horse studies-stiff?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by BarbWired 6 years ago.

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    Hi! Brand new here, appreciate all the great reference photos!
    So, need to practice more, I'm rusty-these look stiff to me-any suggestions? I want to be able to depict the essence of the movement, gesture, etc before getting all caught up in details.

    Also-***Is it ok to post here from my IG? I tried just posting my photo itself but I couldnt get it to work, if this is not ok, can someone tell me the correct way to post, thanks so much!***

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    Hey, welcome to the site! Posting from your Instagram is totally fine. :)

    Some questions for you: how do you begin your sketches? What does your under-work look like? And what length of time did you use to create the above images? :)


    Hi Kim!
    Thanks for replying so fast!
    yay, I really dont wanna sign up for another site (ie photobucket etc) but would if needed :)

    1) how do I begin my sketches-I actually kinda look at the reference for a bit first. Probably not the best thing :( and then I try to block in the large shapes that I see. So on the horses, like a barrel shape for the chest/belly, an enlongated triangle for neck, ovals for butt.

    2) my underwork looks like the above -scribbly large shapes to block off the big parts. then I try to find landmarks to make sure my proportions are ok etc. I'm trying to use my ipad more so stuff is on layers.

    3), all of them I guess about 30 minutes total probably? I didnt time myself, I should have :(



    Okay great, that helps a lot, and I think you're generally on a good track. :)

    I'd suggest adding a step to your underwork -- and this should be the very first thing you do, before you even put the major shape bubbles in place. Decide on and record with a single pencil stroke the "action line/line of action" Here's some examples of what that means with human poses, but it's the same concept with animals. Then put your shapes on top of that line of action, letting the curve of the line influence where your major shapes go. This can help to unstiffen your poses considerably.

    To get you into this concept, I'd also suggest that you do some warmups with much much shorter poses, max 2 minutes but I'd encourage you to even try 30 seconds or less, with your focus primarily (maybe only!) on capturing that action line, following this practice philosophy: before you try your 30 minute poses again. (The class modes on this site are built for exactly this kind of practice, if you want to take advantage of them!)

    A lot of times stiffness is an indicator of concern about getting your drawing "wrong," whereas the impression of fluid motion comes from, well, allowing more fluidity in your technique.

    Hope this helps! Definitely show us your next batch of practice sketches!


    Thanks so much Kim! It's kinda funny that I didnt do that (find the line of action) and yet, that is the name of the site...!
    I will definitely sketch in class mode next time-I did some drawings this morning but before I read this, so, pretty much ignore those lol
    Off the read the link you left me too :)
    Thanks again, I really appreciate all the time you put into reviewing my sketches!

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