Gesture drawing revisited



In an older post I discussed what gesture drawing is, and suggested that I would put up some of my own gesture drawings – well here they are – three drawings with the photograph above as reference taken from the book Art Models 4: Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts by Maureen and Douglas Johnson. I hope to review this at a later date.




The aim of gesture or rhythm drawing is not to reproduce form, shading or anatomy but to capture the ‘life’ of the picture – in a person this is the sense of movement or action – the feeling that you have captured an essential part of their movement.

There are two reasons in my opinion to practice gesture – the first is to get used to seeing the action in a picture so you can more accurately place it down on paper. The second is to be able to draw a figure from imagination that looks as though it is not posed like a doll. You can use a gesture drawing as a base for adding the anatomical details and shading later.

Note that neither of these requires you to draw anatomically accurate drawings – in fact this detracts from the capture of motion and gesture. In the first of the three gesture drawings above I have tried too much to get anatomy – the pose looks heavy and static. The second and third are better – they have more flowing lines and a greater sense of life. In my opinion the third is the best. I get a real sense of the models balance from this.

For a massively better set of examples of gesture drawing, watch the Proko video below.


Remember – practice at least 10-15 a day until you get the hang of it (I do) and make sure your lines are clean. More coming soon.


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