Action Poses

Drawing an animal or figure is commonplace in the art world, but it takes time and practice to find the action in the image, to capture it and bring it to life for the viewer.

Take the image below as an example.


This is my dog, Dexter, and this pose speaks volumes about his personality. This is what he does every chance he gets – he cuddles. I could draw his face straight on, but what would that capture except the average face of a golden retriever? A head tilt, a telling pose – those are the tiny evidences of personality that can bring a drawing to life.


Again, a snuggler. Her expression is one of laze and contentment.

'Map' - graphite, white ink
‘Map’ – graphite, white ink

This shows Map’s friendly face, and it gives her a pose of comfort. Someone looking at this drawing can easily deduce that she is a house cat, and that  she’s approachable. The forward paw and the curled in paw – these are both action poses that introduce the viewer to Map as an entity, and not just a drawing.


Try something new instead of the portrait pose, and I guarantee that you’ll like the results.