30/60 second poses - Critique needed

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Mark Poelzer 1 year ago.

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    So I've been trying to get in the habit of doing figure drawing daily and I didn't realise that how I constructed the drawing was more of a contour approach opposed to a gestural approach. I've been trying to use gesture, but I feel like the drawings are worse?

    I understand that the proportion may be a bit tighter with the contour approach, but I also feel I have more energy.

    I'd love some critique thank you :)

    Contour Approach



    Gestural Approach



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    Hi! i like how you keep your sketches clean so it's easy to see gesture and intention.

    I feel like the gesture ones could be less blocky, i say it because there are a few that flow in that way, the idea with gesture are the intention more than anything else, sometimes more than proportion if you tell with your drawing the intention so don't be afraid of doing it bad.

    Anyways, i'm not an expert in gesture or anything so feel free to ignore that last part.

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    I'm also a beginner doing gesture but I'd advice to focus more on capturing the motion, some of the poses are a bit stiff. Don't worry about the details or drawing the whole pose in 30 or 60 seconds, take some seconds to analize and find the main action line and how it connects to the body.

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    Thank you for the critique! This has helped a bunch :)


    Looking at your work I like to see that you are drawing your marks with good confidence but they can be bolder, right now you seem to be focusing on the individual parts of the body like the arms or legs and drawing individual lines for them, you can try to draw longer lines to that capture the flow of many things, you can try to draw the main line of action first, as another user suggested, you'll find that it usually runs all the way from the head to the feet, once you have drawn that you can use it as a guideline for further strokes, try to focus more on how the reference pushes your eye around, rather than focusing on simple elements.


    GOD, I struggled with this for so long, so I absolutely feel you here! The really tough thing is that it's a bit of an entirely different way of seeing and drawing- it's a similar feeling to drawing from life for the first time, after years of making nothing but cartoons. Also, you're too harsh on yourself for the gesture drawings- I've NEVER started a new approach and felt good about it the first time, and there's already legitimate improvement within what I'm assuming is the same session.

    One of the biggest things is recognizing the difference between a line of action and a centerline- the latter being something that I don't really see mentioned a whole lot, but it's definitely something that's been crucial for my stuff. The line of action (that running between the head and feet) doesn't always naturally correlate with the spine or the sternum. I often find the best LOA found running down the side of the body, or starting between the eyebrows, etc. My process is (generally) to begin with a Line of Action, and then continue the gesture by finding the 'middle' of the torso. If I'm drawing someone from behind, that's their spine- if they're facing forwards, it runs from the sternal notch through the abs and to the crotch. It helps keep everything else balanced, both on the torso and through the arms. After that I generally make a series of crosswise gesture lines across the torso- this is usually the arch of the shoulders (along the traps), any major points of rotation or important folds, and then the glutes/pelvic girdle (for backwards and forwards poses, respectively).

    Important bonus thing I read about that has saved my life a MILLION times- in any and all movements, the rib cage and pelvis will have opposing angles (and no, this is not that one thing you've already heard over and over... I mean, hopefully not). Travelling from the spine to the sternum, the ribs take an upwards angle, which I generally represent as a 3 dimensional circle through the body. Likewise with the pelvis, only the girdle angles downwards from the sacrum to the 'pubic synthesis' or whatever the hell nerds call it.

    Last thing, I promise, but it's super important to know that the gesture lines throughout a motion can be abstracted to the thousandth degree. The biggest thing I noticed across your work is that you take a really literal approach to the limbs, torso, and legs- which you've already explained the reason for, but gesture is much less about the volume than it is about where weight and emphasis is put. A few off the cuff examples, here, but I like to put connective arches between the ankles, or across the toes or the tips of fingers, or roughly along where the deltoids connect to the humerus, and a lot of the time these lines will travel across the top of someone's skull, which I can connect with the arch of their rear and hamstrings. Wild stuff like that.

    More than anything else, really, you're just playing with what you see, I think. This was probably a lot to sift through, so like... best advice is not to sweat any of it, and take a break whenever things start to frustrate you. I would drive myself literally livid over this when I was starting, and no amount of improvement is ever worth that kind of exhaustion.

    Good night and the absolute best of luck on your art journey, my friend! :)


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