Creative Model Posing Guide

24 minutes
Share the link to this page
You need to purchase the class to view this lesson.
One-time Purchase
List Price:  $139.99
You save:  $40
List Price:  د.إ514.16
You save:  د.إ146.91
List Price:  A$191.28
You save:  A$54.65
List Price:  ৳11,870.69
You save:  ৳3,391.87
List Price:  CA$184.46
You save:  CA$52.70
CHF 90.91
List Price:  CHF 127.27
You save:  CHF 36.36
List Price:  kr877.81
You save:  kr250.82
List Price:  €117.97
You save:  €33.71
List Price:  £108.08
You save:  £30.88
List Price:  HK$1,084.95
You save:  HK$310.01
List Price:  ₹10,294.89
You save:  ₹2,941.60
List Price:  RM575.98
You save:  RM164.58
List Price:  ₦53,756.16
You save:  ₦15,360
List Price:  kr1,269.06
You save:  kr362.61
List Price:  NZ$206.38
You save:  NZ$58.97
List Price:  ₱6,786.71
You save:  ₱1,939.20
List Price:  ₨23,301.33
You save:  ₨6,658
List Price:  S$189.97
You save:  S$54.28
List Price:  ฿4,352.03
You save:  ฿1,243.52
List Price:  ₺1,060.48
You save:  ₺303.01
List Price:  B$746.21
You save:  B$213.22
List Price:  R2,274.36
You save:  R649.86
Already have an account? Log In


Okay, so up to now we've been talking about all the technical things you need to do to make great portraits like line, form, shape, value, shape language. And now we're getting into a little bit more of the backstory, the storytelling piece. And we're going to talk about posing, and posing in combination with all the other things, really is there to help bring your portraits and bring them to life, basically. So we're going to explore some posing scenarios and a little bit more for the creative side. If as if you're sitting in front of a blank piece of paper and you don't know what to do, and you're thinking, I just got to pull something out of thin air. It's nice to have a some kind of visual library to pull from.

And so we're going to just explore some very simple posing ideas to get you started. Alright, so let's In posing your models and characters. Now, we're going to use the visual language to do this, obviously, but we're going to use body language because that body language is going to convey the inner feelings, the emotions, the state of mind or being that that character or model is in. So it's all really important. And I'm going to introduce you to four basic approaches that you can sort of put into your visual memory file. And you can pull out whenever you need it, so that you can be creative, you can draw on command, and it's just good to have like a source file in your mind.

So we'll keep it simple. And then you can build from there, more complexity into it. So let's look at the first one. First one is just a straight. So I think of these, all of these four that I'm going to show you in terms of animation. And just very simple visual ideas, the straight line, okay, and that has to do with straights and curves, and gesture drawing and figure drawing.

And a lot of this just kind of comes from animation. But it'll be pretty obvious to you. The second one is the diagonal. Third one is the C curve. And the fourth one is the S curve. All right.

Okay, the straights pretty obvious, straight up and down, facing the camera. So we need kind of a standard and a basic thing to start from, and then we'll build from there. So the model is just facing the camera, their faces looking straight into the camera. Pretty simple, pretty boring. But you know, it's used in a lot of photography. And it could be used for certain visual effect, or for whatever you're trying to put across something like this could work.

So the second is the head, tilted, body's straightforward head is tilted. The head tilt gives that sense of playfulness, a sense of inquisitiveness, and it's definitely communicating something, it's a little less direct than just the face looking straight on. Just some examples of that are the subtle head tilt, and the more exaggerated head tilt. These are just some real life examples that kind of help you get an idea how they're used in everyday photography or portraiture. Okay, let's move on to the next one. We got the head looking up.

Now this is the person is unaware really that they're being watched in the first two They see you, you see them, there's a certain psychology to that. There's a certain maybe connection to that with the viewer and the subject. Now the subject is just looking up preoccupied with something else. There's maybe a spiritual aspect to this because they're looking up and you're looking at them. So you're a little bit of a voyager in this one, because they may or may not know you're there. But they're also directing your gaze up so you don't just look directly in their eyes like the first two.

Where's that? That connection in the eyes, this one, their eyes are looking up and they're drawing your gaze up as well. And the next one is the head looking down. So for whatever reason, you might want the head person's head in this position. They might be contemplating something they might be actually looking somewhere. Maybe This would advance the storyline somehow.

