I used to believe that capturing the exact details of the model was the secret to a better and eventually prettier drawing. I used to focus on all of the bumps and all of the details.
Eventually, I realized that this approach is the secret to an unproportionate and a pretty ugly drawing
BUT the reality is the detail is nothing without the gesture. Sometimes we can get the gesture right by accident, but we should not rely on accidents and master the art of gesture.
The gesture is in everything.
It is an approach to drawing which allows you to draw anything.
Use gesture to tell a story by capturing the body language. We use the whole body, not just words to communicate ideas and emotions.
This is what a gesture should capture. What is he doing? How is he feeling? What is he going to do?
This could be told just through a few lines of the body and can identify the emotions the person is feeling just through.
It is going to be a good idea to exaggerate the pose to tell a story. As you become more skilled at exaggerating, you will also improve in capturing the subtleties.
To those of you who don’t think that this is inspiring and do not want people to look like spaghetti. Remember, this is not meant to be a finished drawing!
It is an exercise to practice a concept. You are training your mind to see the rhythm in everything that you draw. You are training your mind to consider more than just contours when you are taking shape. It is important that needs to be intuitive.
So, let’s begin with the basics…
What is Gesture?
Rhythm, action, motion, flow. All of them basically mean the same thing which refers to the movement between things. It is the movement that connects tones and forms together.
Your journey mastering the quick sketch and human proportions are going to be a long but an exciting one. There is a lot to learn and every time you will learn something new, your sketches will show improvement.
5 concepts to a better gesture drawing
1)The Longest axis
When you look at a form and try to find the gesture, look at its longest axis.
Going down the length of the torso, the length of the leg, down the length of the arm. It is in the longest axis of each form where you will find the fluid motion from one form to the next.
To eliminate unnecessary information and to capture that gesture, the lines you use should be simple.
Do not use anything more complicated than a C curve, S curve or simple straight line. You can use the combination of these curves as you move down the figure, but attempt to do it in a few lines as possible, using the simplest lines: C,S or I.
3)Line of action
Start by finding the longest action line of the body. Try to find the curve which can connect the head to the toes. Not all poses can be described with one long line that connects the head to the toe.
But there is always one main line which directly shows the directional flow of the pose. This is called the line of action.
Some poses may need to be broken up into more parts. For example, the sharp turn in the hips which is important, so describing with the soft turn would not be right. So, as A result, I would use the combination of the C curves for the torso and the S curves for the legs.
4)Relaxed and Tense curves
The bendiness of the curve you use changes how the gesture feels. The longer fluid curve feels more relaxed and moves the eye quickly through that flow, as you start to bend that curve more, you should feel more tension in the gesture.
Eventually, when it is bent far enough, you can use a zig-zag. It indicates tension, sharp corners. Very sudden changes in the movement.
Tension = zigzag
Calm and relaxed = Flowing Curve
5)The Asymmetry of the body
Consider the asymmetrical aspect of the body from the side.
The form alternate in angle from the head, rib cage, pelvis, upper leg and lower leg. This leaves alternating C curves. The tendency for us is to make things symmetrical.
But this stiffens the gesture and makes the figure look like a snowman.
Now it is time for you to practice drawing them
The better approach would be to practice finding the gesture so many times until it would become second nature.
Quick sketch is a common exercise in art school where you draw a model from life within a few minutes. It usually would last for 2 to 3 hours for 30 seconds to 2 minutes per pose.
The gesture is the primary concern. Doing this exercise will train you immediately to see the gesture. Then you will be able to design the details to complement the gesture, instead of copying the details randomly.
During the normal session, you will finish somewhere from 25 to 100 sketches. Think about that! You are drawing a human figure up to a hundred times within a couple of hours. The best thing about it is that it is fun if you will not stress over it.
30 second and 2-minute poses
LOOK FOR THE MOTION NOT THE CONTOUR
You can start with the head or the torso. There are no rules about that.
Then, find the gesture line of the neck, and action line to the foot.
Now, you need to notice which side is pinching and which side is stretching.
Find some rhythm line for the legs and the arms.
It is only a few lines but that would be enough to explain what the pose is doing.
Are you serious at mastering human body? Do you have a dream to be able to draw professionally human body?
I have taken this course and You will love it for sure as it helped me a lot myself.
I remember being so tired of all of the failed attempts and messed up drawing of people. This art course is a must for any artist at any level
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P.S. If you want some free tips on how to draw, they are also available