self-conscious girl has the feeling that she never knows what to do with her hands. The unimaginative artist, too, does not know what to do with the hands of his figures. But the girl can put her hands on her hips, finger her beads, fix her hair, pull out her vanity case, apply lipstick, smoke a cigarette. Hands can be most expressive.
If you show legs, let them be interesting even in the standing pose. Drop one knee. Raise a heel. Do anything except keep them glued to the floor side by side. Twist the body, drop one hip, get the elbows at different levels, clasp the hands, put one hand up to the face, do anything that keeps your drawing from looking like a wooden dummy. Draw a lot of little "funnies" until you find one that is interesting. Make every standing figure do something beside just standing. There are so many natural gestures possible, to combine with the telling of a story, to express an idea or emotion, that it should not be hard to be original.
When I illustrate a story, I usually read significant parts of the manuscript to the models. I try to get them to act out situations as naturally as possible. At the same time I try to think of how I would act under the circumstances in the story. There is, of course, the danger of overacting, or of using gestures that go beyond the natural or logical, which is almost as bad as being static.
Experiment with the lighting on the model to express best what you have in mind. Give importance to a portion of the figure by getting the strongest and most concentrated light upon it. Sometimes parts of a figure can Ikj lost in shadow to advantage. Sometimes a silhouette may be stronger and more compelling than a brightly lighted subject.
The whole gamut of expression is there for you to choose from. Don't form a few habits that you continually repeat. Try to make each thing you do just as original in conception and execution as you possibly can.
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