The heroic female figure has a fairly wide collarbone, resulting in square, well-muscled shoulders. A woman's rib cage, bones, and all of her muscles are smaller than a man's. Her torso tapers sharply at the waist, but her pelvis is wider. As a rule, comic book women are drawn with more curves, while the men are drawn with more heavy angles.
For detailed information on how to draw comic book heroines, see "Beautiful But Deadly," pages 56-75.
The center of balance is an imaginary vertical line drawn through the body. Half of the body's weight is on either side of the line, which maintains the body's balance. If the weight isn't distributed evenly, the figure will fall down, bang her head, and sue. You don't want that.
Sometimes, though, it's okay, even necessary, to draw a character with his or her weight off balance. Can you think of an example? How about when a character is in motion? The act of walking is, in reality, a process of falling and catching yourself. If you were always in perfect balance you wouldn't be able to walk, because you couldn't transfer your weight from one foot to the other.
There are shoulder and hip lines to be aware of, too. This means that as one shoulder dips, the hip on that side of the body rises to compensate. Also, each time a limb or body mass extends past the center of balance, there must be an equal and opposite movement on the other side of the figure so that its balance is maintained.
CENTER OF BALANCE
The human body is very versatile. Some extreme poses can shift the body so that both the shoulders and the hips are at the same angle. Don't be afraid to break the rules if it will make your poses more expressive.
Notice that this figure's straight leg (her left one) is the weight-bearing leg. It pushes the hips up on that side. To compensate, the shoulder on the same side dips down. Conversely, on the other side, her bent leg is supporting little of her body weight; therefore, the hip on that side dips down. To compensate, the shoulder on the same side rises. We all make these adjustments in our posture constantly, but subconsciously.
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