Sketching dynamic poses

I’ve always had problems with sketching moving objects or objects positioned in difficult angles. One of the problems is that its hard to get the perspective correctly, so I’ve been trying to improve my sketches by reading a book called Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth.

The book was very helpful because the author suggests a way of approaching dynamic figures by encapsulating the figure in 3-dimensional blocks, which give an external framework before the figure can be drawn. The author recommends using 3 basic geometric figures, a cube, a cylinder and an oval/sphere, and then breaking the body up into these 3 figures. By creating a 3-D frame before you start drawing the actual body, you lay down specific dimensional borders that maintain a proper body ratio and perspective angles.

Some of my sketches after creating 3-D blocks around the subject,

I’ve found this technique very helpful and I think it improved my sketching in perspective. Another useful tip from the book is to never start sketching from the subject’s head. The head is one of the last object to be sketched, since it doesnt determine the angle and positioning of the body and chest area. I’ve noticed that if I start sketching the body by first creating a 3-D block that represents the chest, the stomach and pelvis area, my overall orientation and positioning of the subject is greatly improved and looks more realistic. The body, stomach and pelvis come first, then legs, then arms, then head and neck.

If you are learning to sketch, maybe this technique can help you as well. You can purchase the book from the author’s website linked above. I hope this helps.


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