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TOW-8 Anatomy of a Pose

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If you see a mistake, comment. I will fix it.

This week's tutorial is on a highly requested topic that I know little to nothing about- how to draw bodies and poses. I'm not going to go super in depth about where to draw guidelines and such, because there are 100 other tutorials out there for that, but there are a few things I wanted to go over...

This one took quite a while!

Be sure to check out my other tutorials:

[link] Background Perspective
[link] Digital Editing of traditional media
[link] Webcomic Process for Tablet
[link] SFX in PSCS 1: Quick Motion BGs

[link] TOW-1: Photoshop Motion Lines Tutorial
[link] TOW-2: Lightning Tutorial
[link] TOW-3: Chains & Metallics
[link] TOW-4: Shading faces
[link] TOW-5: Depicting Velocity
[link] TOW-6: How to Draw Fast
[link] TOW-7: How to Draw Blood
[link] TOW-7b: How to Draw Vampire Bites

...and while you're at it, check out my comics!

The Sixth Bar - [link]
Lindbergh -[link]
Glyphmaster - [link]
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© 2012 - 2021 verticalfish
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Cassie-Drey's avatar
This was super helpful~! I'm getting ready to draw my own webcomic, and I've been doing a lot of character design, so I've mostly been sticking with static poses for the sake of creating my cast. |D It was nice to have a refresher on more dynamic poses, as I definitely haven't mastered them.

My only nitpick would be that her torso from stomach to pelvis looks a little too thin and disproportionate. There has to be room for all her organs, after all. =___=

Also, to be honest, I think reference is super important, even for stylized drawing. For me, personally, it's been invaluable in helping me learn proper anatomy and the way the human body works. Every art teacher I've ever had has told me to draw from life if I get the chance, and to use photographs when I can't, both of which have proved true for me (I took a semester of life drawing and I learned a ton!). So, yes. Reference is important, I think. Don't hesitate to use it.
verticalfish's avatar
I should update this, since I did this a while ago. I think my anatomy has improved even since then ^^
Good luck on your webcomic!
MekoNekoAnime1's avatar
THANK YOU for taking the time to make this :heart:!!! It REALLY HELPFUL :D :heart:!!! TIME FOR ME TO PRACTICE :painter:!!!
verticalfish's avatar
Glad you find it useful!
Carnie-Vorex's avatar
It's a blessing for artists to have a medic among them, who understands anatomy.
strawberrynekos's avatar
For some reason this character's midsection doesn't look right to me. It seems a bit too thin. It might just be me.
verticalfish's avatar
No you're probably right. I made this a while ago, too early in my opinion. Serves me right for trying to learn a subject through teaching it.
strawberrynekos's avatar
It's still a pretty good tutorial regardless.
Boo-ni's avatar
SOOOO!!! helpful!
verticalfish's avatar
MsSunnyMuffins's avatar
...fml, I can't do it. I can draw straight on, and profile. If it's a headshot, 3/4 of the way. Anything other than that.............
verticalfish's avatar
notMateo's avatar
I WOULD KILL to see one of these for males too :D and why is she idly staring at cheese...
verticalfish's avatar
I'm rather averse to doing anatomy tutorials because I still have a lot to learn myself...
And she's staring at cheese because the cheese is migrating.
notMateo's avatar
Yeah, i understand, but thanks for this one anyways, major help! And that's funny LOL
1HikariNaito1's avatar
This is perhaps the single most helpful anatomy tutorial that I've read. @u@
Thanks so much for even thinking of this method! I don't like most other proportion tutorials (because I like to draw sketchy lines in excess and my drafts always look waaaay to cluttered for lineart in the end) and your method gives an accurate-ish impression of how every component and muscle in the body relates to one another (instead of just more lines and ovals and stuff like that).
It' a lot easier to imagine where everything goes together by simplifying the body into head + spine + shoulder girdle + hips. =3

One question though: in the tutorial, the poses you drew (excluding the flying kick one) had relatively stiff spines. How would it look like (with ribcage) if the spine was bent in an extreme-ish position (for example, getting kicked hard in the back, or slumping heavily on something)? Sorry if my question comes off as a little vague, I'm not sure how else to explain it...
verticalfish's avatar
If your question is how the spine would react to trauma to the back, then you need to know the relative flexibilities of the segments of the spine. Cervical spine is pretty flexible (for example, you can move your head to look up, down, side, to side). Thoracic spine (starts around your shoulders and goes until lower back) - is much less flexible because the ribcage is attached to it, so it won't bend as much as cervical would if you get hit in the back. Lumbar spine is a little more flexible, but not very - it's here that people get the most intervertebral disc herniations. And finally, sacral (and coccygeal) spine is completely inflexible because the vertebrae are all fused into 1 bone, the sacrum.

Of course, all of that is assuming that the spine stays in one piece after the trauma. I've seen x-ray films where the spine (not just spinal cord, but vertebral column as well) is completely bisected. Scary stuff...
1HikariNaito1's avatar
0_0 Ouch...Did anyone survive that kind of stuff?

Thanks for the info! =3 So basically speaking, the lower back would bend the most (excluding cervical spine for pose purposes) in any given action, right?

By the way, I really like your TSB comic (only read the first few chapters so far). =3
verticalfish's avatar
Yup. Also, people who do gymnastics/yoga have a lot of flexibility in their lumbar spine. And as for TSB, the art gets much better towards the more current chapters =P.
1HikariNaito1's avatar
I love the storyline & originality of TSB - great art is a plus of course, but your comic is the first one that I'm actually interested to read regardless of the art. The way you manage to pull off each panel and depict the overall mood is something a lot of comics & manga (published and unpublished alike) fail to do...

Thanks for the info! =D And thanks for your other tutorials too, they help a lot!
verticalfish's avatar
Good to hear that. Lately I've been lacking in motivation, but this will spur me on to draw more.
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