Welcome to the first of our children's Expanding Drawing Skills series; an introduction to "Creating ACTION in Art", which provides ideas and methods for adding motion, movement, and action
to student drawings and artwork.
Have you ever wondered how you can add movement and action
to your drawings and artwork?
Take a look at this video to help you get started!
Now it's YOUR turn!
The projects in this lesson will help you build your drawing skills and make your drawings more interesting and exciting by adding action and motion. Choose the projects that look interesting to you, or try them all. Let’s get started!
You'll need your sketchbook (or several pieces of copy paper) and drawing media of your choice, such as graphite pencil, colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc. Optional: It might be fun to draw your moving animals or figures on a long strip of paper (or several pieces of paper taped together).
Project 1: Jump, Dance, Spin Around!
Remember our earlier Fill up Your Paper weblog post, when we filled up a large piece of paper with as many _______ as we could think of? Let’s do this one again with one new rule: each ________ must be doing something or must be in motion! Your subjects can be running, jumping, swimming, standing on their heads, diving, walking on their hands, dancing, spinning, cartwheeling, somersaulting, or anything else! Silliness is encouraged!!!
Project 2: Animals in Action!
Choose a favorite animal or creature that you enjoy drawing and draw it normally. Now, imagine your animal subject doing something interesting, and draw it again. You could draw a horse in a standing position. Now draw the horse rearing or bucking or rolling in the dust. Can your horse walk, trot, or gallop? Use a long strip of paper for this one!
Project 3: Figures in Action!
Choose a human figure that you enjoy drawing and draw him or her as you normally do. Now draw the same figure again in motion. Remember that humans have knees and elbows that bend when in motion (like Batman, below). Remember drawing of the running figure in the video? Make your figure walk, jump, skip, trip over a rock, fall down, get up, and run! You might use a shadow beneath the figure to show when he is not touching the ground! What else can your figure do? Use a long strip of paper for this one to show his or her progression of motion.
Project 4: Heroes in Action!
This is just like Project 3, only this time let your ‘action' figure be a super hero or sports hero! Think about the kinds of ‘extreme’ actions you would see this character doing and draw him or her in action!
How can you add action to a drawing of a vehicle? Could a speeding car be drawn above the road slightly with a shadow beneath it (as in the running figure)? Try drawing its wheels as ovals leaning forward. Could the car have smeared lines behind it to show motion, and a blurry background?
Project 6: It’s a RACE to the Finish!
Draw an action scene that includes everything we’ve learned that could add action and motion to a completed scene. This could be an exciting horse (or animal) race, race cars on a speedway, a military or battle scene, or an action-packed sports scene. Add lots details that depict motion and action!
Project 7: Make a Flip Book!
Why not make a flip book to show movement and animation? You can use a Post-it notepad for this, or any other paper stapled or clipped together (I like Post-its the best). You’ll draw the first picture on the bottom page. Then flip to the next page for a slightly different drawing. Continue drawing the figure as it completes the action with just a little change in each drawing from one page to the next. Check out this video to see how to do this, while making your own practice flip book.
Click here to download a printable handout of this lesson.
Now you can use ACTION to create story lines for your own COMIC STRIPS!