Make a wish

Sketching a dancing couple with an action line


Drawing dynamic gestures can be quite challenging to do as there is so much power in their moves. Don't feel over-whelmed by their complexity but reduce the lines to a minimum:

Step 1: basic shapes

Instead of drawing detailed parts of the body, I am sketching these two human figures with a few basic shapes. A trapeze is helpful for drawing the form of the upper body – including the rips and the lungs. The head is an egg-shaped ellipse. And another, rounded reversed trapeze for the hips. 

Step 2: ink outlines

For being better able to define the proportions of the male and the female body, we have made a rough pencil draft. As a next step we are now drawing clearer ink outlines. But we are still on a very basic level of figure drawing. 

The most important aspect here is to control, whether the proportions are correct and whether the figures are in a natural pose. 

... is the length of the feet correct? ... are the moves of the hands realistic? ... are the gestures of the two dancers harmonic together?

Step 3: clothes

Clothes should not be used for correcting the body afterwards, but it’s more a decoration of the body. The figure itself is independent of the clothes. 

Therefore, make sure first, that the bodies are sketched correctly and that you have well integrated the dynamic of the dancing pose before going into detail. As soon as we are satisfied with the basic figure drawing - with its move and body language - we can make the next step and add clothes.

As we are still on a very basic level, I only indicate the details. The main focus, when drawing the head, is on its dark parts, such as the hair and it’s outlines, like the chin, the cheekbones and the beard. So I am indicating them here very roughly in order to give the ellipse of the head a bit of a human shape. Concerning the clothes, I am focusing on the dark parts of the shirt, the trouser and the dress with the help of the cross-hatching technique. 

Step 4: the draft for the lettering

This time I am additionally adding a quote to the dancers (as part of the lettering challenge organized by Heidi, a wonderful lettering and watercolor artist ( @artjourneywihme ) and angel's wings because of the brilliant fairy challenge of Adeline, an amazing artist and writer ( @adelwins ). As the letters of the quote are floating around the dancers, I am making a pencil draft first. (Additionally the draft prevents me from spelling the words wrongly when I am fully focused on the lettering style.)

Step 5: lettering

Following the draft, I am painting the letters on the sketchbook. I am leaving out the wings in order to create a more 3-dimensional effect. The clear lines of the lettering are in a strong contrast to the rough and sketchy lines of the dancers. This effect increases their ease of dancing.  

Share your own sketches.

Feel free to sketch these dancers by using the basic shapes I have shown you in this little tutorial and upload them on Instagram. If you tag me ( @baumann_illustration ) and use the hashtag #drawinggang, I'll give you a feature in my stories.  

I'd love to see what you are up to! ‍  

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Barbara Baumann Illustration

About the Author

Hallo, I'm an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria. After great experiences in the Marketing and Database sector, I finally realised that I simply need to follow my enthusiasm and fascination for drawing and illustrating.  

What fascinates me most, is this way to communicate without using any words. So expressive, so global. And this leads me to my second fascination about drawing: the exchange with others, with you! In my drawing courses I simply love to see the enormous developments of each participant - initiated by exchange and practice. That's what I like to do here, too. 

The idea for this blog comes from the bottom of my heart: to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw #drawinggang  

It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

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