The Mechanics

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swaying figures. Movement can be straight as an arrow, or curved like the path of a skyrocket. Either suggests powerful motion.

The vital quality to have in your drawing is the "spirit" of movement. You cannot be successful as an artist if you remain seated in your chair, nor can your drawings be successful if the figures you draw remain static. Nine times out of ten the picture you are asked to do will call for action. Art buyers love action. It adds zest and pep to your work. A number of prominent artists recently revealed the fact that the "drapey" figures are out as definitely as the First World War "flapper." Ours is an age of action. A model cannot be left to pose herself. You will have to think hard: "What can I do with her to make this drawing sing?"

The solution is not easy, for it is a matter of feeling and interpretation. Today a girl on a magazine cover cannot just be sweet. She must be vital in every sense and doing something besides sitting in front of you and having a portrait painted. She cannot just be holding something; the magazine-cover girl has already held everything from cats and dogs to letters from the boy friend. Let her swim, dive, ski through flying snow. Let her do anything, but don't let her be static.

Pictures have changed, and it may be that the camera and photography have been the cause. This does not mean that a drawing cannot be just as vital as a camera study. Only ten years ago the artist did not fully realize what compelling interest lay in action. He had not seen photographs snapped at one thousandth of second and never dreamed that he could do this himself. Not only magazine covers but any drawing you do will have added selling power with good action. To make it the right kind of action, you will have to find out what action really is and then study it as you would anatomy, values, or any other branch of drawing.

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