Thought I would kick off my newly updated blog by posting this write up about some poses I did for a class a while back. It's pretty relevant, and I tried to use three different mediums to show how important poses are, and what a really strong pose can communicate (such as emotion, status, and story). I'll try to do some more posts like this soon.
The Big Lebowski
This first pose(s) is from Big Lebowski. This shot is from the well known sequence where Walter demands Smokey to mark his frame zero for stepping over the line. There isn't just one great pose here, there's four. The composition of the shot perfectly contains each one as well. Walter's line of action is stiff, and angled to the left, with every part of his body pointing right at Smokey. It shows how serious and angry he is. He is clearly the one with the highest status. Smokey's low status is shown through his pose, which is angled to the left, and away from Walter. He still looks straight on though, because there is probably a part of him that knows Walter wouldn't really pull the trigger over something like this. The Dude and Donny have great poses in the background as well. Donny is angled back, head turned, but eyes focused on Walter. The Dude is relaxed and mellow, as always, even in this tense situation. He also has a high status to Smokey as he casually points a pencil at him (in contrast Walter's gun).
I chose this pose of Russel from Pixar's Up because of the facial expression. This is the pose right after Russel says the line "...I could, help you cross your yard?" It's a great expression because he's trying to stay positive and convince Carl to let him help him even though he's already been denied. You can see he's a little hesitant by the way his left eyebrow dips down in the middle and his mouth has a tiny bit of "sneer". What I really like about the expression, and it's something I just started noticing, is the direction. His eyebrows, eyes, and mouth all have a direction that's pointing to the right, in an area around his net. The eyebrows are angled down a bit, while the eyes, cheeks, and mouth are angled up. It makes the expression more dynamic and also expressive, rather than just having them all completely flat. There's also some nice perspective.
Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour
These last two poses are from the Scott Pilgrim comic by Bryan Lee O'Malley. If you haven't read them, they're really great, and have some fantastic art. It was hard to pick one pose (so I did two). This one I really love because of the energy and silhouette. I'm always trying to pay attention to the silhouette of characters to see if it makes sense or if it's too complicated. This pose is great because Bryan drew in the silhouette in two different draws and two different distances. Because of that choice, the pose had to be really strong so it made sense from far away. There's a ton of energy in this pose, even though in live action it would be completely still too, aside from his jacket blowing. The whole pose kind of looks like an arrow, especially in the smallest silhouette, which makes sense story wise because Scott is returning home, with some kind of purpose. With just one line of text and a really strong pose, this single page communicates a ton of information and emotion.
Since the comic is heavily based on the fights Scott gets into, the poses really have to be energetic and forceful. These two come from his battle with "Nega-Scott" in the 6th book, and it's so great because of the story it tells. Again, just by looking at this drawing you get an idea of what's going on without knowing the back story. Here are two of the same characters, one is dark, the other light, so it's obviously a good vs evil situation. The darker character, Nega-Scott, is giving a huge upper cut to Scott, who flies into the air. There's great overlapping in Scott's legs which are still leaving the ground, and his arms which are catching up to his head, which is completely backwards since it took the energy of his punch the quickest. You can really sense the transfer of energy from Nega-Scott, whose line of action is curving upwards through his lower body, and up through his fist. I also LOVE the contrast between their lines of action. Completely opposites. It even looks like a yin-yang, which further supports the "good vs evil" theme.