Developing a character’s body in perspective is something I really need to study. I spent most of my teenage years learning how to draw portraits well. All that study and practice have paid off. I feel lucky that I chose to focus on the human head considering it’s complexity.
Now, I’m playing a bit of catch up with the human body. I can’t blame myself for not focusing on the whole body sooner. Drawing the whole body bored me to tears as a kid, so I avoided it altogether. However, an animator cannot avoid the body unless he wants to animate floating heads forever. Plus, I doubt there’s much work in it, either.
Drawing the body isn’t difficult for a good draftsman, but the key is understanding body mechanics. Animators are concerned more about a series of drawings and how the body moves than any one drawing can express.
The human figure is complex and it occupies space. It’s range of mobility make it that more difficult to master. This is why the animator should practice life drawing. Learn to draw the figure from every angle and in a variety of poses. What does it look like when an arm is coming toward you or moving away?
So, lesson two from Rabbit Seasoning: understand how Warners animators drew their characters with depth, with perspective. I’ve included one of my life drawing exercises as well to compare the similarities between the human figure and a cartoon character.