Where do the arms go?
Lately I’ve noticed a reoccurring problem with me and my drawings. I have no idea where to put the arms. I’ll gave a dynamic and interesting pose otherwise (a curved spine, uneven weight distribution, all that) but the arms don’t really fit into the picture. It’ll look a little like this:
Assuming you weren’t born armless, you’ve probably relied on your arms all your life, to communicate and perform simple and complicated tasks. They seem to be the most useful, if not important, limbs attached to one’s body. Why, then, is it difficult for me to find a place for them? Arms are certainly purposeful. One might argue that they symbolize purpose. However, they seem to me to serve different functions than legs or feet. If you think of the body as separated into four sections, like so:
… Sections one, two, and three are part of one sweeping line. The arms are not “connected”. The spine, the legs, the neck- they all exist with purpose built in. Section one supports two and two supports three. Three’s purpose is to point to the focus of the drawing. Section four (the arms) seems to serve no purpose as it doesn’t support anything.
This is only the case for drawings of people simply “posing”. If you give the subject an umbrella, the arms finally have purpose.
I suppose the answer to this dilemma is to throw a prop into the picture. Maybe I can keep a character’s arms empty without putting his hands in his pockets or floating them whimsically around. Maybe the only thing I need is to find the secret to purpose…
… But until then,