If you want the audience to notice something, you have the character look there first. And then you show what it is in the camera, what that character is looking at, but it gives the the viewer you the audience a clue. Okay, but it could be somebody just looking down there in a contemplative state of mind, this was a portrait, you might want to use this position or this pose for that. Okay, building on the front facing straight line pose is just the character. Looking to left camera, laughter camera, right, in this case, looking camera, right? shoulders slightly tilted.

So we have a little bit of variation. And that works well for portraits, and any number of things. It's a profile look basically, again, this character may not know That they're being watched. So there's a certain psychology to that to be aware of. But it is a very useful angle to show off the beauty of the model, or to advance the narrative that you're trying to put forward. All right, let's look at pose number two, the diagonal.

It's basically the character cutting into the frame in a very dynamic way, just like this diagonal line. We're building that character off a diagonal line cutting into the frame. It's very dynamic, right? So you could have the head. Remember, the head is a gesture that flows with or breaks away from the body. So in this one, the body gesture is going this way, and the head gestures going another way, or you could have it where, you know, the body's going this way and the head is really kind of going With it, you know they're looking up.

They're not really an opposition. So we'll just put a neck on there so you can see it. Right and this one they're looking down. So you've got this way. And this way, this one, you've got pretty much just a gesture, the body gesture, the head, they're both going in the same direction. So let's look at some examples of this.

This one, just, it's a very strong and striking pose. But here we go. It's really helpful to connect these two real life kind of photo situations whether in fashion, or in movies, or storyboards. Right, and they're all kind of cutting into frame. So they've got this, you know, way where they're off balance. And then here's the final one.

And you can put the arms in any place. Notice in this last one, the arms are really out there going this way. So arms can go, you know, they can come down to the waist. Right? They can come up. So that's just kind of secondary that the main thing is, you know, what's the body doing and the head and then you can build the limbs from there.

And there's just that classic gesture seeker. And the head in opposition. Right, here we go. Just like that. That's a classic, beautiful pose. This one goes this way, the head goes that way.

So they're in opposition. You could kind of say they're counterbalanced. Right one against the other, one against the other. Okay, really good stuff. And very simple. That's one that's clear that you can, I think grab a hold of key.

The next one is the seeker number three simple curve. Let's look at it come out a little bit there. Okay. So here is the first one. So see if you can find the seeker in these that I'm going to show you. Maybe I'll show them to you first and then we can discuss finding that simple seeker and one more.

There it is. There. They are. Simple seeker an animation. It's that it's the gesture. So you have the C curve and the S curve and the straight line.

And, again, that comes from animation. It comes from your drawing. And it comes from being able to distill everything down to its most basic building blocks. For figure drawing, it's the gesture and it's meant to capture the action, and the attitude of the character or the model. So here it is, I'm looking at this, the head is always a little bit something that you add on, the limbs are added on but the basic body curve is going like this. Right The head is again in opposition to it.

This one is just a nice curve all the way through. See that? Beautiful, simple, you don't get caught up or I don't try Not to get caught up in the anatomy. You can see it there. I've put it kind of in there. But the main thing I want you to see in pink is that see curve.

Here's another one seeker. The head is a gesture that's going with the body. In this case, in this case, the head is a gesture going, breaking away from the body flowing in a different direction. Right and then the limbs are added on later that could be again going in any direction. Depending on what you want to say what message you want to get across, what activity the models doing, and this one, nice seeker. There it is.

So you've got the different positions you've got the side, right or profile. Again, this is Kinda like the three quarter side, three quarter view. Again, another side view just opened up a little bit more. This might be like a soft, three quarter. And then this one's a back. So you have side, three quarter and back views all with the seeker, seeker, seeker.

Seeker. So if you're planning that's why this is so good, because you can just say, all right, what do I need to draw here? Well, you know, I'll try the straight line. Now that's a little bit boring. So let's, you know, let's try the diagonal. Do I like that?

And maybe, maybe not. Let's, you know, let's try this seeker in here somewhere. Anywhere to Put it down. That doesn't work. You know, try it this way. And that might be the thing that that works.

This just helps you get the finger down on the page quick without wasting time to play around with a lot of ideas to get where you want to go faster. And then build from there, just play. You see how easy it was for me to come up with these drawings and throw them away. They're not even drawings. They're just these hieroglyphs. You can put them down, erase them, you know, the thumbnails, the partial or not even hardly thumbnails, but they're just going one way, or the other way.

They're showing the weight, balance and proportion, the attitude, maybe reflecting what the model is thinking. And you're just going from there, kind of going from the gut, but you're using a simple sort of scaffold to build something on. Okay? All right, let's look at the next one. Number four is the S curve. So let's check it out.

