Am I doing this properly? Critique on 5m drawings (gesture drawing)

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Haiikaii 2 years ago.

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    Hello I have not been drawing for very long. I am trying to learn how to gesture draw. Could I get some critique on these 5 minute drawings?

    Are there any specific time frames I should use as a beginner?

    What are some things beginners should focus on?

    Also any extra tips on using the practice tool on this site? Is like class mode better?

    Thank you in advance for your time. Much appreciated

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    I really like the class mode because the very quick gestures help me get in the right headspace for gesture drawing--focusing just on "describing" shapes with lines rather than focusing on drawing a whole person performing a specific action. It's really easy to get caught up in how complex the human form is, but if you take it one line at a time you can start understanding things much better.

    A lot of the areas where you've added value (shading) look really dimensional and rounded, which is great! Shading is a great way to describe the natural round forms on the body, since we're not made of lines.

    I would say that maybe you'd benefit from spending some time focusing less on shading and more on proportions, especially for the 5 minute drawings. While drawing in shadow shapes isn't a bad thing to do, and in many cases actually helps you understand the shapes as you're constructing them, I think we often get caught up in the shading and "finishing" work of a gesture drawing instead of focusing on the fundemental shapes. Focusing on proportions will help you "describe" complex poses even better--for instance, the length from the tip of a person's toe to their hips is going to be different (even on the same person) when they're standing straight up vs when they're lunging or performing some other sort of action with that leg.

    Measuring proportions of one part of the figure against another part of the figure (i.e. "in this pose, the toe-to-hip distance is the same as the hip-to-head distance) helps you keep everything looking believable, especially when you're looking at body parts that are often at weird angles or foreshortened like the limbs and hands.

    But really, I think the best advice for beginniners (and any artist) is to keep going. Skill is a function of time and effort, so as long as you don't give up, you'll only get better, provided you're taking breaks and addressing your needs outside of art. Keep it up!


    The best time frames to focus on might be shorter studies, somewhere along the lines of 30 second to 1 minute. Shorter studies might be able to help you get used to just describing the shape of the figure instead of worrying about adding detail, which is a good way to familiarize yourself with human anatomy and gesture drawing. You might also want to try making a base for your figure - a few lines, a few shapes - and then building off of that, rather than just trying to draw everything all at once. Starting simple does wonders for beginners!

    Class mode is a pretty good way to get into a habit of drawing and a routine, and it's good for keeping track of the time you're drawing every day. I've also found that it's good for keeping me on track so I'm not constantly pausing poses I like and skipping ones I don't. How useful it is might depend on your preferences, though, as well as what you're actually looking to invest your time in. I would personally recommend trying it out and seeing if you like it more than equal-length poses.

    The most important part of learning to draw, though, is spending time on it! The more time you invest, the better. As long as you push through and keep practicing, you'll improve! Kudos on beginning the journey, and happy drawing



    So my advice is start with short sessions first like 30 seconds then 1 minute and so on.I do recommend the class mode but I feel to get comfortable start with 30 seconds sessions on your own. So start with the line of action which is the general line that forms the gesture. Do this until you're happy with the general gesture you see before adding details. When you start adding details don't focus too much on details and get the most prominent part of the gesture down first.

    You have a very good base from what I can see but it's also just your proportions. I think the best way forward though may be to go back to basics

    Try not to focus on one part too much in the beginning. Work on everything at the same time.

    I hope this helps. Good luck


    Hey hello, I´m a drawing teacher and the things that usually helps my students at the very begining it´s to focuse on reduce the body to simple geometric figures to understand the movement of human body an for that I recommend you to use 5 min poses until you familarize with this tools and began to do it a little more quickly. Be constant and always positive about your practices, remember to have fun.



    One of my favourite baseline rules I learned from Robert Hale, writer of "Drawing from the Great Masters"

    Least Important----->Most Important

    Nose-----------------------> General Shape of the Head

    Fingers----------------------> General Shape of the Hands

    Brests-----------------------> Ribcage

    Details are not Structure--->Shape creates Structure

    Focus on what is most important and then bring in the details.

    Change your paper to size a3 or bigger, and your grip on your pencil to an artists grip.

    These three things will change so much for you if you keep at them every day.

    I suggest you try for 30 minutes to 2 hours of 30-second poses, depending on your time and availability. Do this for 15 days straight.


    Shorter poses don't allow you to get sucked into the small details. There is no time to do so. Plus this shorter time will allow you to get quicker at analysing what are the basic shapes in the form, and where the line of action is located.

    If you need help, I am just a jot away.

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art


    Nicest tries on your first ever gesture drawing Imgur post, itzhoyt. Very, very, very, very, VERY great job showing a range of movement on the bolder to even the subtle poses.

    So, two answer your questions, I'd suggest: 1) Start off with a interactive drawing tutorial here on our site. 2) For the new beginners, I'd recommend the 30 minute class mode. And number 3, Go for the inherent gestures in the anything in life, including the moving and emotional poses.

    Three reasons: 1) To get you best acquainted with the fundamentals of quick sketches. 2) To get you the best taste of the drawing classes.(even if you don't get into the live classes very often. 3) To be the most honest in your drawing execises and quick sketching skills.

    Good luck, and I hope this totally appliest to you and your new, first goal.


    Great start!

    Try doing studies in 3 minutes then 2 and maybe even 1. Gradually lessen the time you have to do a study, in this way you don't have enough time to get caught up in details and perfecting everything. Studies are best loose and not perfect. That way you are studying the flow of the body and pose rather than the details.

    Focus on the overall pose, not just on the face or arm and so on. The more you focus on the pose and body as a whole the less you will get caught up drawing that perfect foot or arm.

    All in all work on not making your studies or any piece feel stiff. Use loose lines and focus on the flow. The more you practice the better you will get.

    And I think it's great that you are reaching out for critique. Many beginners don't, because they fear that they will get judged harshly or get made fun of. But I'm glad you did. And don't stop. Critique from others is one of the best ways to improve. Keep working, practicing and don't over work yourself. Maybe do a few studies a day, take a break when you need to and don't let art start to feel like a job.

    Art should never feel like a job.

    Best wishes in your journey!

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