Pro tips for drawing characters in movement: Let’s talk about walking!

When drawing a character in movement, it can be even harder to keep the pose looking natural. In order to do this, it’s important to think about the character’s core, and the centre of gravity so that the character looks like they are stable and balanced.

In this series of articles, we’re going to be talking about different types of movement, and seeing how to draw characters moving in that way.

Today we’ll be looking at walking!

All about walking

First of all, let’s talk about the basics of a walking pose. When drawing a walking pose, we need to think about how the various joints in the body move, and how the character’s weight shifts as they move. To create a dynamic pose, we need to use “contrapposto” – a technique we go into at length in our courses.

This basically means that the hips and shoulders should both be tilted on opposite angles. Think of a model on a catwalk, and you should be able to visualise an accentuated version of this. You see models really swaying their hips and tilting their shoulders, because these opposing angles are visually appealing and dynamic. And that’s why we want to use it in our artwork too!

Front view

Pro Tip-1

The shoulder on the same side of the body as the leg that’s coming out in front should be lowered, whilst the hipbone raises up on that side. Think of it like the shoulder and hip joint leaning in towards each other.

Pro Tip-2

You’ll notice that women’s hips tend to sway more when they’re walking, so you should try exaggerating this hip angle more for women characters.

Side view

Pro Tip-1

The centre of gravity comes forward as we walk, so we see the axis of the body tilt forwards a bit.

Pro Tip-2

The front leg should be coming down to meet the ground heel-first.

Pro Tip-3

Adding shadows under the feet will really help to ground the character.

Pro Tip-4

The foot kicking up from the floor at the back is pushing the body forwards using the toe area of the foot.

Arms in motion

Pro Tip-1

Arms will usually bend a little when they’re swinging back and forth as a character walks.

I hope you found this article useful. We’re looking forward to seeing all your characters in lots of dynamic poses! Remember to use the points we studied to make sure your characters’ bodies are well-balanced. Good luck with your studies!

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Pro tips for drawing characters in movement: Let’s talk about running!