Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Tip for Drawing Moving Targets

P and I waited until nearly 7:00 for it to cool down enough for a walk across some sunny fields down to the chickens on the college farm.  We walked along the new River Trail for a short distance, where P photographed and I drew Owl Man from the back, still watching the river from his little livingroom in the golden bamboo grove.  I used the texture strip (vertical) to speed-draw this one.  Then I drew the bamboo stump, filled with dark water, and with a few of those strange bamboo roots that look like toes.  Then we cut through the grove to the part of the garden where the chickens range.

So here's the tip:  Draw more than one chicken at a time.  Chickens move so constantly and so fast that you have no chance of catching the whole chicken at one time.  So you start the first pose;  then as soon as that chicken flies across the grass after an irresistible insect, start drawing a different chicken in a different pose.  Repeat until you have several poses going.  Then scan the chickens to find one that has gotten into one of your poses, and work on that pose until the chicken bolts. 

Chickens seem to take a limited number of poses:  picking in the ground, tail to the left;  picking in the ground, tail to the right;  sitting in a dust bowl;   running through grass;  standing up and looking left; standing up looking right; contorting itself to do some grooming; and sitting on a nest.  There are subtle variations to these poses, but you can get the general shape of the chickens by drawing them in tandem this way.  Then to fill in feathers and body shapes, wait until you have the general form of a chicken, and then when another chicken gets into that finished pose, quickly draw at least some of that chicken's specific features into the general shape.  Then finish the textures at home.

You can use the same technique for drawing people in groups, cars, goats, etc.


  1. Try it out and let me know how it works for you. Might take a little practice!

  2. Great tip, Gwen! Maybe I'll give it a go with our raven family! ;) Thanks!