Tuesday, June 12, 2018

LINE OF ACTION - Where are you going?? アクションライン:どこへ向かうのか?

Art Credit:  Ron Husband (Quick Sketching) 

In past posts we have spent time defining what "gesture" is and to try to help reduce the confusion between "gesture"  the "line of action".

In this post let's take a look at what exactly the "line of action" is and what exactly does it do??



Ki Innis

While the gesture is always credited with a showing a state of mind, the line of action is responsible for showing the direction and the movement of the main mass of the subject.

The line of action is responsible for showing where the subject is going or gravitating towards physically.  The line of action is the longest line in the gesture.



Art credit: John Buscema (How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way) 

Oh?  So this means that the gesture is the emotional part and the line of action the physical?


Art credit: John Buscema (How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way) 


The line of action should convey some sense of feeling in its respective lines.


Art Credit: Carson Van Osten

The artist should not think of the line of action as just an academic line but an expression of feeling.  Locating the line of action does not rely on the artist thinking as much as it requires feeling.

The line of action even when isolated from the figure should have some sense of attitude, or emotional state.  Almost in abstract terms.



Ki Innis

It does require some use of the imagination.  But hey, what else is the purpose of drawing if not to use the imagination??  

In the future I will give some suggestions for exercises so we can connect better with this kind of visualization.  In the meantime, please take a look of some examples I gathered for you.



Art Credit: Preston Blair  (Cartoon Animation) 

Art Credit: Ron Husband (Quick Sketching)

Ron Husband (Quick Sketching)

Ron Husband (Quick Sketching)

Art Credit: Sergio Pablos

If the body is twisting - the Line of Action may also twist giving the impression of two lines of action , but we believe there is only one!


Friday, May 4, 2018


In 1937 Don Graham,  one of the most instrumental teachers at the Disney studio somewhat criticized artists of drawing and animating FORMS instead of FORCES.   In contrast, he praised animator, Bill Tytla of being the only artist at the studio who consistently drew forces in his work.  

1937年のこと、ディズニースタジオでも最も優れた指導者のひとりドン・グレアム(Don Graham)は、「フォース」ではなく「フォーム」から描き、アニメーションするアーティストたちをたしなめていました。これと対照的に、作品に「フォース」を描くただ一人のアーティストだったビル・ティトラ(Bill Tytla)を称賛しました。

"...there is a constant use of graphic accents in his (Tytla's) manipulation (animation) , and these accents may be used as possible symbols of forces. The actual form is something which eventually is necessary but which is really a by-product of animation.  The vital element is force.  


What does this concept lead to. (?) As soon as the forces are under control, it is possible to create feelings or emotions or reactions in the audience."    - Don Graham 

このコンセプトは何を意味しているのだろうか? フォースをコントロールできるようになれば、鑑賞者の感じ方、感情、反応を自在に作り出せるのだ。-ドン・グレアム(Don Graham)

There is a saying, "The artist draws not the 'thing' but the forces that have created it."


How many times have you been drawing and the form you have created seems to be dead and lifeless on arrival?  Proportions are correct, anatomy is correct, your choice of line is clean or clear but it is lifeless like a "paper doll cut-out".  


The cause might be because you failed to include the forces acting upon the subject.


Forces are vital to creating a sense of life, energy and vitality in a drawing.  I believe capturing the forces are essential if you want your drawing to have a sense of movement.


Some might dismiss this as "animation concepts" .  Truth is,  ALL drawing of the figure is a form of animation.    Movement, thoughts and feelings are all part of what we as artists are trying to convey to our audience.


The sketches below from the animator, Bill Tytla are good examples.  Please don't get distracted by the use of caricature.

ビル・ティトラ(Bill Tytla)による以下のスケッチは、このことをよく示しています。カリカチュアに惑わされないでください。

I used the red lines to indicate where the weight was either pushing in to or away from gravity.  Though the figures are not moving the sensation of movement exists.  If you ignored the facial expressions the sense of what they are feeling exist.  


Glen Keane.


In Glen Keane's Little Mermaid, it's very easy to read in her flowing body what forces are working upon the character and even how she is feeling.


 1) Notice how your eyes "glide" around the character as opposed to falling to a dead stop.
 2) Notice how you feel the pushes and tension in her body.

1) 観る人の目は、キャラクターの周囲を滑らかに動く。どこかに行きついてとどまるようなことはない。

2) 押し込む力、引っ張る力が働いている部分を見ると、鑑賞者は何かを感じる。

These are the tools that create the feeling of life and real movement. Not the anatomy, not the cute faces.


Frank Frazetta.


Frazetta's works always have a sense of life and power behind them.  In his rough sketches it's really his shorthand that sells the pose.  We don't have to make super polished works to convey the energy and impact. 


In this ruff sketch of an arm at the top we see simply an arm with it's anatomy.  But below we can see the graphic accents which show the relation of the forces in the arm.


In terms of how this can relate to the human body we can see the how the forces push out defining the contours of the body.  


Below is an example of my sketching process of the graphic above. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

KI Creative Studio Drawing Workshop 1 Year Anniversary!

Thank you everyone!! Last night marked Ki Creative Studio's 1st Anniversary!  A YEAR has passed!  Over 12 drawing Tokyo workshops to offer people a chance to become better artists! Looking forward to another year!!  See you at the NEXT KI CREATIVE STUDIO WORKSHOP!!