Studies for a pouting character

  • SVS OG

    0_1530031429425_Nina pouting line drawing.jpg

    0_1530031462045_Nina pouting with shadows.jpg

    In the spirit of what the guys said in episode 6 about doing enough studies before finishing a piece, I have been working out this pose. The line drawing should be finished enough to show that I've thought out the anatomy, while the shadow version is just to give a rough idea where the light is coming from. I think, for instance, that the cast shadow over her upper body should be much more obvious. But I want to see if the drawing needs correcting before working on it any more.

    I thought a lot about this pose, and I know that the arms are crossed (anti-silhouette) and one foot is foreshortened, but it's really all about the psychology of the pose. She needs to be pigeon-toed, but any more is going to move into the realm of anatomical impossibility. The head and feet are somewhat enlarged, and the shoulders somewhat narrowed as part of the character design. And I need to make the near hand look more childlike. But does it all make sense, anatomically and perspective-wise? Is the pose appropriate for a sulk? Is there any point at which you think, "Why does she even want draw it that way? What's the point?" Or, "It's obvious that she should learn to do such and such."

    And as an aside, this pose really reflects my feelings at the moment. This month has just been one interruption after another. But I'm fighting to keep making progress!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @lauraa I think the pose works well. At first the line art the back foot looked a little small but once you got the values in, it starting to look correct. I think she is cute and I want to give her a hug.

  • I can tell you've used a lot of references. Realistic anatomy is a tough one to capture inward and closed off expressions without turning them cartoony. I'm impressed with the over all body language.

    Have you tried the silhouette trick? Blacking it all out to see where you could maybe push it a little more without over doing it?

    Looking at it longer, I wonder if the facial features could be pushed a tiny smidge more. Like pushing the bottom lip out a bit or showing a little more eyelid/cheeck scrunch? Maybe some tiny worry lines at the corners of her eyes or between them? (shadows, not actual lines)

    I wish I could offer more suggestions, but you've done such a nice job I'm not sure what else to offer. 🙂 ❤

  • I like the pose and her expression. I think the anatomy is good as well, though as you mentioned, her hand could look more child like. I also think her shoulders could be narrowed even more. She looks quite muscular through the shoulders, though that may be intentional.

    Without any other context, and just viewing this as a single illustration, I think she could perhaps be mistaken as just sad or apprehensive instead of pouting. If you'd like it to be even more clear, I think enhancing her furrowed brow to look more angry would sell it more as pouting.

    Now as far as studies go, is this a study for a larger piece? Or do you mean you did a bunch of studies before arriving at this character design? If so, can we see some of your other variations that you worked through before arriving on this pose and expression?

  • I like your character 🙂

    One trick that I like to use, is to make the figure really small and then cover up portions of the body to see if each portion individually reads as the expression I'm going for. For your character, when I cover up the legs, the s-curve of her body and tuck of her chin seem to say that she's upset/defiant/pouty. When I cover the body, the legs, to me, read as shy as opposed to pouty, I think because the knees are relaxed. If it was my piece, I might try hyperextending the knees and seeing if that made the pose seem more like a sulk if that's what the aim is. If her back is arched, the knees would probably respond.

    Thanks so much for sharing your process with everyone! I love learning from people's works in progress.

  • SVS OG

    @tessaw Here are a couple of the previous iterations. Some look more scowl-y, but in the end the more worried expression won out because I am trying to develop character consistency and this character has eyebrows that tend not to point down. I'm still working out exactly what she looks like and how old she should be, but most often I go for about 5-years-old.

    So far I haven't figured out that much context. This is why I want to take the environments class so badly! She's just based on some kids I see around my neighborhood, usually with their parents. I'm imagining that she has been told no and is not merely angry, but seriously disappointed! But I have experimented with a range of reactions. Here are some, but I decided I didn't like them as well, partly because her posture was too straight in the first ones:

    0_1530088368124_Nina pouting original sketch.jpg

    0_1530088588345_Nina pouting 3.jpg

  • SVS OG

    @kathrynadebayo By hyper-extended knees, do you mean like the legs in the second sketch I just posted? Because I might like those better myself! I had gotten out a pair of Hunter boots to work out the details of the boots in the most recent sketch, but my real boots are pretty straight. Maybe the point is that I should curve the inside contour of her right leg a little more. And even if it's unrealistically exaggerated, maybe I can turn the left one in just a hair more.

  • SVS OG

    Here are a new sketch and a silhouette, taking your considerations into account. Note that the hand is farther down in the silhouette, which I thought looked better in silhouette, but it didn't look that believable from a pose point of view. And there's still something bothering me about the legs:

    0_1530100365812_Nina pouting 4.jpg

    0_1530100732473_Nina pouting 4 silhouette hand down.jpg

  • Nice. That face. Reminds me of my daughter's when she doesn't get her way. XD

  • I asked my daughter, who loves to draw too, if she'd like to help with your art and she was very enthusiastic. We had fun. 🙂 Hopefully this is helpful - sorry my description before wasn't very clear...

    I think that the way you have the legs is believable as they are, but maybe this might help if you're wanting to push the pose further.



  • SVS OG

    @kathrynadebayo Thanks! You're right, that's quite a hyper-extension! Nice that you have a model in the house, too 🙂 Tell her thanks for me.

  • SVS OG

    @tessaw said in Studies for a pouting character:

    Without any other context, and just viewing this as a single illustration, I think she could perhaps be mistaken as just sad or apprehensive instead of pouting. If you'd like it to be even more clear, I think enhancing her furrowed brow to look more angry would sell it more as pouting.

    I concur with this assessment. She needs a little more attitude in her expression.

  • SVS OG

    @jaepereira Are you referring to the first drawing in the thread, or the corrected one? Just trying to get a feeling for whether it needs to be pushed even further. Thanks.

  • SVS OG

    Thanks so much for your critiques and your patience, guys! I think this poor child has had several different head tilts, and about a dozen arm and leg poses. No wonder she's so cross! But here's the latest version I'm posting for you to help me get a fresh eye. At least next time I have to draw someone pouting I will have thought it through!

    0_1530275093260_Nina pouting 5.jpg

  • SVS OG

    Update: What do you think, guys? Does this get across the idea of the sketch? Do you see errors? Thanks!

    0_1531219408644_Nina pouting 9.jpg

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @lauraa I think it looks great, you can really feel the emotion in it.

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