Do you solemnly swear to draw the action, the whole action, and nothing but the action? The whole shape language thing is an interesting challenge… in animation, you suddenly have to be consciously aware of the silhouette that is required – having to analyse the component parts that make up the movement.
Everything about the pose should read clearly, and you can use this to your advantage for good solid performance, and story – to create the centre of interest. In this case, the face is the centre of interest… the audience will want that… because they want to experience the feelings that the actor is portraying on screen. Notice how everything points toward the face, directing your eye to that point of focus.
The action will tell you everything you need to know – your eyes will be focused on the face, but you are consciously aware of the rest of the body too. You feel it!
This post takes influence from Walter Standchfield’s DRAWN TO LIFE… as he puts it: “when you perform a movement of some kind, your body, without you having to think too much about it, does it for you.”
The frame (above) is taken from a clip found on FilmStruck’s Twitter page – “THE RED SHOES” (1948).