Alright, let's analyze the S curve for a second. So the S curve is a compound curve. The C curve is a simple curve. The S curve is to see curves combined. And usually in figure drawing, that involves a twist. Or it's contra postel.

All right, that means opposing positions. So that means the rib cage is an opposing position and the torso, right, so there's the rib cage, it's going one direction, torso going another direction. So they're opposing each other. And I think you probably familiar with that. Right? So that's contrapposto, the head could be going in a, again, altogether different direction.

So you've got this going into this, flowing into that, that's contrapposto. It's like, it's movement like a river. And that really, is the essence of gesture drawing. You want to put that into your, your portraits or your characters whenever you can. So you've got the contrapposto or you've got a twist. So let me show you what I mean.

So Here's kind of the twist. And I don't know if you're going to be able to see this, this isn't going to be the best example. But let's see. If I have this see curves going like this, I can build a rib cage using really simple shapes, right? There's my rib cage, and it's going in this direction. Especially if I draw a cross contour.

You can see that where it intersects this line describing the form, right, it gives it a front and it's looking in that direction. When I attach the hips you know, I can get them looking in another direction, say this way, right? And so I've got this twist. And it's a little hard to explain here. But that's a pose you can use, right? It's twist the head.

And it's built off the Esker. We've got that S curve in here. We can go the other way. We can go this way, and that way. Simple Esker. That simple idea.

And this is this is confusing to you know where the overlaps going. It's something that takes practice. But if you can get those overlaps happening in the right place, you could turn these two spheres into human figure that's twisting. So you've got this overlap right here. This overlap here is going to say there's a twist. Let's do it again, just real.

This overlap here and that overlap on the other side. Can you see how that says? a twist on S curve? Really two opposing stretches, this is stretching this way that's stretching off that way it's a twist. If you do it with some clay, or needed rubber racer, you'll really see those overlaps there. It's like a letter C, like a letter Why?

We've got letter Y here. And we've got another letter Y, they're kind of upside down. You can see that one letter Y, and letter Y. Those things tell the story of the twist, letter Y, or y. Anyway, something to practice with. And that is really what's making up this.

And you have to practice that to feel that. So that's one position. The other one is, again, contrapposto. Simple opposing positions. shoulders go one way, hips go another way, the head opposing the shoulders. So we've got the strike structures opposing each other.

But the essence of it before you get to the structure is the gesture. So let's just take the gesture and show you. There's the S curve, this way, this way, it's really, you know, an S or two c curves and that will give you the life right, the attitude give you some idea of you know, what the person is thinking maybe or it in infuses the drawing with a sense of like, action, right? Maybe it's the person is about to coffee, about to pose about to feel like they're going to be moving. They're going somewhere and you can capture all this and just, you know, one frame and that's the beauty of this kind of gesture drawing and understanding, capturing the action. And you can do that, you know, just with a portrait, a simple portrait You can build it around a straight line, diagonal seeker or an S curve.

And really that's it. Just want to keep it simple. And use these things. Of course, there's so many more. So you want to keep it simple. Something you can do from memory that gets your idea across really quickly.

And then you can, you know, you can build from there. And you can discard things that don't work, because they're thumbnails and you haven't wasted a lot of time, so you can explore different ideas pretty quickly. And of course, this isn't exhaustive. There are tons of More poses. But at a certain point, you reach a peak. And there are only a certain amount of poses that you can pull off in a in a box.

Okay? So I hope this is helpful and give you some ammunition to try and start drawing from imagination. Or if you're working with a model, you've got to know how to art direct them. And right when that model comes in the studio and you're suddenly like, What do I do? If you know some of these basic poses, you can start with these. And then you'll get inspiration.

As the model sits down, you turn the light on, and then you'll see something that you really like and say, Oh, that's it. You'll be inspired to have them move in different directions. Move the body, tilt the head, and it'll kind of all come together, but that'd be good. can be a little bit intimidating. But if you have a little direction in mind, like this stuff, just a little art direction to help you, then it'll help you with the model. And the model will feel comfortable because it says you know what you're doing.

Or maybe you know what you want, even though you don't. And then the whole situation the whole model shoot goes well, or the whole posing part of the drawing experience will be smoother. Okay, so that's it. All right, we'll see you in the next video.

Sign Up


Share with friends, get 20% off
Invite your friends to TabletWise learning marketplace. For each purchase they make, you get 20% off (upto $10) on your next purchase.