30 1 min poses as promised... and a few thoughts about quick sketches in general

Home Forums Critique 30 1 min poses as promised... and a few thoughts about quick sketches in general

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Aunt Herbert 3 years ago.

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    OK, as I promised to Polyvios Animations 2 days ago, here is a full set of 28 1 min poses (I did 30, but somewhere along the line lost 2)

    Some things that I thought important for this series:

    #1 30 drawings means 30 pages!

    I saw in the critique section a lot of people uploading whole sessions on a single page. I don't think that's a good way to learn drawing. There is this somewhat unclear buzz word of "bold lines" thrown around a lot. Bold lines are first and foremost long lines, that dominate the entire page. Practicing to scribble itsy bitsy tiny scribblings, that would fit on a post stamp can't possibly help to ever develop bold lines. Learning to draw from elbow or even shoulder can't work if the entire final piece is less than an inch in diameter.

    The clear drawback of using a page for each drawing is, that especially for quick drawings, scanning and uploading the result takes longer than actually producing it, and gets quite annoying quite fast. I will probably refrain from publishing a whole 30 images series at once in future, and instead only pick 2 or 3 of the results, that I am especially proud of, or especially curious how other people react. I also find the exact set-up of the line-of-action page a bit unwieldy for uploading a large number of files, that is why I provided a link to my artstation account instead. Everyone feel free to browse my "old" stuff since fall 2020, too, my name is Stefan Bast (AuntHerbert is a bit of an inside joke, that ends with me shouting: "My name is not Herbert, and I am not your aunt!).

    Naturally using more pages also uses up more material, but I think for quick sketches common writing paper is good enough. No need to waste handmade drawing paper for warmups, so cheap material doesn't break the bank account.

    #2 Quick sketches means fewer lines!

    I saw a lot of sketches asking for critique, from people that apparently used the short time provided by the lesson, to scribble a lot of barely controlled lines, until an impression of the image they aimed for emerges. If they enjoy doing that, more power to them, joy in drawing IS visible in the end result, and if they do it often enough, they will get better, too. But, lots of lines with little control is pretty much the definition of a messy image, and practicing to draw hastily and messy isn't a good way towards developing a clear and narrative style.

    The idea of quick sketches as I have been taught is to learn to indicate the pose, face, animal, object,.... with as few lines as possible. Learning to avoid getting lost in unnecessary details, reducing the image to essential expressions and simple forms.

    I added a number next to every drawing, that number indicates the number of brush strokes that I counted out loud while doing the drawing. In theory, every curve, slanted line or straight line should be counted as 1 stroke. I must admit, that counting while drawing is a bit distracting, and I sometimes lost count, or counted lines that are actually too complex as a single stroke, so the number isn't always super exact.

    Ideally, using fewer lines also allow more time to plan and execute each individual line! I am by far not a master yet, and I am still drawn towards using too many lines with too little control to indicate the image. I averaged around 15 strokes per minute, probably 10 or 5 strokes per minute would be better practice, which allows for up to 10 seconds or more to plan, prepare and execute each individual mark on the paper.

    OK, enough with the arrogant explanations, here is the link to the session, if it doesn't work, shout and holler and I will try to fix it:


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    Great job on your 30 1 minute poses, Stefan. Way to go!!

    Again, I'm not feeling enough freedom and confidence in the lines of action and their flow. Would you please be more broader and wider, with 60 more 29 second sketches of all figure studies? (all horizontal and/or vertical)

    The reason why you would do this idea is because of two reasons:

    1) To get into the perception of edges, the right-side of the brain, all in quick sketches

    2) To help you have some fun with the lines of rhythm of the spines and limbs.

    For some more inspiration, please check out and download this image here:


    It's of another Wilhelm Busch, before Wilhelm M. Busch, that former Disney animator, Andreas Deja, posts or posted nonstop.

    My hat's off to you, and I hope you'll find these completely and totally practical to your goal.


    Stefan, you've got some great work amongst the sketches that you've posted, showing a nice sense of gesture, form, weight. You clearly have a good handle on anatomy and figure drawing. Now, amonst the strong sketches, you've also got some that are not quite as strong - appearing flat, distorted, or sometimes even difficult to read. That's perfectly okay. This site is all about practice and repetition, and we're all going to have some drawings that aren't perfect. If you're not doing it already, I'd recommend after each session reviewing your weaker drawings and asking yourself how they could be improved. Make a note of your self-critiques, and review them before your next drawing session.

    I'm also curious as to how this exercise fits into your overall plan for growth. I concur that putting effort into drawing with fewer lines is a good learning exercise, but if you intend to practice counting lines on a regular basis you're probably going to hinder your growth. Trying to keep track of your "line tally" is going to disrupt your rhythm and steal your focus from the model. If minimizing lines is a goal, you may want to try drawing the same model over and over again, conscriously reducing the number of lines you use each time. This will teach you how to say a lot with a little.

    However, I wouldn't recommend obsessing over keeping your lines to a minimum or avoid scribbles at all cost. While we don't want to draw line after line trying to find each limb, drawing quickly and expressively means occasionally drawing a line incorrectly and simply drawing the correct line on top of it. Sure, the end result is a ilttle scratchy and scribble-y, but you preserve the expressiveness and freedom Polyvious Animations mentioned.


    OK, thanks, those are good ideas, I'll try that.

    ...and just for the sake of being silly:

    Als die gute Wittwe Bolte
    Sich von ihrem Schmerz erholte,
    Dachte ſie ſo hin und her,
    Daß es wohl das Beſte wär,
    Die Verſtorb'nen, die hienieden
    Schon ſo frühe abgeſchieden,
    Ganz im Stillen und in Ehren
    Gut gebraten zu verzehren. —
    — Freilich war die Trauer groß,
    Als ſie nun ſo nackt und bloß
    Abgerupft am Heerde lagen,
    Sie, die einſt in ſchönen Tagen
    Bald im Hofe, bald im Garten
    Lebensfroh im Sande ſcharrten. —
    Ach, Frau Bolte weint auf's Neu,
    Und der Spitz ſteht auch dabei.


    this is really good advice for me


    I think you've done a really good job capturing the overall pose and fluidity of the motion. However, I do see some hesitance in some of the strokes and that may be because of you counting them out loud which does sound distracting. Why not try ignoring the number of strokes and just trying to get full fluidity in your motion? That I think would be more beneficial than making sure you're using a minimum number of lines. All the best.


    OK, full exposure: I actually did this once or twice, because I thought it was fun, ... it was, but it probably isn't the bee's knee either. I think practicing a lot is important. Following a strict pattern in training has the advantage, that you always know what to draw, and don't waste extra time and energy on contemplating. It has the clear disadvantage, that it can become boring and repetitive, so introducing new rules just to play around with can liven it up.

    Finding a fun new rule to follow makes me feel good for a while, and I tend to get overly excited at first. I have an overarching theory brewing, that making up rules (and talking overexcited BS about them) might actually be an integral part of art as a whole, more likely at least part of my development as an artist. It certainly beats zoning out on youtube vids or netflix instead of drawing.

    I still think actually counting strokes out loud might be a good practice for more people than just me. I strongly doubt by now that it is the fully mapped out highway to nirvana, but it can be an interesting piece of road along the way.

    Enough blathering, I'll turn on the engine and start sketching. Maybe I'll post some of the sketches in a few hours, just to say hello.


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