Have you ever wondered how to add more “life” to your artworks?
Somehow when looking at your finished piece, you felt like it didn’t end up looking quite as good as you hoped?
There are 5 simple tips and tricks that I’d like to reveal to you when it comes to expressiveness within your drawing
1. Body Posture in Characters
When creating a cartoon character, it’s common to end up with a person that looks a little too rigid, but we don’t really know how to fix it. For an expressive drawing, ask yourself, is the body posture right? Are his shoulders slouched to convey his sadness? Are his arms and hands stretched out to match the joy on his face? What movements are his body making to mimic the emotion on his face?
2. Facial Features
Something that evidently can’t be ignored is the face. If you are wondering how to add more life, I suggest you try to exaggerate your facial features more. Think of caricatures, but maybe not to that extent. The eyebrows are important, the crease marks that appear on the forehead when you are surprised or angry. Look at your own face in a mirror and observe the changes that happen with different expressions, capture that in your drawing.
3. Use a Dialogue Bubble
Something that a lot of comic and manga artists use is dialogue bubbles! This could be fun to try out if you haven’t, sometimes adding words to your drawing will add a lot more meaning to it. Flip through some comic books and let yourself be inspired in order to tell your own stories. Observing other artist’s creations will also help you discover how they bring life to their own artworks, which is good for you if you’re trying to learn how to draw better.
4. Combining Colours Mindfully
Adding life to art comes with the colours you use too. Colour choices determine a lot in the impression that your art will convey. We tend to unconsciously associate certain colours to certain emotions, such as yellow to happiness, blue to calmness or sadness, red to passion or anger etc. Be mindful to the colours you combine and the impact they create.
5. Thinking Before Making
Lastly I would say composition is key to adding more life. We tend to jump straight into the creating process whereas the thinking process required beforehand is just as essential. Think about how you place your character, your objects, your landscape etc. If you make one element too big, the image will feel too tight, if you make it too small it may feel too empty. Spend time on balancing proportions on a practice paper before you begin your final artwork. After taking time to think, regular practice is necessary in order to improve your drawing skills.