Skill up and save 75% OFF our Masterclass annual membership!  44:44:44
Sign in
Preview course

Drawing Character Poses with Personality

with Tony Bancroft
5 (38)
Learn from a Disney veteran how to draw dynamic and interesting character poses.
English English [Auto]
1+
hours
12
lessons
beginner
level
Tony Bancroft

Your Instructor

Tony Bancroft is an animator and director, with over 30 years of experience in the animation industry. When working with Disney Studios, Tony co-directed the feature film Mulan and created characters like Pumbaa, from The Lion King; Kronk, from The Emperor’s New Groove; and Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast.

Read more
All Courses
Get access to this course and 15+ more
left at this price!
$49/year
Save 75%
$199/year
USD
Get Started
  • Cancel Anytime
  • 30-Day Money-back Guarantee

Only this course
$24.99USD
Get Single Course
  • 30-Day Money-back Guarantee
Explore the course
1+
hours
12
lessons
beginner
level
English
English [Auto]

Requirements

  • Some previous art experience needed
  • Just a paper/sketchbook and a pencil! (The instructor uses Photoshop, but you can use any drawing tool/software you wish.)
+ See more

Description

Are you fairly good at coming up with characters, but somehow feel that they are a bit stiff and unnatural, with stances that seem a bit ‘awkward’? Or do you tend to draw standard poses for standing, sitting, walking, etc. and want to infuse them with life, to make them more interesting?

There are lots of tutorials these days on character design, but far less teaching how to create poses and gestures for those characters. A well-drawn pose plays a big role in effectively conveying a character’s emotions and unique personality, be they a sinister villain, a courageous hero or an amusing side-kick.

In this course, Tony Bancroft, shows you how to do just THAT, drawing from his wealth of experience in the animation industry, having worked with studios like Disney and Warner Bros. He explains the key principles used in cartoons to make movements believable and entertaining and demonstrates the techniques for applying these concepts to your artwork.

At the end of this course, you’ll think about illustration in a whole different way and have a new set of skills at your disposal to create characters that practically jump off the page!

+ See more

What you’ll learn

  • Translate your character’s emotions and personality into dynamic poses that tell a story
  • Practice drawing various thumbnail poses for a single character
  • Use animation principles like 'Twists & Tilts' and 'Squash & Stretch' to add visual interest
  • Create a variety of relaxed poses that look natural, not stiff or rigid
  • Learn how to create realistic balance and weight distribution for characters
  • Show your character’s personality through inactive and active poses
  • Discover how silhouettes help make a good, clear pose
+ See more

Who is this course for

  • Artists who want to draw  appealing poses for their characters that convey their personality and emotions
  • Those interested in learning essential posing concepts to tell a story through their artwork
+ See more

This course includes

  • 1+ hours of on-demand videos
  • Cheat sheets

Lesson Plan

with Tony Bancroft
Expand all sections
00

Introduction

01:21

Get to know your instructor, Tom Bancroft, and the cartoon characters that he created.

01

What is a Pose?

13:32

A pose doesn’t only refer to a model’s position on a magazine cover. 🙂 In the world of art, a pose captures a character in one moment in time, portraying their action, emotion and personality in a single illustration.

When you understand what makes a good pose work, your picture can paint a vivid story that draws the viewer in. Tom delves into this subject in this first lesson, demonstrating how different poses change the vibe of an illustration.


1.1
What is a Pose?
06:54
1.2
Assignment
06:38
02

Line of Action

16:22

The line of action is the central thrust of a character’s pose, following a directional curve. It is an essential tool that professional artists and animators, like Tony, use all the time when drawing, to create a natural ‘flow’ in the pose and a sense of energy.

In this lesson, you’ll see several examples of different kinds of ‘lines of action’ and learn the basics of how to use them for your own characters.

2.1
Line of Action
16:22
03

Relaxed Poses

14:37

‘What do I do with my hands?’ The age-old question!

Not only does this issue come up at a family photo-shoot, but making your illustrations look natural and relaxed when inactive can sometimes be tricky too!

Discover the key aspects of drawing relaxed poses that look believable, such as how to position the hands, elbows and shoulders. Tom also discusses ways to modify a pose to communicate a variety of feelings, eg: boredom, worry, disinterest and curiosity.

