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Dynamic Figure Drawing by tigrin Dynamic Figure Drawing by tigrin
It's done! I just spent pretty much all day on this. in pain. Obviously I spent a lot more time on the content than the drawings, but eh... you get the idea, right? This is going to be part of a series of at least two other tutorials I'd like to do... one on expressions, one on color environment (yeah, I'll explain this in the tutorial).

Summary: This tutorial introduces basic concepts regarding line, mass, and form and their application in order to create dynamic movement in a figure. This tutorial includes in-depth analysises (is that a word?) of how line affects the flow of weight and force in a pose, how line creates eye path, how form and weight affect movement, and how dynamic poses express emotion.

I use mostly quadrapeds for this (since I'm most familiar with the furrecat form), but I've also included information for the human figure.

This is by no means a comprehensive tutorial. Just is just what I've learned on my own. If you would like more information about any of the topics in this tutorial-

Further Readings:

Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth
I think everybody knows this guy. Pretty basic but accurate illustrations of generic human anatomy, in particular form and mass.

Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis
I don't think I can recommend this guy enough. His explanations are extremely helpful, thorough, and concise. This book in particular has many, many pages on how to use line to create dynamic and interesting compositions - I didn't cover it in my tutorial just because I think this guy does it perfectly. If you can find a copy of this, it's REALLY worth a look.

"Bringing Drawings to Life" by *GoblinQueeen
This tutorial is pretty similar to mine, but is based specifically on the 12 principles of animation. I also highly recommend giving this a look, she explains and applies the principles well and professionally.

The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams
This book mainly addresses animation, but many of the basic principles of this book can still be applied to illustration. It also has several sections on weight, how weight shifts, and how movement arcs. Pretty much the whole book is illustration, there's so many diagrams and drawings in this. Definitely take a look.

A great royalty-free stock photo resource. I use this a lot when I need references for studying difficult poses.

Think that's about it. :) Hope you guys get some use out of this.
Add a Comment:
Alex-The-Bolt Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love you. I've always yearned to make my drawings more dynamic. Thank you!
Unit613 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013
Thank you for this, saved my bacon.
FleurDeVive Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional
Great Tutorial, thanks for all the hard work, and thanks even more for sharing it!
tigrin Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Glad it's useful for you! :)
tdog8193 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
This is very interesting and definitely something to comeback to and study. Thanks!
ShadowLyute Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
Good job, well done! This is awesome and very useful. Sorry for the very late comment only recently found it.
KooboriSapphire Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Student General Artist
I'll be using this for help. Thanks for the upload.
AlexKRD Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011  Student
Why can't I view it?
tigrin Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011  Professional Filmographer
When I first uploaded this you could have preview images, but now you have to hit Download to view it.
AlexKRD Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011  Student
Damn! I don't like downloading things!!!!
tigrin Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Why the hell not? It doesn't actually download, it just opens up in a new window/tab.
AlexKRD Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Student
Okay! You have great art work!
KoT4 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Professional Artist
great, thanks!
KoT4 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Professional Artist
It is a dumb question for sure, can i see the tutorial?
tigrin Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
back in the day you used to be able to just click on it. Try hitting "Download Image" in the top right.
ChachiTonks Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing <333
IndiaSierraBravo Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2011   General Artist
A very useful tutorial. It's good to be reminded of these things. I'm far too lazy, and my characters tend to stand a bit too much...

I also liked the layout and illustrations. It was written well, and your examples were good.
chullybelly Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
thank you!
Raidell Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredibly helpful! Thanks!
ShugarShock Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Student Filmographer
Exceedingly helpful! Thanks for sharing your advice! (:
Cresent-Night Featured By Owner May 19, 2010
VERY nice tutorial... I enjoyed it greatly
tryToDie Featured By Owner May 14, 2010
i think the information i get, was an important puzzle thing for my brain. i am shoked by this o.O thank you .
xxASKxx Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this tutorial helped me a lot, thank you~~ :3
EquidnaRojo Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great tutorial on dynamic poses! ^^ this should be quite helpful! And thank you so very much for the further reading section!
URESHI-SAN Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
oh! nice!! thansk you
so much!!
GoldenOath Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009
Wow. I think I found this at least two years ago and it brought me to a completely different level. Now I look at it again and I'm still learning. I think that's a sign of an amazing tutorial.

So This is a three years thank you. Thank You
tigrin Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Well I'm glad it is still helpful! :) Thanks!
GoldenOath Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2009
No problem. C; I sorta wish I rediscovered this and your other guides earlier though. Some of the links aren't as helpful as they probably would have been then. Some of them are just done.
JobbytheHong Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2009  Student
Wow...I feel so, uh, EDUCATED! :love: THANK YOU.
DizABellProductions Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009
I always feel like my images are really flat and lifeless, this tutorial will defiantly help me out with that i think. Thanks a bunch!
wazl Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2009
Very cool mate! I am only just starting to get the hang of figure drawing, but this has already helped me out. Thank you.
Gluevah Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009
Oh my goodness this is so helpful, I've been trying to do more elaborate poses but I'm bad at it D: I'll refer to this really often, thanks for putting so much time into this!
OmgItsVeda Featured By Owner May 8, 2009
Nice tutorial.
I'll ve using this in the future.
ErnestoVladimir Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for this, examining this and trying it out a little more, I think I may be able to come up with some poses now XD
Tristan-the-Dreamer Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah! "Live a little," I like that! Be bold, don't worry about mistakes, go for it!! This was great, I'm going to try these tips in my next drawing. ^^ The silouette part was especially helpful where you show how to give a pose attitude!!! :D
bloodyrose83 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Very well done!, helped a lot!:)
thatSake Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2009
Thanks! This really is a great tutorial. I think I understand dynamics better now. At least a bit.
Really, thanks! =)
Evelwyn Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2008  Student General Artist
fritchie Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2008  Professional General Artist
Wonderful tutorial for summing up everything i was thinking!
orange-hybrid Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
the black it out to test its dynamicness is Genius! ....or at least i never looked at it that way before. All in all awesome tutorial! very helpful!
tigrin Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
lol it's an old method in animation (might be Preston Blair?) so I can't take credit for the idea, but it's effective and worth passing on. ;) Glad you got some use out of it!
Wise-Wingz Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2008
Awesome tut! Ill remember this next time im drawing my crappy figures..xD
field-scarecrow Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2008
Excellent tutorial, been going through Loomis' figure drawing book myself, probably would have taken me a while to figure all this stuff out for myself if ever at all! (unless it's in there later on) thanks for sharing :)
Licorice-Whippins Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008
really nice. Very useful, and I love the silhouette idea C:
Bovar Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008
I really like the part about the silhouettes. What an excellent example :)
jack07 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2008
very good work

i may use this later

too bad it didt get as many comments as favs though
nightsongdw Featured By Owner May 31, 2008
wow this is really good favs:D
grimlette Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2008
ah my,.. all your tutorials are so very helpful indeed. ^^
Mr--Bravo Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very very nice i am so gonna use this
"goes faving"
theamishpiscodemon Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2008
Wow, I love this.:) Such simple concepts combined to make beauty. Awesome.:D
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Submitted on
November 7, 2005
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