Sunday, 8 July 2012

Gesture Drawing Revisited

Inspecting a Damaged Toenail
Gesture Drawing - 6 July 2012
Graphite Pencil on Paper
26.5cm x 20cm (10.5" x 8")

Many of the exercises in the Natural Way to Draw come and go. One minute gesture drawings and lots of them is the one unchanging part of the schedules (see Gesture Drawing and More Gesture Drawings).

Occasionally I get into a gesture drawing rut because there is so much of it, but currently, I am enjoying the exercise.

I had a break through after reading a section on gesture drawing in Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie L. Winslow. She suggests the key elements to look for when drawing a short pose are the central axis of the body and the angles of the shoulders and pelvis.

For a while, I started each gesture study by trying to draw the medial line – the results tended to be very stilted.

What works best for me is to be aware of the central axis but not necessarily to make it the first thing I draw. My favourite gesture drawings tend to be the ones in which I start by drawing the most important part of the pose. It helps if I imagine myself in the position before I start drawing. This makes it easier to identify the elements of the pose that make it different from any other similar pose. This is where I start the drawing.

Some Kind of Hamstring Stretch
Gesture Drawing - 6 July 2012
Graphite Pencil on Paper
23cm x 18cm (9" x 7")

My best gesture drawings now are probably not significantly better than the drawings on my original posts from over a year ago. What has changed is the consistency - more of the poses are recognisable from the drawings.

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