieved by other means. For example, by drawing repetition in perspective it's possible to distort the strict order into more flowing form and still fool beholder's perception. The problem occurs when you fail to convey the feel of absolute repetition by offering visual cues that makes it look varying or full random.

Varying repetition has very loose definition, but I find it's important to make clear difference between absolute and full random. I explain this as having specific rules for the repetition, although the repeating elements don't have to look exactly the same. These kind of things could include draping of clothing and hair for instance. The important thing is just to avoid clear, repetitive patterns (funny when it's repetition we are talking!).

Full random is, at least for me, quite hard to achieve. I have noticed this when drawing starry sky: those little dots always seem to form clear patterns. I think full random is just about disguising varying repetition. I put things like grass, natural textures and other seemingly random occurrences in this category. Just like with varying repetition, clear patterns means game over.

Dynamism of Gesture
This is dynamism of living things. To draw dynamic characters (or animals, creatures, etc), you just need understanding about the characteristics that make them feel living beings. If we are talking about humans, that means understanding things like human physiology, psychology and body language. I generally think dynamism of gesture as "twist". We aren't static beings, we can take numerous poses, including all subtle variances (by twist I usually mean how torso seem to "twist"). Gesture drawing is a good way of grasping the general dynamism of gesture. If the posture should be simplified into one line, this is the primary line of action behind the pose (have a look at my original Dynamism tutorial). Poses aren't by no means limited into one action line, ideally whole body is engaged with multiple line of actions.

The more you apply dynamism in your drawing, the more you will understand how it works. The more you understand, the better you will be at determining what's causing problems in your art and take proper actions. Once you get general look in place, you will notice how much easier it is to add more realistic details on your drawings. Dynamism just sort of guides you.

Dynamism of Action
Dynamism of action literally explains the action that's taking place in your drawings. Things like who/what induces the action, in which the action is directed, what the action causes on the target etc. Although anything can happen in art, bounding the action on dynamic path will greatly intensify the action. Your goal as an artist is to probed such visual experience so that the viewer can feel the action.

Choosing just the right timing is also a crucial decision: do you choose the moment prior the action, the moment action is taking place, it's immediate results or the aftermath? In my example, I used my original character Sayaka. She was running on slippery surface and thus slipped. Check Nsio Pose Practice 7: Travelling Sayaka Tsuchimiya for original picture.

Dynamism of View
The chosen viewing angle can greatly add sense of dynamism in your drawing, even if it doesn't have real dynamism in itself (this just allows other forms of dynamism). One thing I have come to realize is the usage of viewing angles that slightly deviate from common angles. That said, front views aren't quite from the front for example. This is of course not always necessary. Choosing fitting viewing angle depends a lot on the situation. However, avoiding viewing angles that require absolute symmetry can make some situations much easier. Front views are really hard to draw very dynamic, but even slight deviation from that can do the trick.

Dynamism of view is a great tool at achieving the feel of immersion. Since I'm an architect, I find that drawings should offer strong spatial experience for the viewers. It's important that they feel as if they were part of the art, looking around a space instead of a canvas. I'm doing this by thinking how I would see the environment around me and distort the perspective accordingly. I used my ink drawing as an example here. I drew it while I was travelling in Alaska. You can find the original drawing here

This is all I got this time around, quite a lot of stuff! Anyway, hopefully you will find some use for this :D
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FantasyRebirth96 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2017
Impressive! Such a fascinating style you have alone^^ If I may ask of something from you. Is there anyway I could of made these two drawings of mine more "Dynamic"
Dewott Drawing and Another Zero Drawing I did some some light sketching at first but the end result didn't go the way I'd hoped.
Ayyyron Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2017  Hobbyist Filmographer
I fucking love your tutorials man, you're awesome!~
firmicute Featured By Owner Edited Apr 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
yeah.. clean lines are my worst problem.. I have weird problems just making one line, I tend to do smaller which then smudge..I have also a horrid writing, made my poor teachers despair. Need to train that, so this is helpful. Thanks
Venomrabbit Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is all stuff I really could have done with trying to practice earlier. But then even as I'm trying now I can't get stuff to look right. It's in that horrible middle ground between knowing it's wrong but also not knowing what's actually done wrong. Especially trying with #5. It still always manages to feel stiff no matter what I do.
4-X-S Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
What about Absolutholic?
Redakai74 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
All of the tutorials are incredibly well detailed, but clear. Thanks.
4-X-S Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
I never thought moment in that way, I thought you where talking about trajectory in space, but instead its sort about composition sort about body language. I always think posture in therm of purpose and mechanical possibility. I think Im going to try your method next time.
kat1004 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
At #5, is that like what animators call 'breaking joints'? Just wondering, this is an amazing tutorial series by the way :)
Killerkirb Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2015
Very good tutorial. Dynamism is something I've been struggling with and I still do.
I read the tutorial and I know most 'theory' behind it, but trying to apply it is something I struggle with a lot.

