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A common practice of beginning artists is to leave perspective out of their characters’ poses. It complicates the drawing, thus making it harder to create. Adding some depth to your pose will improve the pose immensely. Keep practicing your perspective in your character drawings and backgrounds; it will pay off! If your character is standing on the ground, rough in a ground plane that has some perspective to it rather than having a flat line for your character to stand on.

Adding some perspective/depth will:

– Help you avoid twinning in your character’s stance. Even if your character has some symmetry to its pose, adding depth to its stance will automatically take away the twinning problem because of the differences in the sizes of the shapes. In Figure B, the foreground eye, ear, arm, and leg are bigger than the left side of the drawing which helps the drawing appear less symmetrical.

– Make your poses more dynamic. Note that the more dynamic angle in Figure B immediately gives more drama to the scene of the little girl reaching for the glass.

– Make poses more clear and give them a better silhouette. A good way to check your character’s silhouette value is to shade it in on the back of your paper. Figure A, if shaded in would be very unclear what the boy was pointing at- or even that he was pointing at all! The pose in Figure B, clears that guesswork up!

– Help strengthen expressions and emotions. The slump in the shoulders and the head hanging down can be seen clearer in the quarter-front view on the right than the dead-on front view on the left.

Remember that you have created your characters so they can be broken down into simple, basic shapes. This step will allow you to draw your character from different angles and perspectives. Think of the basic shapes of the head, eyes, lips, and nose of the face. Place them in the perspective within the circular shape of the head, remembering that shapes flatten as they turn away from the center (Figure A). This simplified drawing is the key to correctly replicating your characters from different angles. Once you have roughed out those basic shapes, you can then start adding details and refining the shapes of your character (Figure B).


Excerpt from Character Mentor by Tom Bancroft © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved.

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