Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Body from the Side
SarahN at 2:01PM, Jan. 4, 2006
posts: 1,581
joined: 1-1-2006
Drawing a body from the side….I just have a lot of trouble with it, particularly with males…drawing the arm and shoulder is the hardest part (as in the arm is facing directly torwards the “camera”).

Obviously I need to work on anatomy…..but is there any tips on this anyone can give?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
Enef at 2:29PM, Jan. 4, 2006
posts: 260
joined: 1-3-2006
Take a picture, its the best way to get exactly what your going for
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM
ozoneocean at 2:29PM, Jan. 4, 2006
posts: 26,050
joined: 1-2-2004
My best advice is not to do it. Side views of men are usually pretty dull. :D
And that not just because I prefer side views of women… There's just not much going on in a male side view.

But if you really must do it and can't get it right, try tracing over a photo to get a really good idea of what the outline of the shape looks like. That can really help when you're stuck.
Just open a side view pic up in Photoshop, slip a layer of partially transparent white over the top, make a new layer and use it for your tracing with your tablet! That should help you get the right idea, especially if you've got a few differnt pics to try with.
And of course, there's always magazine photos and good old fashioned tracing paper if you don't like using a tablet for that sort of thing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
McEwin at 5:54AM, Jan. 5, 2006
posts: 15
joined: 1-5-2006
Do you have a good high articulated wooden model?

Very usefull with this kinda' stuff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
Aurora Moon at 5:55PM, Jan. 5, 2006
posts: 2,630
joined: 1-7-2006
I feel your pain. I have the same problem, and not just with males.. :-\

all I can say it's always good to have books that has a lot of pictures with people in that side pose, doing all sorts of actives.

me.. I usually just clip out people from magazine pictures, make a whole folder full of poses that I like.
having random pictures from the net also helps me a lot. Its great for references.

And most of all… I have How to the how to draw manga series. it's also very helpful when it comes to side profiles of men and stuff.
I suggest “How to draw Manga: Male characters”.

It has all those helpful pictures and tips on males of all ages, and even have full-body drawings from all angles, even side profiles and from under the characters. and overhead shots.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Fyrsiel at 1:40AM, Jan. 22, 2006
posts: 12
joined: 1-2-2006
Dx ?!?!?! Side views boring???? Nuuuu, those are half the fun….

I'm probably way too late to post this now, but… x__X;

Hm… er… It's better for me to show, rather than tell….

Skeletons will help you if you study how they are made. The spin curves in a funky “S” shape. The collar bone will help you to trace where the shoulder will need to be. Perhaps, before you draw the arm, just draw the body first as I've sort of outlined above and then place the shoulder, working the arm down from there. Circles will help you a lot with arms. @_@; The most important guidlines to follow in a side view is the backbone, the breastbone and the collar bone.

The rest can flow together as long as you trace along these guidelines… My anatomy is not perfect, by the by. That picture is a quick sketch (the breastbone in the non-skeleton should probably be longer…) Dx And yes, I did not draw the shoulder bones correctly, but that's the very basic idea….
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:32PM
mykill at 7:35PM, Jan. 22, 2006
posts: 194
joined: 1-11-2006
This is the motherload of art ref online:

Ozone's right tho - the dead on side view is not only dull, an important reason you have trouble with it is that you RARELY see it in real life. Learn to draw people at angles that are not dead on.

The storytelling of a dead on eye level view that demands a literal side view - is exactly ‘dull’ and ‘normal’. It could have use to establish a visual counterpoint to and unexpected storytelling device. But the perfect side on look also suffers from looking artificial. I mean - unless you're drawing soldiers in formation. In real life we almost never look at anyone perfectly from the side.

Learn a 3/4 view - and once you got that learn to rotate the figure as other angles, including the dead on side view. In your actual comic tho - I hope that side view isn't dead on -that it's tilted a little forward or backward so as to seem more natural.

Of course behind this advice is the presumption that you should want to draw a comic in three dimensions. If your scope is too limited for depth to be relevant, don't look at photos or real life. Look at cartoons in similar scope to what you are creating - and imitate their solution.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
sniper jedi at 10:07PM, April 17, 2007
posts: 20
joined: 2-19-2007
If I am having a problem with direct side views, I lightly sketch in the torso. I ignore the arms until I have the torso and shoulders in the spot I want.
Also, Fyrsiel is right, try drawing simple skelingtons ofr a while. Knowing what you draw helps loads. (my eyes improved dramaticaly when i studied the accual structure of the eye in the skull.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
Tantz Aerine at 3:07PM, April 18, 2007
posts: 1,621
joined: 10-11-2006
I like side views when depicting action scenes- or silhouettes. I think they can really give a feeling of motion. However, it took me awhile to be able to approach them with some confidence.

I would agree with everyone advising using a skeleton. Stick-figure mannequin works quite well if you are familiar with anatomy. The basic reference bones/body parts to help you position the body properly are the collar bones, the ribcage (drawn like a cylinder that's a little swollen in the middle) and the pelvis. If you get these three positioned right, you will most probably have no problem drawing the shoulder and arms.

Still, you will need to remember that arms are attached not only to shoulders, but also shoulder blades- that is basically what gives the side shot the feel it's a human being (male or female) figure.

If you are unfamiliar with anatomy, I'd advise getting a regular med textbook on gross anatomy- the lab manuals are the best. First understand the logic of the bones and muscles connecting with each other, then sketch while reciting to yourself what you have understood :) You will get the desired results faster than you think. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 7:43PM, April 19, 2007
posts: 1,340
joined: 10-4-2006
My best advice is not to do it. Side views of men are usually pretty dull. :D
And that not just because I prefer side views of women… There's just not much going on in a male side view.

*disagrees* men are awesome… from any angle!!! YAY! *sounds like a psychoperv*
my suggestions would be to first just try practicing using reference photos. clear ones. and if that doesn't help, look at one of those “anatomy” books, and study the side-views of the skeletons and people with flayed skin (heh that sounds icky) and try drawing that. studying the joints and muscles will really help, cause it's those details that matter!
*insert lame ‘practice makes perfect’ line*
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM

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