This woman was also drawn as if she was moving and in motion, but she was actually in a still pose. This is just an illusion.
But there is action in this relaxes, static figure, also. The action is in the lines formed by the contours (outlines) of her body.
There are 2 things That Will Create Action in a Figure Drawing
The first is Variety. Remember the tin cans in the beginning of this lesson? The tin cans that had fallen made a more interesting drawing, because their outlines formed various angles with one another. It is important that you remember to apply this principle … variety … to figure drawing.
Above, you can see diagrams of figures showing variety in the directions of the lines that form the figures. Note that the line through the center of the upper part of the torso (a) crosses the line drawn through the lower section of the torso (b).
Here is another example where the line through the center of the upper part of the torso (a) crosses the line through the lower section of the torso (b).
(2) Line of Action.
The second factor that creates action in a figure drawing is the line of action. The line of action is the swing of the body in a particular pose…it is the main direction in which the body bends or stretches or leans. In the drawing below, the line of action is formed by the contour lines of
several parts of the body. These lines flow into one another so as to form a continuous line of action. Note that here the line of action is the longest continuous line in the body.
Not always is the action as obvious as in this case, but that doesn’t mean that there is no line of action. The artist’s job is to make the important but subtle things more evident to the observer. The important thing about a drawing is the main idea that the artist wants to display. In the case of most figure drawings, it is the line of action.
Don’t miss the line of actions! Draw in the line of action first, then fill in the contour lines of the figure around it.