   2 Cheat Sheet Guides Included

3.1
Relaxed Poses
14:37
04

Tilts and Twists

12:43

Adding twists and tilts is a great way to make your characters appear less stiff. Not only does it enhance their personality, but it makes the pose a lot more interesting too!

This is something we all do naturally, but don’t necessarily think of. As you learn about this concept in this lesson, you’ll be more conscious of it and be better able to implement twists and tilts in your drawings.

4.1
Tilts and Twists
12:43
05

Weight, Balance and Silhouettes

26:56

Tom discusses three important principles of drawing good, clear poses, covering each one in a separate lesson and giving lots of examples of each:

Weight: giving substance to a form, making objects and characters appear light or heavy

Balance: ensuring that a pose adheres to gravity’s pull, so it’s not off balance or likely to topple over

Silhouettes: creating clarity in a pose, making it easy to identify, avoiding confusion

  3 Cheat Sheet Guides Included


5.1
Introduction
01:31
5.2
Weight
06:46
5.3
Balance
07:11
5.4
Silhouettes
11:28
06

Adding the Personality

18:33

So this is it! You’ll get to use ALL the new skills you just learned and apply them to a character, infusing it with energy and a life of its own! Excited yet?

You’ll also learn how Tony creates multiple thumbnails, playing with various poses and narrowing them down until he lands on the option that best communicates a character’s personality.

Follow along with a fun assignment, to consolidate everything you’ve learned so far.

   2 Cheat Sheet Guides Included

6.1
Adding the Personality
18:33
07

Summary

00:47

Bid farewell to your instructor in this conclusion video. Hope you enjoyed this course!

7.1
Summary
00:47

Student Feedback

38 customer reviews & ratings

5

Course rating

Log in to leave a review or rating.
5 star
100 %
4 star
0 %
3 star
0 %
2 star
0 %
1 star
0 %
Best Suited for
All Levels
The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

(Based on 38 reviews)

Most Liked
Helpful Examples 36
Clarity of Instruction 35
Engaging Teacher 33
Showing 10 reviews of
38
reviews & ratings
VI
Verebics Ilka

2 days ago

Verified Purchase
I loved every minute of the course and I drew all the examples. Tony Bancroft is a legend, a role model from whom it is a pleasure to learn. I am grateful that 21Draw made this possible for me.
I recommend it for Beginner
PG
Philip Gaudette

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
This is the first course I've taken on 21-Draw and I'm very impressed by the clarity, humor and skill provided by Mr. Bancroft! I've been a self-taught artist for many years but I've always found my characters to be rather lifeless. I've overlooked the concepts of weight and balance for far too long
+ Show more
. Thankfully Mr. Bancroft introduced these ideas with advice that will stick (such as dropping the plum). I look forward to applying the techniques in this course to inject my poses with some much needed personality!
I recommend it for Beginner
6 people found this helpful
RG
Rotem green

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
Even as a non-beginner- this course is a must. Sometimes we try to go too advanced that we forget to simplify- some of the best, clearest artworks are in the simple details. Lots of tips and tricks that i forgot or neglected and will definitely use from now on to improve my future artworks. The inst
+ Show more
ructions were clear as day, easy, and humoristic. Highly recommended!
I recommend it for All levels
5 people found this helpful
ML
Mike Logsdon

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
Tony really explained the importance of action, movement, shape and everything else that goes toward giving your character personality in its poses. He is very likable, and you feel like he is right there beside you.
I recommend it for All levels
3 people found this helpful
A
Adele

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
Really cool class, it's great to see so much live-drawing and to have all these tips for better pose construction. The examples are very engaging and the different steps are very clear and dynamic!
I recommend it for Beginner
3 people found this helpful
GM
Garry Martin

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
I found this course easy to understand and well presented.
I recommend it for Intermediate
2 people found this helpful
LL
Lorrane Lillian

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
I just loved it! I'll watch again for sure!
I recommend it for Beginner
1 person found this helpful
MA
Mostafa.Moh Alaa

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
loved the work wish it was longer but it was perfect and strait to the point will watch them again
I recommend it for Beginner
M
Monika