My drawings will always suffer from stiffness. :c
modrawmanga Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015   Digital Artist
I always find my drawing a bit stiff, I'm so glad to find this tutorial, and I will use it to try to improve my next piece
DoctorFruitbat Featured By Owner May 21, 2015
Nsio, you beautiful man, I've been struggling for the longest time on how to give dynamism to figures, and while a lot of the info here I'd already heard elsewhere in bits and pieces, it all clicked together with this and fixed basically all my problems. Everything I drew this evening just came together perfectly. Thanks a million dude!
FG122 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I'm understanding a bit better now. Maybe I should try redrawing older pics with more dynamic energy. It is about practice after all right? ^^;

Quick question though if you're willing to answer. If I were to redraw a pic of a simple girl standing like this one I drew a while ago in the dark ages (XD)…

I plan to redraw her, but I want her posed more..... lively so to speak. Like she's posing for a picture or something. So should I try to draw/sketch/picture the dynamic line first and go from there? Or something like that at least.

Other than that, I think I understand what to do ^^
Nsio Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Weird, I thought I replied on your comment already... if this is a duplicate, sorry about that :D

Basically, you would draw the dynamic line first, but in reality you kind of draw both the dynamic line and the drawing simultaneously. Neither are fixed or absolutely right, you just compare the two together and make adjustments when necessary.

In other words, you can draw the line of action first and then start drawing the character. If it seem that the line of action doesn't fit the pose, you adjust it. If the pose doesn't seem to contribute to the line of action, adjust the pose. As you see, you may end up adjusting both of them. When it's appropriate to fix one or another, is whole different matter. For that you will need that practice :)

Though it's not just simply about draw, draw and draw. You will need to do a lot of research on reality to understand how things really work and why we humans find some things (such as dynamism) more appealing than others.
FG122 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol it wasn't a duplicate. I had more questions. Thanks ^^
midnyaa Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
your such a great guy for posting all of these thanks so much man you are really helping me!!!!! thank you again im your number 1 fan <3 <3 <3 i just cant stop thanking you enough :')
P-Dizzy8 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
It's just nuts how thorough you are in explaining all this, and it makes you sound so professional! :D
These tutorials are SO helpful, thanks for making them!!
iamkathybrown Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My drawings are always so stiff and I was never quite sure how to apply your other dynamism tutorial. Now I know more. Thank you!
3Rton Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Somewhat doesn't feel very professional (the way you present it) but definitely many cool tips :dummy:
Andromada-Sama Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Loving this, tho I'm sure we will touch upon this in drawing one..hopefully XD
Tangkat Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, your tutorials are dope. Thanks for sharing with the community!
fishupantsu Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015
Really complex stuff, but I'm trying to digest what I just read! The images made it easier to understand tho ^Q^
Again a really helpful tutorial, thank you! :D
You inspired me to be more bold in trying and experimenting with new stuff and so far I think I'm improving steadily little by little ^^ (I can draw more poses/visualize poses better now) But of course I still can't draw super dynamic poses haha xD;;
Zalogon Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015
Thanks for sharing!
darkdoogy Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015
Im always amazed at how much I learn from you,and yet you are still so young.
I was wondering,how did you manage to get all of this knowledge,was it School,Books, or did you learn all of this with experiment and observation like those great master from decade?
I know well that the secret is practise and drawing,but still you are almost too good for me to be real xD
Nsio Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks :D
It's pretty much a sum of everything you just mentioned. Although I studied architecture, read many tutorials, discussed things with my friends and etc., it has been mostly my curiosity and experimental nature that has brought me this far. When a friend of mine made me realize how bad I was back in 2009, I began to approach art in whole different way. I'm pondering a lot, coming up with explanations for things and then trying to find ways to achieve the results I want. Even while I'm reading manga, I'm doing constant analyses of the art, hoping to find things that I could take in account in my drawings as well :D

I have put a lot of focus on understanding 3D and general proportions because with them I can draw nearly anything I want. The rest is just about adding details.
BlackThornRose Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Student Digital Artist
After reading this I was glad to see that I was on the right track as far as gesturing and action goes, but I haven't quite pushed myself into the realm of of dynamism yet. I've always been aware of the line of action and how it suggests movement for the subject its applied to, but dynamism helps it to flow naturally even alongside or within a complex composition.

I'm really grateful of you sharing this because till now I was not aware of the other forms of dynamism, especially dynamism of view and repetition. This is seriously like a crash course of the "elements of art" and the "principles of art" but taking it a step further. Like realizing the simplest line, and how you draw that line, can add dynamism to a drawing. I'm gonna try to apply this technique to even my doodles and see if I can pick out the changes made in the areas mentioned in this tutorial. (Though grasping dynamism of view if gonna take some time and experimenting.) As always, thanks for sharing :)

And I still can't get over how you drew the last picture from memory, goodness that's amazing!
Nsio Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, the concept of dynamism isn't really hard, it's just takes some time to fully integrate it into drawings. Not all arcing lines are dynamic, it all depends how they are used togehter to bring the drawing to life. And basically you don't draw dynamism, it only manifests itself trough the elements of your drawing. That said, it takes a lot of understanding about everything else and that's the hard part ^^'.

