Action Sketching: Prepare for fast and really good sketching

Sketching to achieve your objectives is a skill you need to develop, much like playing effective soccer. Contrary to many myths, however, it does not require hours of study to produce illustrations that are appreciated by your mates.
Over time, great artists whose works appear in museums, used “tricks of the trade,” some of which I’ll show you in this series. They certainly did not struggle to achieve pleasing illustrations, nor did they argue about what right or wrong methods to use when drawing!
My objective, then, is to show you how you can integrate action sketching into your passions with soccer and be proud of your work.
In recent blogs, I’ve showed you how to use aids, such as a dynamic soccer photograph and an inexpensive, lifelike manikin, both of which can be traced.
Unfortunately, people who rely exclusively on tracing produce work that looks like what you see below, which is similar to what’s seen in training materials.
example of tracing the human form
A plain trace can be informative and it certainly does help the sketcher master proportions, but it is not dynamic. Soccer, of course, is dynamic.
In my last blog, I showed you how to pose a manikin similar to what you see in a still image, in this case of soccer player Collin Martin.
example of posing a manikin
After the manikin is posed, it can be viewed from many angles, all hidden within a single action shot. The manikin below, for example, is the one posed like the photographic reference, but seen from the front.
Example of a soccer player in action via a manikin
While I can draw without tracing, I cannot imagine all the different angles that take place during a split second of fast action. By lightly tracing the above manikin photo onto printer paper with an inexpensive BIC mechanical pencil, then embellishing the drawing with clothing, convincing action can be created similar to reality, but entirely based on imagination.
Example of a quickly drawn action sketch on Soccer Sketching on Soccer-views
I’ll discuss different sketching techniques in the future, but rest assured, even if you do not have drawing skills, by using “tricks of the trade,” you can quickly and easily learn how to draw like this, much to the delight of your teammates and others.