Can you ex­plain how to marry my anatomy knowl­edge with char­ac­ter ges­tures?

Ques­tion

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Your Questions Answered... - An­thony Dam­ico, Canada

An­swer Tom Fox replies

I want to use my own char­ac­ter con­cept here, go­ing with some­thing that will show off the anatomy that this is­sue of Imag­ineFX is fo­cus­ing on. In the end I set­tle on a barbarian.

My process for ges­tures is three-fold. First, I lay down a floor grid to es­tab­lish per­spec­tive and eye level, and I block in ma­jor forms of the fig­ure and rough pro­por­tions. Th­ese in­clude the torso and hips, the head and limbs. This is the most im­por­tant part of the whole draw­ing, be­cause if you fi­nalise the pose at this stage, then the rest is just de­tail­ing.

Im­por­tant things to re­mem­ber in­clude try­ing to in­clude a twist be­tween the torso and hips, us­ing the feet and hands to re­flect the at­ti­tude of the ges­ture, and fi­nally, get into the pose and act it out your­self. This is pos­si­bly the most use­ful ad­vice I ever re­ceived. All the great an­i­ma­tors do it, so you should, too.

Sec­ond, lay over the anatomy and de­tails such as cloth­ing and weapons. You can see both stages in my work in-progress im­age. Over the years you de­velop a sense of how th­ese forms drape over the block forms that you’ve al­ready drawn in the first stage.

Fi­nally, I take my anatomy chart and paint over it. This is prob­a­bly the most time­con­sum­ing stage, yet plays the small­est part in de­ter­min­ing whether it’s an in­ter­est­ing piece or not. A well-painted model in a stiff or bor­ing pose will al­ways lack vis­ual in­ter­est.

Here are some ges­tures taken slightly fur­ther and coloured un­der­neath the lines. Some lines are re­moved to stop the piece look­ing like an anatomy chart. The anatom­i­cal fea­tures are draped over the ma­jor forms. Those block forms de­ter­mine the over­all ges­ture and at­ti­tude.

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