If you're looking to find out how to draw (opens in new tab) motion in animals or people, you're in the right place. One solution to convey motion in a line drawing is to approach it like an animation. I would draw the hand or tail during the beginning of the motion, the height or middle of the motion as an in-between, and at the end of the motion.
It's crucial to draw one of these more boldly than the other two to suggest that it's the real one and the other two drawings are after- shadows from the movement.
To further support the illusion of movement in the line drawing I added a couple of lines that show the direction of the movement.
Because wagging tails and waving arms are a looping movement, I place the movement lines on the side or on top to show that the object is going back and forth. If I were to place the line directly behind or in front of the arm or tail, then it would look like it's only going in one direction.
Words: John Staub (opens in new tab)
John Staub is an illustrator and concept designer based in the Bay Area who is currently specialising in the games and publications field. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX (opens in new tab) issue 103.