Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stepping Up To The Plate

A gesture drawing can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes. I decided to set a challenge for myself and do these in one minute instead of two. I was surprisingly satisfied with my one minute gestures, drawn from the photos I posted here yesterday. I only wish I had drawn them a little darker so you could see them better. I used a soft 4B pencil held like a wand at various angles to the paper to draw. There is a beautiful, intuitive quality to a good gesture drawing. It has to happen so fast and it becomes so spontaneous that your left brain has no time to get in the way. 

I know I wouldn't have done so well a month ago! It's amazing how much practice everyday changes things, even if it's just for a few minutes! It is such an important skill to keep exercising. Drawing, like music or dance, is something that requires constant effort. "Draw, as much and as often as you can. When drawing lies fallow, the skill diminishes." ~ Gene Black

Susan and Vicki are really stepping up to the plate here this summer. Both girls sent in more sketches since yesterday's post and both are getting closer to the idea of "gesture"! Way to go! Lets keep the ball rolling here, gang.  Ten minutes a day will get you started. I encourage you do do these exercises again. Also do the 1/4 turn exercise with your own objects. There is nothing quite like drawing from life.

I'm going to post more about gesture drawing here all week. When doing it, we want to exaggerate movement, sloping quality, angles and length. When doing gestures in figure drawing class in art school, we would always draw a circle for the head and then draw a line down the page to the supporting foot. Here are some of my two minute gesture drawings from college to illustrate my point. We all (myself included) need to pay more attention to the internal forms and be less concerned with and confined to the outer contour.

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