Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sketching Dynamic Movement

There is a certain kind of sketching that captures the dynamic movement of people and animals. The figures are not static but twist and turn in life-like action. Some of the masters of this type of sketching are earlier artists like Heinrich Kley (far left) and Frank Frazetta (near left), as well as contemporary artists like Peter de Seve (near right) and Claire Wendling (far right).

You can see they have a similar sketching style. It is a bit old-fashioned but is the kind of drawing used in animated films today. They draw from keen observation, quickly, and capturing dynamic motion bursting with energy. They capture the "gesture" of the figure as well as the anatomy and proportion.

This is the kind of rapid drawing that marks a skilled observer of life. They sketch constantly, at the zoo, in the park, in their sketchbooks and at their drawing boards, whenever and wherever they are. Some students want to be able to draw anything they see like these artists can. Frazetta, for example, used to vex his friends who were artists because he could sit down and, in a manner of minutes, sketch a person or animal in a way that perfectly captured the anatomy while presenting the character in an interesting dynamic pose.

Students who love to draw and want to gain mastery of drawing would be well served to study these artists (some of their images are not suitable for younger artists) and practice drawing from life for a couple of hours a day. Encourage them to go to the zoo and sketch, draw the neighborhood dogs and cats, draw their family members, even draw from action movies at home by hitting the pause button on a DVD. They can become Rock Stars with a pencil - the Michael Jordan of the sketchbook.

Click on the images to see larger versions.

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