Continuing with the Avatar kick here (be prepared, it’s likely not going to stop anytime soon, I still have Book 3 to finish), I decided to draw poses from each form of martial arts associated with the four forms of bending. (Didn’t get to Toph’s version of earth-bending today, but soon!). I think my favorite is the last one (tai chi/waterbending).
Looking into and drawing these poses makes me appreciate the animation and attention to detail in Avatar ten thousand times better. I can’t always describe how their bending techniques are different, but I can instantly tell they’re unique, and now I can really see the influence of each specific type of martial arts. Too cool.
(Also, you should see the weird angles their upper limbs get into in these poses. So hard to draw without making it look like their hands and arms are disjointed somehow).
Airbending is associated with Ba Gua:
Earthbending is associated with Hung Gar:
Firebending is associated with Northern Shaolin Kung Fu:
And waterbending is associated with Tai Chi:
If you ever go “man, I have no clue what to draw,” start looking up martial arts poses. They’re fun, I promise!