Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
October 19, 2013
Image Size
1.2 MB


148,034 (106 today)
10,843 (who?)
3,487 (2 today)
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.
Add a Comment:
Sliter Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Thanks so much! 
NamineLee Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never know posing needed these line to make it engaged bless your kind heart for making this~
ghost-nerdy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014   General Artist
these will definitely help thank you
NyxRaven13 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Student General Artist
thank you so much I was in an art block cause I thought my art was sucky and now I know why and how to fix it :D
Posieki11y Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
now I know why my art is so boring...
This helped so much! (Even if I have no idea how to use it) 
Thank you for making this for all of us!
Cheifrocker Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014
For the image with the ninja, how do yu get the head to look like that. I keep tryng but the head either looks small or ridculous, please help :<
Nsio Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You likely have several issues you need to pay attention. They are 1)anatomical knowledge, 2)proportions and scales, 3)foreshortening and 4)applying these three.

The thing you are probably doing wrong is that you might be drawing the jaw too foreshortened. That said, you have a basic sphere for the head and the jaw is just too much "behind" the sphere. From proportional point of view, you may not be able to position all the anatomical details in such way that the visual cues would indicate foreshortened head. And if you just don't know how the head looks like, you don't even know how the proportions, scales and foreshortening works with head. 

First of all, you need to know how the head looks, especially the cheeks and jaw. You can simply guess this, you need to study them thoroughly. Then you need to know what kind of proportions and scales the head has (in other words, how all the anatomical features are positioned in relation to each other). Then you need to know how foreshortening works. Finally, you need to know how the head is foreshortened so that it still looks like head, with all the anatomical details proportionally aligned in place according to the chosen viewing angle.
Dragon97421 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014
oh thank you very helpful :)
ColonelMarksman Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, a slight different from the "straights against curves" I found.…

Any thoughts?
Nsio Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A great finding :D

The simpler the drawing, the more prominent the line of action is. In fact, the bears in the video were so simple that even the shapes were affected, not just the pose. The same principles apply on more realistic and detailed drawings as well, but the signs are often more subtle in them.

Having straight to counter-balance the curves is a great way add impact in areas that really need that. If straights aren't used, then the balance needs to be done with curves that work in harmony. But as the guy said, the straight line is more like "straighter than a curve, so basically less curvy line is perceived straight when compared to strong arcing line. :D
Add a Comment: