Gesture Drawing, Part 1: Introduction
Gesture drawing is many things: a way to "see", a technique of drawing, an exercise, a defined "scribble", and a finished style. In the sequences of pages that follow, gesture drawing will be demonstrated in many of its facets.
Want to Draw Well? Gesture Drawing is a Great Beginning!
Everyday objects like the above, are excellent sources for practice in learning gesture drawing skills.
Steps to Success
1. FOCUS--- constantly. The eye, a wonderful camera estimates proportions, contours, movement, and contrasts quickly. Determine contours first, then interior shapes and shadows.
2. DRAW LIGHTLY---for the 1st "layer" as a rough draft; darker for the 2nd drawing corrections right over the 1st layer adding contrast; then, the darkest 3rd layer with deep shadows and final contours.
3. DRAW QUICKLY--- The entire image is viewed in a blink. Make the pencil follow content flashed to the brain. Keep the pencil/pen in constant circular and linear motion. Catch the form, not the details.
4. CONSTANT MOVEMENT---is a necessity. Quick, light drawing makes for easy clarifications in succeeding layers. Move eyes with quick returns without moving the head. Accuracy takes patience, perseverance and lots of practice.
5. TIMED DRAWINGS---from 10-30 seconds for skill practices of single shapes and 1-2 minutes for grouping objects together. It's a challenge only in the beginning.
6. NO ERASING. Step 2 is the key. Gesture drawing's purpose is to develop visual skills which will effect expertise. Erasing breaks focus and wastes time.
What Is Gesture Drawing?
Basically, it is a method of training hands to quickly sketch what the brain has already seen. Staying "focused" means sustained concentration. Once you start drawing, don't stop--there's only 10-30 seconds to finish! As you proceed in skill development, drawings should be "grouped" with overlapped shapes and time extended up to 2 minutes. This is Gesture practice.
Click "d." for full view.
These are 2 very different gesture drawings.
Both are large "summary" works (24"x36"), which employ the skills learned in finished drawings. Large gesture drawings of overlapped objects are very attractive.
The enlarged size expands the ability to estimate good proportions between the shapes and to apply the "layer" concept in bigger dimensions.
The difference is that the top bottle design is a gesture drawing and the bottom still life is a composition in gesture style.
Gesture STYLE allows the designer to incorporate gesture concepts in part or all of the design as a finished expressive mode of pencil drawing.
Click the images for full views.
| This is the beginning--the first step--to know the form and purpose of gesture drawing. Of course, like any learning, it takes practice to effect the skill. The next section will demonstrate the work of first gesture experience learners using ordinary pencils and pens. Please take a look at Gesture 2: Black Media Gesture and view some interesting drawings.|