Playful doggy - Animals, 15 minutes

by Sanne, September 16th 2018 © 2018 Sanne

Done as part of a practice session with poses of 15 minutes in length.

My current goal is: Reduce stiffness and make my drawings feel more dynamic, energetic, fluid

Decided to do a single 15 minute study of animals, this was the first image in the rotation. This doggy was REALLY fluffy which was a bit challenging, but I think it was a good session. :)



I think you have achieved your goal here.

The image itself is not stiff, and you have fantastic lines. You have used just enough to achieve your goal, and it is clear that you have a strong fundamental understanding of the underlying structure of the animal.

The image does feel a bit static and it took my a while to figure out why. And the answer is composition.

There is not much that you can do for the 15 minute sketch - because you are not creating a larger full image. When we look at an image, most of us who are socialized in the western world, start looking at an image at the top left hand corner of the image. We then follow lines and visual indicators through generally moving to the right of the page.

Just like we read text.
So go back to your image above, close your eyes for about 5 seconds, open them, and then mentally track the movement of your eyes as you go along. The eye follows the tail of the dog into the body. The curve of the back and the curve of the leg mimic each other perfectly. The eye then travels along the legs ending at the front paw, and then the eye pops up to the ball and stops.

There are no strong visual indicators that cause the eye to follow back along the body of the dog to the tail to start the image again. So it feels static. Not because you created a stiff image, but the composition of the dog.

Try and make your eye start at the nose and go the other way, and it feels like the dog is moving past you. And that will feel more like movement. But it's not natural so it will be more challenging. Or it's a digital image so you can flip the image and see what happens.