With repetition, for example, one just needs to know what kind of repetition is typical for the subject in question. If you can draw a grid which has the feel of same sized tiles when you have drawn it from angled viewpoint, that alone can make it feel dynamic. That's just because we know that kind of "absolute" pattern is typical for tiling. However, if the area of tiling is large, one also needs to take dynamism of view in account, because the look of the tiling has variation in relation to the beholder.

All types of dynamism are more or less interconnected, but I usually just consider how the eye reads the elements and try to form a path that guides the eyes across the drawing. That said, even if there is full random repetition, I may still draw it so that it follows larger scale dynamism. This kind of hidden dynamism feels magical. :)
Fires-storm Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Student General Artist
Thanks, this is incredibly useful!
CHCHcartoons Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
I've been practicing some Dynamism in my art.
Y-Phil Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for these explanations :aww:
RiaMishra Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Thanks for yet another AMAZING explanation!
(PS: thanks for the information in the description.. :)
Zarism Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015
thank you so much for this, it is easy to understand and helpful Love 
ColonelMarksman Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Personally, I wouldn't be so quick to judge short stroke techniques (in reference to the "uncoordinated hairy line") in which a lot of artists, including Disney professionals utilize a lot more than we think. Depending on what you're doing that is.
Nsio Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's good to note that my tutorials aren't absolute. Anything can work if done right, and great artists often have the ability to make even seemingly messy drawing look beautiful. With hairy line I'm referring more to a tendency beginners may have which should be addressed. That said, it's probably not intentional or technique driven, but simply lack of knowledge and practice :)
ColonelMarksman Featured By Owner Edited Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, it's possible you and I are thinking about 2 different things but I was trying to be sure.

To be technical, the short stroke is usually what "quick" artists utilize in which hairy-like lines are done on purpose, stroking back and forth while fishing for the true lines in a rough sketch. In fact as far as I can tell from tutorials that I see all over YouTube, only a small number of artists draw in long, fluid sooth strokes (in the first go). Disney animator Francis Glebas describes it as "searching for the form".

But looking closer at your example I think you're talking about something else which I don't think I've ever seen before. I did a fairly heavy search of the Internet and couldn't really find the bad hairy line so maybe you could point it out an example? 

The line type that I had trouble with and that I have seen was something more of the "screeching pressure line" (didn't know what else to call it) in which the line changes in thickness as pressure is unevenly applied, something I struggled with and to a point still have a little trouble with.
Nsio Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I guess I could have explained it in greater detail. But I have already done that in Line Dynamics tutorial, though there is only one example of it just like here.

I'm talking from dynamism point of view. Have a loot at this example. It's an example from book "Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators". It sums my thoughts about lines pretty well ("one line per energy or idea"). In addition to that, I find that hairy lines work when those short strokes are aligned in such way that they are perceived as if it was one continuous dynamic line. Although I haven't seen Francis Glebas' sketches, I believe this is what he is doing. The true nature of the lines sort of fades and dynamism becomes prominent thanks to the harmony and contribution of the lines.

I had troubles with that wobbly line type as well, but by following the concept of dynamism, I have gotten rid of it. I'm also holding my pen in such a way that my ring finger will prevent the pen from pressing too hard on the surface. I learned this technique when I had to draw technical drafts with technical pens at the university (I'm an architect), because the nib of that pen shouldn't even touch the paper.
ColonelMarksman Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I took a second look at your tutorial and I either missed something the first time or you updated it.

I think I got it now.
alexelander1342 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
your tutorials are amazing! thank you I will learn to be a great artist: D. thx
ps: sorry my English Ugly
Jayysos Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You help me with art so much. I appreciate and thank you for all your work. ;u;
TheAmazingHarold Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Love you so much for this. ♥
ArtXOF Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015
OMG, this is amazing stuff. Very helpful! Thank you sir!
MidNightRain88 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the tips
8Dataman8 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
This is very good. :) I have still problems with drawing people who are laying on a sold surface. I don't know why, but I never seem to get the heads right.
EntityofthePast Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist
I see! This is exactly what I need to practice! ...along with backgrounds/environment, which I have poured nearly zero of my time into...

I'll be sure to imagine and practice this with my newest character. Dynamism... dynamism... dynamism... And if I can't do it, I'll practice drawing squiggly lines until I can!!!!
Synn0Nihm Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This very useful! Thankyou!
SuperCookie55 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is really helpful, thanks a lot!! :D
BazSg Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for another great tutorial! :D
Wiccix Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Seriously I love you and I love what you do
You make it so much easier to understand stuff like perspective and focal points
Nsio Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much!
I'm practicing these things myself as well, so compiling tutorials like this is beneficial for me because I really need to think the subject thoroughly. And I might as well share them with people while I'm at it :D
Wiccix Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah <3

Its great of you to share your findings. I'm like dyslexic when it comes to drawing proportions and arms and ... Well everything xD
Toresky Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for this. This is the area of art I'm dying to improve
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