Sunday, 27 February 2011

Gesture Drawing

Feeling Down
Gesture Drawing - 24 February 2011
Graphite Pencil on Paper
28cm x 25.5cm (11" x 10")

Some more strange drawings from The Natural Way to Draw.

A Gesture Drawing is a scribbled study drawn in a minute. The instructions for the initial exercise are to draw what the subject is doing rather than what it is or what it looks like. The instruction in a later exercise is to draw why it is doing what it is doing. The objective is not to draw the outline or the shape of the subject. The aim is to experience the pose and to identify with the model – to draw what if feels like to be in the pose.

The drawings I have posted may not be good gesture drawings because in both of them, the form is clear, but they are my favourites.

In Feeling Down, I can see sadness in the position of the shoulders, head and hand.

In Lighting the Blue Touch Paper, I can see someone that is stretching out to light a firework, but at the same time is trying to stay as far away as possible and is ready to run for it.

I am not sure I am making much progress with Gesture Drawing, but I am getting a lot of practice - 65 drawings a weeks. I sometimes struggle for enthusiasm, but I feel sorry for Elaine. She is doing 65 of these poses a week. Some days we struggle for ideas. Initially we tried groups like the 7 dwarfs, the 7 deadly sins, yoga positions, letters of the alphabet – the list goes on. Now we tend to go through the alphabet drawing an emotion for each letter. Who knows what we will try next.

I’ve already roped Rachael into doing some poses. If I come to visit you or you come to visit us, you are going to get stung for 25 poses. Before I started this course I may have been too shy to ask, but now I don’t think any excuse will be accepted.

Lighting the Blue Touch Paper
Gesture Drawing - 24 February 2011
Graphite Pencil on Paper
25.5cm x 28cm (10" x 11")


  1. Looking forward to your visit and doing some poses. Have you got any of 'man holding pint of beer' - i'll get in some practise.
    Sounds like a demanding excercise. Are the sketches getting better/easier?

  2. David,

    I am looking forward to visiting and capturing you in a customary pose. The gesture drawings aren’t getting any easier. Their quality is difficult to evaluate because the idea is to experience the pose and respond to it. Producing a meaningful drawing isn’t the objective. The drawings are intended for the bin. It is an exercise to develop skills not works of art. I suspect it is supposed to be mentally taxing and to remain so.

    All the best,


  3. I'm just starting the gesture drawings in The Natural Way to Draw. God be with me...

    1. Sorry for the delay in replying. Blogger has stopped alerting me to new comments. All the best for 2017 and the Natural Way to Draw.