GESTURES: One way to approach gesture drawing
Hey folks! I've been through a few sketchbooks recently and I noticed a similar problem people are having with gesture drawings; that is people are drawing the outer form of the figures and not focusing on the pose and internal bone structure. Gesture drawings are not supposed to be outer line drawings of the figure; that's a whole different study altogether.

Here I've compiled some steps of one way to approach gesture drawing. (if you have 30 seconds or less your drawing will obviously have to be done much quicker, but similar steps apply, this is just for the sake of showing some of the steps I go through)

Step 0: Don't worry about being messy; the whole point is to loosen up. it's not about making a pretty drawing, it's about capturing the essence of the pose. Also, use long sweeping motions with your whole arm if possible and not just your wrist.

Step 1: First try to capture the movement of head and the spine
[Image: G01.jpg]

Step 2: Draw in a quick rib cage
[Image: G02.jpg]

Step 3: Draw some positional lines on the figure to show where in relation are the clavicle/shoulders, the breasts and the hips and their "twists" (This will also help later when fleshing it out)
[Image: G03.jpg]

Step 4: Draw in top part of legs and put in a positional line
[Image: G04.jpg]

Step 5: Draw in bottom part of legs and put in positional lines
[Image: G05.jpg]

Step 6: Draw in the arms and put in any needed positional lines
[Image: G06.jpg]

Step 7: With whatever time you have left flesh out the figure as much as you can. Remember those positional lines? They will now help you connect the body parts together much easier. Don't even try to be clean, that will come with time and practice.
[Image: G07.jpg]


With a gesture drawing you want to capture a pose as quickly as possible. Let's say you have 30 seconds on a pose. Do you want to spend your time drawing the edge-lines/contour of a figure? Are you really going to capture the essence of the pose with contour lines? For me personally, it's a waste of time, and at best you're going to capture maybe half or less of the figure with the time that you have, and it's most likely, if you aren't experienced, going to look disfigured.

So, how are you going to go about capturing a pose with so little time?

Let's say you're working with this image and you only have 30 seconds
How will you capture the whole figure in that time?
[Image: Gestureexample.jpg]

First of all, I would look at the figure as a whole.

Try to look to look at the image as one fluid line, or action line.
[Image: G09.jpg]
[Image: G08.jpg]
Try to look at the image as one big overall shape.
[Image: Gestureexample03.jpg]

The point is, before you even lay your pencil down to paper, look at the figure in its entirety, and look at the shape it's making.

Gesture drawing is about being able to capture the feel of a pose in it's entirety. Even 10 seconds should be enough to capture an entire pose if you approach it the right way.

The only easy way to do this is with simple lines. Forget the fleshy parts of the figure for a bit and try to think of the figure as a skeletal mannequin. Here is a great example by Andrew Loomis:

Stay loose and fluid and you have the ability to not only capture complex poses in a short amount of time, but feel a lot more freedom while drawing.

Also, don't push aside gesture drawing after you move on to do something more complex; like a finished piece of work. You should always start your work off with a gesture and build on it.

Just look at the information there is about gesture drawing, think carefully, continue to experiment, and you will come up with your OWN method of doing gestures sooner or later, because there really isn't just one way.

Here are some other great methods to gesture drawing

Some links provided by Darktiste

Uploaded Images
499 full bodied poses (women)
Use a slide show image program like XnView set random order and set your gesture times 30 secs+

300+ faces
Thanks Dennis, This is very helpful. I'm going have to bust out some Gestures real soon!

Sketchbook ▲  Website ▲ TwitterArtStation ▲ Twitch ▲

Awesome Dennis :D Thanks for it!

I couldn't watch on the left at all.
(08-09-2012, 02:08 AM)SINED Wrote: I couldn't watch on the left at all.

Can't blame you. Th_113_
Very, very helpful!!!
I just started doing gestures and I was doing exactly that! Drawing the outer lines! Thanks a bunch for this informative guide! I'll put it to use tomorrow (:
Simple, yet very informative.

Nice one, Dennis, thanks for sharing =)

Opinions are like assholes... we've all got one of 'em
Blog - DA Profile "Eraza" - CD Sketchbook "Mathias' Markings"
The pictures do not show anymore?..
Sorry about that, my domain died. Images are back up now!
Found this a while back and it's been really helpful to my gesture drawings thanks man.
Updated this and added some Proko links; maybe some will find that helpful. Feel free to throw in any other links in here you think might help with gesture drawing.
Jenya, Ariel...OMG. I guess drawing is not the only interest we share here.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 8 Guest(s)