What should I look out for when draw­ing a char­ac­ter run­ning?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imaginenation Artist Q&A - Brooke Sykes, Scot­land

An­swer Tom Fos­ter replies

De­pict­ing highly en­er­gised poses is about know­ing what to em­pha­sise for the great­est ef­fect. A light ex­ag­ger­a­tion in mus­cle func­tion in a few key ar­eas can help me com­mu­ni­cate my char­ac­ter’s strain and adren­a­line rush.

In the case of a run­ning pose, my ob­vi­ous first con­sid­er­a­tion is the legs. It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that, just as the bi­ceps and tri­ceps of the arm bulge no­tice­ably when bent or straight­ened, so too do the flex­ors and ex­ten­sors of the leg. When ex­tended (as with the ad­vanc­ing leg here), the mus­cles on top of the thigh be­come more pro­nounced, as they tighten to pull the leg straight. When the leg is bent (as with the re­ced­ing leg), the mus­cles on the back of the leg are the more built-up, be­cause they’re re­spon­si­ble for pulling the lower leg up to meet the thigh. This causes the over­all shape of the thighs to change, be­com­ing thicker at the up­per end of which­ever side is op­er­at­ing harder.

Mean­while, the up­per body will twist from one side to the other (thrust­ing the right arm for­ward, if the left leg is ex­tended and vice versa), be­com­ing most twisted when the leg is ad­vanc­ing far­thest, as the move­ment of the arms serves to coun­ter­bal­ance that of the legs. I make sure bal­ance is main­tained be­tween the ad­vanc­ing and re­ced­ing por­tions of the body, oth­er­wise the char­ac­ter will look as though they are about to fall flat on their face.

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