One mistake people make that causes them to draw stiff is a bulky lineart.

How to Draw Less Stiff

One of the questions that beginning artists ask themselves (and me) is: “Why are my drawings so stiff?” Your anatomy may seem to be accurate, everything you did was fine.  However, something IS wrong.  But you don’t know what, and that’s the problem, right? 

It took way too long for me to get where I am.  So, I decided to do something for all you dear, suffering artists around the world.  I’m going to show you a shortcut.  Learn from my mistakes so you can fix this problem as fast as possible.  Because I want to cover every detail of this topic, so everything is CLEAR, this blog will probably be long.  But don’t worry, it will save you months of breaking your pencils, and pulling out your hair.  Without further ado, this blog will explain how to draw less stiff.

An important step of learning how to draw more dynamic, or less stiff, is to know the difference between a stiff and a dynamic drawing. In my opinion, there are two types of mistakes that beginning artists make when they draw people

Stiff Composition

The first mistake being that the drawings tend to have a stiff composition. It is quite often that people don’t think about the composition when they create a sketch.  But it is very important when you want to make your drawing look less stiff. In fact, the first thing you do when you start on a drawing SHOULD be defining the composition. You should create a few guidelines that show the movement of your character. It is important to do so even when your character is standing still. Now, the question arises: How do you create a good composition?
How to create a good composition
How to create a good composition
You should start with a soft outline. It does not have to be perfect, the goal is simply to have an idea of what shape the drawing should have. Then, draw some basic shapes to define where the head, torso, arms and legs will be. Everywhere the body parts meet, draw a soft circle. Remember: Don’t draw the details. ONLY the shapes that the body parts should have.  For example, when you want to define the shape of the hand, draw something similar to this:
When sketching, leave the minor details such as the hands for last.
When sketching, leave the minor details such as the hands for last.
When you begin drawing the actual sketch, focus on the big picture. Draw rough lines, and try to keep the proportions more rounded than in real life. Don’t be scared to try dozens of times before you get the right line, and don’t be scared to erase. And again, remember, the details like fingers or face should be your last step.  This will help you to draw less stiff.

Bulky Lineart

The second big sin is Bulky Lineart.  What is that? Just like you see on the comic below, one drawing looks good, and the other looks… bulky. All other things are exactly the same, the proportions are identical.  

However, the way you draw the lines, hold your pencil and the amount of pressure you use will help you to draw less stiff.

One mistake people make that causes them to draw stiff is a bulky lineart.
One mistake people make that causes them to draw stiff is a bulky lineart.

How can you solve this issue and draw less stiff?  There are a few things that will improve your lines immediately. One of the most important is to relax your hand.  Actually, relax your whole arm.  Don’t worry about creating the perfect line in one stroke. Try to draw a little more chaotic.  Draw some soft guide lines to get a better idea of the lines that you will draw.  As you will see below, you can notice the difference between a drawing using one long stroke and a drawing with shorter, dynamic strokes.

To draw less stiff, use faster, more dynamic strokes.
To draw less stiff, use faster, more dynamic strokes.
When you draw more than one crazy line, it looks better, dynamic and neat. If the lines are too long or overlap, just erase the part that you don’t need. 
Also, it is easier if you lower the opacity of your brush, maybe even to 50%.  When it comes to your line thickness and opacity, focus on creating thicker and darker lines in places where the lines connect or bend.
Make lines thicker where they connect or bend.
Make lines thicker where they connect or bend.
Below, you will find some examples of when I use this technique in my own drawings.
To draw less stiff, make your lines thicker where lines connect and bend. Here are some examples of this in my drawing.
To draw less stiff, make your lines thicker where lines connect and bend. Here are some examples of this in my drawing.

Recommended Practice (learn how to draw less stiff)

When you apply the tips I have given you, you should see improvements immediately. But still, it takes a lot of practice to improve any hobby.  And if you want to become really good, you will have to work on it for a while. The perfect routine that I recommend to help you draw less stiff, is going to a website with references for sketching.  For example, reference.sketchdaily.net/en has plenty of good references.
Your goal is to draw around 30 poses a day. I know, it sounds like a lot, but you aren’t going to make a full drawing out of each one.  I want you to draw around 20 poses in 30 seconds each, 8 poses in 1 minute each and 2 poses in 5 minutes each. This adds up to only 28 minutes of training, but it will help you improve tremendously.  At the end of each practice session, you can pick a favorite and create a drawing out of it. This drawing routine is a good idea for every artist out there, because before you begin on drawing seriously, it’s important to warm up and this is a perfect way to do it.
     I hope everything is clear to you now. I really hope that this tutorial will help you improve and draw less stiff. If you want me to keep creating tutorial blogs like this one, you can support me by subscribing to my Youtube channel, following me on Instagram, sending this blog to your friends, and taking a look at my website where you can get all the Procreate brushes I use for my drawings. If you have any suggestions for what videos or blogs you would want me to make next, tell me in the comments below and MAYBE it’ll be the next video or blog I make. Bye byeee!

7 thoughts on “How to Draw Less Stiff”

  1. This was really helpful! I would never be able to draw, because i draw slowly and wasn’t relaxed. When i did it softer and faster, it worked like a charm! THANKS!

  2. The rules here that I didn’t already apply did not work at all 🙁 I always draw with soft, smooth, dynamic strokes but that “thicker lines where they meet/bend” rule totally didn’t work

  3. I haven’t tried this out yet because I use a third party stylus without pressure control but soon when I get an Apple Pencil I’m sure these tops will work beautifully! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge

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