I fetched ye olde pencil and scribbled some lines that should give the impression of a dance pose. I tried to find the main energy line (red) first, then the secondary energy lines (cyan). After that, I gave the figure some volume, by indicating contour lines. The parts that should grab attention are colored yellow, while the more subdued base is colored gray.
I’m sure there still much to be improved, and my pose drawing skills are still “mechanical” (I draw from stills), but I feel I’m getting somewhere.
The next big leap would be to observe moving video and draw a quick pose from that. After that, live drawing, although that can be still months away from now. Progress is slow.
The issue at this moment is how to indicate parts of the human anatomy with as little detail as possible, but still very clear to the casual observer (who didn’t have to opportunity to study the subject as closely as the artist). I’m also struggling with the concept of energy. Is this the mechanical energy that is being spent in the body, or is it the psychological energy, the wow factor in the observer?
My guess the latter is meant, although I’m not quite sure. It could be it’s one of those proxies artists use to get a hold of reality. The proxy isn’t real, just a model of reality, a way of seeing underneath what your eyes receive, but which doesn’t necessarily reflect the physical reality of what is going on in the body. Just like lines are a handy tool for draftsmen. Lines aren’t real, but they indicate a vision, something which is abstracted from reality, and is easier to reproduce than reality itself. Such an abstraction can become the image, or is erased after the artist has completed the image.
Of course, I have a book on the subject of energy in poses, meant for animators, but the content didn’t ring a bell. I suppose that is both because I haven’t a good foundation in human anatomy (especially how to draw the outer appearance), nor in drawing quick poses. I simply lack the knowledge and experience to make this book “work” for me. I’m not yet ready to receive its teachings.
I’m looking forward to the time I’m ready, because the sketches in this book (“Force”, by Mattesi) are just stunning. I just don’t get the text that goes with the drawings, meaning I can’t create my own stunning sketches, based on the theory in the book.
The future is bright and sunny. At least, if I keep on the straight and narrow path of improvement and enlightenment.