Q&A: ac­tion

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - Richard Boileau, Canada

An­swer John replies

When il­lus­trat­ing a char­ac­ter in ac­tion, it’s im­por­tant that the ac­tion be both be­liev­able and en­er­getic. Many artists make the mis­take of show­ing all the char­ac­ter’s ac­tion mov­ing in just one di­rec­tion, which ends up look­ing flat and stiff. Oth­ers put all their fo­cus on just the one part of the body do­ing the ac­tion, with­out re­gard to the nat­u­ral re­spon­sive mo­tion re­quired by the rest of the body.

When any part of the body is act­ing in one di­rec­tion, an­other part of the body nat­u­rally moves in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. This serves to strengthen the ac­tion and keep the body in bal­ance. Il­lus­trat­ing this is es­sen­tial for an ac­tion to look both nat­u­ral and en­er­getic.

Artists can be more suc­cess­ful in their un­der­stand­ing of the body’s mo­tion, ac­tions and re­ac­tions by study­ing the move­ments of ath­letes and gym­nasts.

As her shoul­der moves up, the op­po­site shoul­der moves down. As her punch an­gles down, her hips an­gle up. This can cre­ate plenty of ac­tion.

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