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
Very good
I recommend it for Beginner
ST
Sebastien Tapp

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
Great Class!
I recommend it for Intermediate
See more reviews

About the Instructor

Tony Bancroft
Animator and Creative Director 1 course

Tony Bancroft is a 2D animator with over 30 years of experience in the animation industry. He has worked with companies such as Disney, Sony and Warner Brothers. During his 12-year career with Disney Studios, Bancroft helped create and animate Pumbaa, from The Lion King; Kronk, from The Emperor’s New Groove; Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast; and Iago, from Aladdin. Bancroft’s most notable accomplishments include being the co-director of Walt Disney’s animated film, Mulan; and animation supervisor of Sony’s Stuart Little 2.

Featured in


Follow Tony on

Full bio

Bonus Offer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 21 Draw?

21 Draw is an online learning community where students of all skill levels can learn how to be a better artist. Our contributing artists and instructors are the best in the world.

Our streaming platform on www.21-draw.com makes it possible for anyone to watch hundreds of video lessons by industry legends who have worked for Disney, Marvel, DC, Dreamworks, Pixar & more. A membership gives full access to our streaming platform.

On books.21-draw.com you can buy our popular learn-to-draw ebooks and physical books, separate from the courses, and they too are also delivered to you by the heavyweights of the art industry.

48 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

What is included in the membership?

Membership includes unlimited access to all 20+ courses taught by the world’s best artists PLUS new courses as they are released.

Each class includes 10-20 video lessons that are 7 minutes long on average. Most classes include exercise sheets, assignments, and layered PSD or PNG files.

Some classes include the ability to chat with the instructor in a public forum, e.g. if you want feedback on your artwork.

61 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

Are these online or offline courses?

21 Draw courses are on-demand (pre-recorded) video tutorials that you can watch online with any digital devices anytime and for an unlimited number of times! This means you can easily watch (and rewatch) them at your own pace and convenience.

75 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

Can a beginner follow along?

We have classes for all levels, even for those with zero drawing experience. In general, artists at all levels can benefit from these courses—whether beginner, intermediate or advanced.

45 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

Do the courses teach digital or traditional art?

Many lessons in our courses apply to both digital and traditional art. In a few tutorials, digital drawing software, e.g. Photoshop or Procreate for iPad is required. However, for the majority of lessons it is more about the underlying concepts and all that is needed is a pen and paper.

40 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

Can I download the course videos?

You can download the course resources (exercise sheets, assignments, PSD files, etc.) from the site, but you cannot download the video lessons to your computer.

45 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

How much does a membership cost?

Normally it costs $199/year. However, there is a special sale running now for a limited time: Save 75%! This means you can get an annual membership for just $49 USD/year.

Also available is a monthly membership at $9.99 USD/month.

If you purchase the annual or monthly membership at a discounted price, it will remain at that price for each consecutive year/month, so long as your membership is not cancelled.

61 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

How does the 30-day guarantee work?

If for any reason at all you are unhappy with our courses or feel it isn’t what you are looking for—then just fill out this form or email us at [email protected]. We’ll be more than happy to give you a full refund within 30 days of your first purchase. No questions asked. Just a guarantee you can trust.

34 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

How do I cancel my membership?

You can easily cancel your membership renewal on your My Account page. Follow the prompts to cancel (Billing > Change Plan > Cancel Membership) and your membership will immediately be terminated. Please note: Refunds ONLY possible within 30 days after the date of purchase.

If you have more questions, please check out our Knowledge base or write to us here. We’re happy to assist in any way we can!

28 people found this helpful
Was this answer helpful?
Yes
No

More from 21 Draw

About 21 Draw

21 Draw offers online courses and books on how to be a better artist for students of all skill levels. Our contributing artists and instructors are the best in the world.
Explore Courses & Books
Preview course
Watch the trailer
Access to ALL courses
Get access to this course and 15+ more
$49USD/Year $199 USD/Year
left at this price!
Get Started
(including this course)
OR
$24.99USD $39.99 Single Course
Lifetime access
No commitments
Cancel Anytime
30-Day Money-back Guarantee
Still not sure?
Check out our FAQ
Save 75% on our Masterclass annual membership. Get started