Action Sketching: Get more out of the game by creating action stories
Japanese of all ages create manga, which are graphic stories (novels) involving highly active characters.
In America, potential artists might claim they don’t have the skills to create graphic stories, but that is only because they haven’t learned the drawing tricks related to action positioning.
To accomplish their craft, Japanese manga artists rely on photography and sets of miniature manikins, popularly sold as COLOR-LILIJ Body Figures.
Everything about their manikin sets are described in Japanese, so don’t rely on the directions that come with these sets (unless you read Japanese).
The manikins are very small, as shown here relative to a standard sewing scissors. Each manikin comes with extra hands, feet, arms, and other implements that could be used to illustrate a story.
Below is a picture of one of my older manikins next to a new one being unpacked. If you think they look delicate, you’re right! They are easy to break, and, in fact, my old manikin is missing an arm because of that.
In order to keep the manikin stands and other items tight, you’ll need a tiny screwdriver as one does not come with the kit. Equally important, you’ll need a camera (a cell-phone camera will do), and perhaps additional reference photos. My next soccer sketching blog articles will discuss how to work with these things.
- COLOR-LILIJ Artist Drawing Figure
- Google search on “how to draw Japanese action poses” or “how to draw mangas.”
- How To Draw Action Poses: Foreshortening, by Whyt Manga, published on December 2016. YouTube. This training reference is very sophisticated, but it shows what you can do when inspired. Check his YouTube Channel for more tips and training.
- How to draw an ACTION POSE!【Kicking】. This is all in Japanese, but you can sense the enthusiasm and fun. Imagine what you see here as being part of a soccer game!
- Professional manga artist shows how to improve drawing skills in series of two-minute video clips. This very in depth demonstration is all in Japanese. Well, words don’t matter. Seeing how people draw is what counts.
- How to Draw The Figure in Perspective – Foreshortening: This video is in English! The “Virtual Instructor” is Matt (no last name). In addition to this free video, he offers a number of fee-based courses, all of which look quite good.
Americans are probably not aware of just how seriously the Japanese are about action art and because of that, skipped seeing tutorials on the subject. Spend time getting acquainted with them (even if you can’t understand a word they say) so you can start imagining your own soccer mangas.