I don't understand totally what the line of action is and how to draw it.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Paladin Ryczek 5 years ago.

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    I'm doing every day gesture and figure drawings but I feel like didn't totally understand the concept of line of action.
    Is this a "sinthesis" of the whole movement? Is this the balance of the weight? Maybe both?

    I can draw poses or gestures (is even possible?) without the line of action, but when I start with drawing it I get lost.
    When drawing short (30/60 seconds) poses, I spend most of the time trying to figure out where the "line" is in the picture and still don't feel very convinced of it. Then I find hard to know where to put the head, rib cage and pelvis.
    I have read the site's articles about gesture drawing, also the links related, but still continue to feel confused about it. Should I keep practising and eventually will understand it?

    Thank you in advance :)

    PS: If it helps to understand my problem I will upload some pictures later.

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    Hey wk28, from what I understand there's not just one line of action, but to keep it simple the line of action is the where the movement (the action) is taking place, the weight and how it is flowing in the movement. The major one being how the spine is being activated. I'm just a dabbler in drawing so I can be completely wrong but this is how I have understood it. Hope it helps!

    EDIT: there we go


    Hi wk28,

    Nsw is correct! The line of action is a line that captures the motion of a pose. If you can capture the motion with a single line, you can draw the rest of the body following that 'energy' from the motion.

    Did you check out this article yet? It helps explain it a bit better:



    Ohhh it makes more sense now, thank you!
    I thought it had to be only a line and never knew exactly where to put it. So those lines are a guide of the movement on which construct the whole figure, right?

    Also thank you Sanne, I've already seen that article but I'll rewatch it later to understand better :)


    Yes exactly, they will be the foundation for your construction, but as Sanne says you should try to capture the pose with as few lines as possible not to make your gesture stiff.

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