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October 19, 2013
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Nsio explains: Dynamism by Nsio Nsio explains: Dynamism by Nsio
Fourth part (if excluding facial proportions) in my tutorial series. Probably my favorite thing about drawing.

Dynamism is what makes the drawings so lively. Even a drawing without any real action should be dynamic. Dynamism makes your drawings look more natural and interesting to look at. It can also make up for many mistakes and even make them look intentional and part of the drawing.

Line of action is the manifestation of dynamism. It's a sort of invisible line that (I believe) everyone can see subconsciously. I find that there are two types of line of actions: primary and secondary line of actions.

The primary line of action, like the name suggests, is the most important thing in your character. It gives the backbone to the whole pose. That's why it's really important that it's found very early in your sketches. Without this line, your poses will end up plain, boring and unjustified. The secondary line of action is more like a compositional guideline. It helps to justify the positioning of the sub-elements of the drawing, such as clothing, accessories, hair, limbs and shapes.

Regardless the role of the action line, it's main purpose is to add feel of flow in your drawings. This flow is then perceived as dynamic drawing. A good line of action is long, strong and as continuous as possible. These are prerequisites for illustrating dynamic action.
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boogapig55 9 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The writing is so tiny, I can't read it...
Nsio 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Click on the image to magnify it, or download it in full size
OPStrawhat 1 day ago  Student Digital Artist
This helped me alot! Thank you!!
Whiteknightofchaos 5 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great job. Thanks for sharing.
mochichama Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fail in proportion when using dynamic line T_T,
TeaKayBlue Apr 2, 2014  Student General Artist
This is super useful
hehehe426 Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, but how do you get a drawing to follow the lines of action, and how do you find a line of action that reflects the pose you want? Those are my problems.
harrie5 Apr 3, 2014  Student General Artist
A drawing does not exactly follow a line of action, nor do you find a line of action to match a pose.
The line of action is an overall average of the motion and flow in a pose, the pose itself generates the line not the other way around!

The idea behind the line of action is that you already have a vague idea for your pose. So take the rightmost example of the girl, you'd already have it in your head that you want the girl to be posing with the victory v like that, so when you start sketching the first line you'd draw would be the general direction of the pose, which is the primary line of action. You'd then draw the gesture, and after that start to refine it into a sketch.

You need to pre visualise the pose to draw the line of action, so I'd practice finding the line of action using Pixelovely's figure drawing tool. I'd also practice gesture whilst you're at it, as it's very closely linked!

These are very quick early stages where you're just trying to get the idea in your head down onto the page. But they're the most important! Without them, you end up with a stiff pose like that first sketch.

It takes practice to learn how to do this, so watch that video on gesture and practice with pixelovely's tools nwn
If you need more help, I'd have a look through my gesture tag! There's lots more info in there. 
Nsio Apr 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for elaborating this before me, you even included useful links! :D
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