We have mentioned the phrase “gesture drawing” quite a few times on this site. Gesture drawing is actually my favourite kind of drawing so you will see more posts in the future.
Here is a quick recap about gesture drawing:
- Gesture drawing is an opportunity to go after the energy, weight and tension in the pose
- Warm up mentally and physically
- First impression
- Work of art defined by quick execution
- Often as little as 30 seconds or as long as 2 minutes
- Attempt to quickly capture action and movement
- Avoid details like facial features, fingers or detailed shading
- Capture the essence of a pose
- Focus is on the ‘feeling’ of a pose, not perfect proportion or accuracy.
I have included quite a few examples in the past but I am always coming across more that I want to share with you. The impressions below are quite different to each other so I included them to highlight the fact that there is no one style of gesture drawing, as you can see here some artists use line to describe the figure (first image) some use mass (second image). You can of course use both line and mass! (third image).
Here are some gesture drawings:
Example above by artist Derek Overfield. This work is for sale.
How to make a gesture drawing
I found a great source of helpful info for beginners at this education website.
DRAWING PROCESS – GENERAL GUIDELINES
Break the charcoal to about 1 ½ inches.
Look at the subject as you draw, only glance at the paper.
Once you begin, keep the marks continuous, don’t loose contact with the paper.
Draw the most obvious directions and general shapes.
Look for longest line in the subject. Is it a curve, diagonal, horizontal, or vertical?
Do not follow the outline.
Gesture Line drawing
Use line: thick, thin, wide, narrow, heavy, light
Describe interior forms.
Follow the movement of your eye.
Use the tip and side of your charcoal, rotate you wrist as you draw. Move your hand in the direction the shape is moving. It is easier to draw a vertical line with the edge of your charcoal rather than the tip.
Gesture Mass drawing
Use broad marks rather than line.
Draw with the side of the charcoal.
Break charcoal to about 1 ½ inches.
Begin at the center of the form, the interior of the body, the core of the object.
Note the base line of still life objects.
If you want to do some gesture drawing right now
Try our timed pose video (there are more of these if you are a member).