The Action Line

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Now let's take this example even further and push the dynamics a little. Take a look at Figure 8.5 and notice how making the action extreme increases the feeling of drama and power.

If you remember from Chapter 5, a pose that has a strong action line is more dynamic than one that doesn't. Figure 8.6 shows the action lines superimposed over the figure pose. Even the lines seem dynamic.

All good dynamic poses start with a good dynamic action line. The action line is the unifying element that ties the figure to a consistent motion. A good, strong action line will give a figure a sense of finesse and grace. Try to think of the figure as a single line. Look at the line to see whether it conveys the dynamic quality that you want to have in your drawing. If the underlying action line does not express a strong sense of dynamic motion, the overlaying figure won't either.

You don't necessarily have to draw the action line first, but you do need to see it in the pose of your figure. A good way to work with the virtual models in Figure Artist is to create the pose and then draw an action line over the model, like the lines drawn over the model in Figure 8.6. You should be able to see readily whether your model has a strong action line. If it does not, you can then work on the pose some more to get a better line.

Action Line

After you have a strong action line, drawing the dynamic figure becomes easier. Figure 8.7 shows a drawing of the figure from the action pose.

Figure Artist comes with a number of poses for both the male and female models. These poses range from relaxed, mundane actions to dynamic comic book-style poses. To help you learn how to increase the drama in your own poses, I suggest that you load a few of the poses and adjust them. See whether you can make the poses more dynamic. Work on the action lines and see whether you can create some expressive dynamic poses for your drawing from the poses that come with the software.

Dynamic Poses
Figure 8.7 After establishing the action line, the figure is then drawn.

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