Drawing character busts

Discussion in 'Resource Support' started by mishakoc, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. mishakoc

    mishakoc Professional Procrastinator Veteran

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    Hello! (Hopefully, I posted in the right forum, I wasn't sure where this topic belonged but general discussion seems to be the closest.)
    I've been drawing a lot of character busts lately and came across a slight problem which I hope someone here can help with, give some pointers or opinions on this.

    The problem I'm having is that most of the time, I have no idea what to do with the character's hands. After a couple drawings, I've noticed most of them just have their hands alongside their body, crossed on the chest or resting on hip(s). Obviously, there are a lot of other different hand positions.
    I've looked up various busts drawing and what they do with hands, many times I've found them to be way too awkward. Quite unrealistic too, there's no way people just strike such poses and have a conversation.


    The thing is, since I'm an amateur artist, I am not very good at drawing and concepts I guess, so I can't think of much. I don't want my drawings to look weird but I don't want everyone to be in the same pose (hands-wise) either.

    How do you draw your character hands?
    What do you think is the best approach? Leave the hands resting? Or have them fly all around (dramatically and awkwardly) for the sake of variety maybe?
    Thank you for your help. :)
     
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  2. Finnuval

    Finnuval World (his)story builder and barrel of ideas Veteran

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    Well it for a part depends on the art style too in my opinion. If you have a more anime style exageration is key in expressing some emotions moreso then when you have a more realistic style.

    Now having everyone Just standing there like robots with their arms beside their body isn't the best approach. It lacks dynamics, individuality and emotion and thus one could aks why use busts at all if they do not expres any off these?

    Most things that work (especially in games) are unrealistic to begin with and that should not be a major concern, instead focus on does it deliver and convey what it needs to... If it does that it probably is going to work.

    Of course keeping some realism is good, their pose shouldnt disconnect the player from them, butt their is a lot off room there, imo.

    Personally I let their personality and/or the emotional situation decide... Are they very. Stoic, well then they are more likely to have their hands folded or behind their back... Arrogant, well then they might flick their hair more or point at the other character.... Is the scène very strong in emotion? Then the poses Will be more dynamics like having their arms raised telling at the other person...

    Of course this is Just my opinion and approach and as always : we're all wrong anyway ;)

    EDIT: Also consider that even the same pose, arms folded for example, can be done in slightly different ways that change the overall look pretty strongly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
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  3. Elissiaro

    Elissiaro Veteran Veteran

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    I say google poses to get different references. There are a ton of ways to stand with for example, your hands clasped, or crossed, or in your pockets.
    And you can google various character traits... Like shy or confident.
    And having your character holding something. Like, a backpack strap, or book, or weapon.
    Also, changing the direction the character is facing will do a lot to make it look different from your other characters, even if they just have their arms by their sides. Like if you have 3 characters, one turned left, one turned right, and the last facing straight forward.

    Edit: Also the example pics you used looks like they're part of a set, so they're not in that pose the whole time, but just when a specific emotion is conveyed. And in that case you can be a bit more outlandish with the poses.
     
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  4. BK-tdm

    BK-tdm Manga Maker Veteran

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    Well that depends on your approach, body language and gestures can emphasize dialogue, i used to give a few classes on anime-style drawing so ill give you a few examples:

    We have as you said the typical ,arms to the side, crossed arms and hand/back of the hand on the hip, which covers up most basic conversations, then on JRPGs and anime in general there's a few gestures you can use to liven up stuff, theres the one/both bands held up chest-height on a "holding" like gesture to convey "explaining" or "trying to convince", both hands in the air to express joy, clench the fists on that last one and you can get angry shouting/arguing, the pointing away/to the camera/ towards a character to express anger/disbelief/calling soemone or something out, the both hands closed near the chin, body leaning forward to express excitement, there's a lot of poses you can play with if you want to liven up the expresiveness via body language.

    [​IMG]
    In this example you can see the difference between a simple bust dialogue and adding/playing with camera angles and gestures, its a lot of difference.

    Keep in mind not all characters will be super expresive arms on the air for everything, personality also plays a big factor like an "edgy" character who will almost always be arms crossed/ leaning on a wall arms crossed, with smiles being a small grin with crossed arms and anger being the same crossed arms but scowling, you get the idea, realism comes from differentiating each character not just by looks but by how they act and react, body language included.

    Try watching cutscenes of different games like God Eater, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, Persona, Fate Extra, and specially the Ace Attorney series as these will give you an idea on how to convey expressive dialogue which can be translated into bust expression images.

    on a side note
    Jojo's bizarre adventure begs to differ... A LOT :kaojoy:

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  5. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    'General Discussion' is for looking at broad themes of the making of games, not the making of resources to use in our games. However, we do have a section specifically for that.

    I've moved this thread to Resource Support. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

     
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  6. mishakoc

    mishakoc Professional Procrastinator Veteran

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    Thanks for your ideas, everyone. I'm sorry @Kes, I thought it didn't quite fit but I still have a bit of trouble navigating these forums. Thanks for moving it into the right place.

    Agree with you. If you asked me why, it's because I simply like to draw characters, no deeper reason. Even if they are boring. And busts look cool. But I'll do my best to add some flavor and personality to it.

    You're right, their personality should show through the picture, that's a great point. I'm probably not great at this, but I try to show if they are confident or not, open or closed people.
    I'm not sure about having special poses single face expressions. It would make more sense, because emotional states usually influence the whole body language of a person, but drawing it is so tedious and time-consuming. Maybe for some special scenes. :)

    Another good point. It also depends on how they arch their back etc. Shows totally different emotions as well. I'll try to research ways of standing. I guess even how you position legs makes plenty of difference in the upper body, even if they are not in the picture.

    Sure, it makes the hand poses more natural while adding another layer of character.

    But at the same time, we're right. ;)

    lol, no comment :D

    Thanks, @Finnuval, @Elissiaro, @BK-tdm for your insights. You gave me a lot of inspiration and things to think about! I'll need to look for plenty of references and try to add more character, personality, and emotions to my poses.
     
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