How to draw dynamic lines?

One of the most important drawing principles is to establish dynamic lines in your drawings. Creating dynamic lines gives the impression for the viewer that your composition is alive. It feels like you captured a movement. Your still image is getting more than just a simple frame.

How to draw dynamic lines - Example 1
How to draw dynamic lines – Example 1

Dynamic lines help you to express actions, movements, great variety of emotions, or moods. Using dynamic lines is a great tool for telling a story through your artwork.

One of the best ways to practice dynamic lines is drawing different body postures. First, you may want to find images as reference to get ideas. Once you feel more confident, feel free to draw gestures from your imagination.

How to draw dynamic lines - Example 2
How to draw dynamic lines – Example 2

Accuracy is not important at this point. Avoid working on the details too early. Try to draw quick lines like you drop the tip of your pencil. Also try to draw a gesture with as few lines as possible. This is called the economy of lines.

You can play with the line’s property as well. A line can be hard, soft and alternation between the two. Sharp lines describe sudden changes in plane or light, while soft edges give a slower visual experience. Try to keep some kind of balance when using variety of these lines.

Watch the examples and try to draw your own gestures.

How to draw dynamic lines - Example 3
How to draw dynamic lines – Example 3

Later, you will see that drawing human gestures is not the only area where dynamic lines are important. Dynamic lines is a foundation of many drawing or painting genres whether it is a human portrait or a more complex composition.