How to get ideas of what to draw my characters doing?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Ahugh 11 months ago.

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    My art seems quite stiff at the moment, and i've kind of pinned it down to the fact I have absolutely no idea what to draw people doing. I can draw people, but my poses aren't really that realistic? I just need to know where to get ideas of what to draw people doing, I think. Thank you!

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    Good afternoon, Ahugh, and welcome aboard, and how are you doing today? So, if you're saying that you can learn how to draw people, then you're on the right track. And to answer your question, I'd suggest, that in order to draw realistic people more fluidly and lively, then I'd recommend you do, like, 5 minutes of 30 second quick poses, so that you couldn't get too bogged down on the more complicated forms and details.

    The reason is that in gesture drawing, it's not only great, but totally important to focus your attention on drawing the spirit of the attitudes; heck, even your realistic drawings would and should benefit from this thing. For most details, look into some Frank Frazetta art, some Gil Elvgren pinups, some Jack Kirby comic sketches, and some 2 PDFs of the Walt Stanchfields. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! As an added bonus, I'd like to have you try out the online drawing tutorial here on our site.

    Kindly take these with a really smaller grain of salt, and hope they've been helpful.


    Hi! Honestly, I struggle with the same thing ^^; but I think trying a few 'pose memes' would be a good way to draw your characters doing an action or pose you may not have thought of. I think if you want to combo practice, you could try a few gesture drawings here on this site and transform the gesture into your own character. If you have an artist that you draws poses you like, it's good practice to do a study, try this with different artists (and mediums, magazines, movies, drawings etc) and your mental pose catalogue will hopefully grow and then you can pull from it, at least in theory. I'm still trying to get my catalogue going lol and using a few references is always good :) I used to resist references but it really does help.

    Here's a few pose ideas off the top of my head: walking, crouching and looking at a bug, jumping over a rock, sleeping, slouching in a chair, holding hands with another character, eating.


    Hi Ahug.

    Here's a fun experiment that I have found very helpful.

    Depictions get way better if I can tell a story about them. It doesn't have to be a long story, just a little snippet that says something about what is going on.

    I try to do this even in my 30 second gesture studies. What I mean by "telling a story" is that there is always more to a pose than just a person sitting or standing. Try and find that little story and it will help you.

    You can do these exercises in one or two minutes just to try.

    Imagine this pose and try to draw it: [A person sitting].

    Then imagine this pose and draw it: [A man, or a woman - sitting on a beach, feeling the warm sun, the smell of the ocean and feeling the breeze].

    Or this one: [After the battle was over he sat on the beach].

    Or: [As she sat down with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, the doorbell rang].

    Do they look the same? They are all just "people sitting"...

    These can be short studies and quick to draw, but there is something different about them, right? The first example does not offer anything to draw inspiration from, it's just a person sitting nothing more. While the other examples invites the imagination to get to work, images form in your mind and now you know what to draw. Think about this: what is the difference in how a person looks when they are doing the same thing but they might feel sad or happy or angry or lost or scared or in love? If you have some story about what you are drawing the results always has more power in the end.

    Imagine a person standing. Or... give this person some more meaning with a little story like "he loved those calm moments waiting for the bus" or perhaps "he waited for the bus but wished that it would never come".

    I just made up these stories and you could probably make up your own to fit better to what you want to draw but I hope the idea is helpful for you. It was for me.

    Good luck.


    Oh yeah I totally get what you mean!! Thank you lots :))


    This has actually been a great help! Thank you lots :))


    This has actually been a great help! Thank you lots :))

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