Beginner Gesture Practices, need Critiques

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Mydyart 4 years ago.

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    Hello! I am learning figure sketches these days and here are some of my practices. I find it difficult to draw correct figure gesture sketchs in 30s. Most of the time, I can not control my mind and my hand at the same time. When it comes to longer drawing practice, more than 5 mins, I just don't know what to draw. How can I improve my skills? Here are some of my exercises. I appreciate your critiques and advices!

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    Hey Totoro3y, I have the same problems you mentioned. I noticed that your 30 second figures have sticks for limbs connecting at the joint. This is representationally correct concerning the anatomy, yet it causes the figures to look stiff. Communicate the flow in a single line or shape.

    As for controlling your mind and hand simultaneously, I'm not entirely sure what you mean. I am assuming that you are talking about looking at the subject and drawing at the same time. I don't think this is necessary in your situation. If you are looking at the subject, your focus and energy will be on observation. You also risk placing lines that are not correct or accurate to what you see, resulting in odd figures. Instead of looking and moving the hand at the same time, you should do some excercises to increase your observation skills. Some good excercises include contour drawings, blind contour drawings, and observing proportional relationships around you.

    Another thing you can do is make some post corrections after a figure drawing session. You can pause the timer at the beggining and take a picture of the image. Once you are done with the drawing, compare it. Take notes and redo the drawing. Take the time you need to make the wrong thing/s right. I would recommend correcting one or a few major issues instead of getting overwhelmed by everything. However, it could be helpful to take the time to try to correct everything (in some situations).

    As for what to do in longer drawing sessions, this one is probably the most difficult for me right now. The problem could simply be a lack of understanding concerning the details of the human figure. Naturally, this will take alot of time to learn. A good place to start would be placing the big things first (large shapes, gesture, proportions, overall form) and then working on the specific forms, anatomy, and lighting second. You could also dable in some anatomy books. Just don't get swamped in too many details; I made the mistake of trying to learn all these small things and missed the big picture. One resource i know about is the simplified human form sheet by Sycra Yasin. It is a cartoony model, but it could help you with thinking of the larger forms that make up the body. You could also look at mannequinization of the human body to get the big picture.

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    The easiest thing you can do to improve is mark up your work yourself. At the end of the session, make a note of which is the best drawing in each time slot that has multiple drawings. You don’t care about the bad ones, only the good ones.

    Beyond that, you’re getting pretty filled in figures in 30s, with the only obvious missing bits being hands and feet. So the obvious question is are you happy with the quality of your hands and feet in your art right now? Or should you be pushing to improve them?

    Another thing you might consider is try a class where you spend the time period looking at the reference, then you spend the same time drawing it without looking at the reference. This is an exercise to build up your visual memory and allow you to practice making things up to look plausible.

    You might also look at Swen’s practice thread to see what kinds of exercises he’s doing. You might be at a stage where class mode is not the most efficient tool for you to improve.


    Thanks Paul and Torrilin! The part of post analysis and training my visual memory are missing in my exercises. I will work on that!


    I looked at your sketches, totoro3y, and they say that you’re doing fabulous on your 30s-5m drawings. The reason why you’re doing a 5m+ Drawing is that you’re so green at it. So after your 30 min class, why don’t you try another 10min Drawing, please?

    Thank you ever so much,

    polyvios Animations.


    What I would consider is adding the, pun unintended, line of action. On most of these, they look like you drew them without giving yourself a guideline for how the direction of the body.

    Hope this helps!


    Is good to look at the picture first then start drawing. This way you will have an idea of what is happening and how to start. I suggest watching proko on youtube, he has great videos about gesture drawing and how to practice.

    His videos helped me so much and I hope it will help you as well!:)

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