30' practice

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Wisdomsend 2 years ago.

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    Hi everyone,

    here is a 30 minute practice I made yesterday. i feel like I have improved somewhat in loosening my lines, but it seems like this comes at the cost of an accurate depiction. i'm curious to hear what thoughts and advice you might have upon viewing these. Thanks!


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    I must admit, I heard a lot about looseness of lines, I am rarely certain what that means.

    Looking at your 30 sec drafts, I can recognize the pose, and even the fotos you drawn from, from very few lines. This shows a good choice of what to draw. Looking at the quality of linework, it certainly varies a lot. Some lines are very broad and even seem smudged out, other lines are very thin on top of them. Sometimes you are satisfied with a single line, sometimes you start to scribble quite a bit to find a line.

    The one minute poses add more lines, but they look even more hasty, and some of the figures get harder to recognize instead of clearer. In the 5 and 10 minute poses I can better make out, what you aim to show, although the broad lines that indicate the shadow value sometimes plainly overshoot their intended shape.

    Maybe try to use fewer lines, but draw them slower and with more intent. A 30 sec or 1 minute sketch does not need to be "complete". If it's only a few lines, that's OK. Try to plan each individual line out on the paper, before you draw it, then draw it in one move, as beautiful as you can. And then let it be, don't correct it, just start planning the next line.

    Maybe also just spend some time practicing to draw geometric forms with even lines: parallels, curves, straight lines, that exactly connect 2 points without overshooting, etcetera. We have all seen straights and curves drawn so often, that we become quite convinced, that it's easy, but our brains need quite some training to connect what our eyes watch our pens do, with how to finetune the movement of our hands and arms.

    Will that make your lines "looser"? I don't know, definitely not immediately. Confidence is a slow growing weed.


    Thank you for taking the time for an honest and in depth comment. There is a lot to unpack here and it will certainly be useful to me moving on.


    Let me start off by saying I'm very impressed by what you can accomplish in 10 minutes. Those pieces are well shaded, structurally sound, and flowy.

    As for critique, something particular I notice is something that has already been said, I feel. Your 30 second poses look and feel loose and communicate the pose well. Moving on, however, your lines become harder and a bit scratchier. I almost feel as if this is due to fear of time constraints? With 30 seconds, your depictions are simple yet effective, and with 10 minutes they are indecipherable from the original image — yet I fear you struggle with striking a middle ground.

    My advice to you would likely be to always put structure second. It appears from left-to-right in your photos that you become more comfortable as time goes on as well as with more time. I like to look at it as a process, treating the loose linework as almost an armature before really detailing prominent muscles like the glutes, biceps, or breasts.

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    • Kesuscheist edited this post on June 9, 2021 7:11pm. Reason: "indecipherable" could be easily misinterpreted

    Well, well, BrianH, that's a really great job on your gestures, and a really, really greater job on sculpting the gestures out for the forms.

    My littlest bit of criticism is, that though I love the speed and proficiency of the 30 second quick attitudes, or poses, but I just can't get enough of the forms and the details, totally and completely obeying the gestures; or forces, on the much longest drawings that you've drawn from 5-10 minutes. Would you like to loosen up and draw largest with a 10 minute quick yet deliberate study, pretty please???

    The reason why you could and should do this littler idea is because, it can help you improve your understanding of your overall proportions of the human forms, while in the meantime, maintaining the spontaneity in the quick sketches of the poses.

    Hope they've been completely, totally, and positively helpful.


    These are some really great 30-second gesture drawings! you made a lot of emphasis on how the drawing feels and really captured the motion. Do not worry too much about accuracy when it comes to 30-second gestures - the main goal of quick sketches is to quickly depict/summarize what the message/emotion/story the figure is saying and your ability to convey this message to the viewer with few but meaningful strokes. Keep working on exaggerating your lines especially your line of action. Awesome start dude.


    I can see that in your first pages you tried to keep away of the contour, but for the purpose of shading you still had to return to the outline.

    Tben, what's the purpose of gesture? If to shade you just need the contour why should you waste time drawing lines that are not actually there?
    Those three drawings in the end seem to be screaming this question to the heavens, where Proko and Marshall are watching you with a thin smile.

    Here is the secret, gesture is the foundation but in between it and shading there is a step you may have missed and that is structure, meaning perspective.
    If you haven't defined your forms clearly not only will you confuse the viewer, but you will also have a much harder time shading since you don't know how those surfaces are turning, bending and twisting in space,

    Now, the big question is, HOW DO I GET THERE?

    As you can see the gesture stickmen of Proko are not the sharpest tool in the shed, for one simple reason, they are very prone to the snowman effect due to the symmetrical use of line.

    Now here is another way to approach gesture, instead of going for the great line of action immediately, you might want to slowly work down your way to it.

    Starting from the head, go down the spine following the opposing curves of the neck, ribcage and-pelvis then down the weight bearing leg.

    Now, which one might that be? Left or right? After all, most of us have two of them! Now here is the trick, look for the horizontal tilt of the pelvis, the side that sits higher will be the one keeping your body up and running.

    During this process, try to keep the apex of your lines away from each other, they should lead the eye around down the flowing stream of the body. Now you can build over this basic scaffolding the main volumes of the ribcage and pelvis, while also attachin the other limbs.

    To improve your understanding of volumes, Drawabox is a pretty good resources as it builds a good foundation in perspective improving your spatial reasoning skills!

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