First 3 weeks of gestures - asking for critique

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Icon123 4 years ago.

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    Greetings! I'm new at drawing, and I would like to get figure drawing right. I started 3 weeks ago with gestures and I decided to keep track of my practice one week at time. Here's the imgur links:

    Week 1 (from bottom to top):

    Week 2 (bottom to top):

    Week 3:

    Now, I know that less than one month is a very short time before actually seeing true progress, but I'm feeling I'm getting into the same mistakes over and over again, without even grasping some concepts that could lead to progressing further in the future. I started with Loomis and Proko, but I switched to Hampton because I like his way of building gestures. I tried looking into Vilppu which I absolutely love but I don't feel comfortable at all with his way of drawing almost without any construction (unlike Hampton which provides a couple of guidelines). I'm also doing Figuary and trying to practice with at least 50 figures every day.

    For now I can dedicate a lot of time into exercises, but I'm afraid to be stuck into practice without progress. How can I get better at this? Please don't be afraid to be blunt. I want to improve. Thanks!

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    Nice job on your 3 weeks of figure sketches, Muralis. Nice job, indeed! But my critique is: just by looking at your weeks in that order, and I must say, that you're getting a whole lot better, in terms of line quality, and in terms of shape and space quality.

    Fast forward to your emulations of Glen Vilppu, and where your comfort levels are on it, and, that's OK if you're not currently comfortable with his approach. Why? Because, there are a lot of different styles and approaches to gesture sketching. And it's great that your trying them out, but I've got one more small request: I believe you're doing a great job on your 10 second warm ups, because, though you're not comfortable with it, if it was under Vilppu, you'd be really greater with doing 2 more 10 sec drawings, because you'll get to the most broadest strokes at this moment.

    Hope you'll find it extremely and totally useful on your next posts.

    Keep up the great work,

    Polyvios Animations.


    ...I'm coming up with something like 50+ drawings just for day one. No. Just... no. Stoppit. There is no possible way you are cranking out that many drawings in a day while getting enough fun drawing time in and while using a good structured class design.

    Also honestly NO ONE is going to have the time to critique 50 times 7 times 3 drawings for you. That's... a lot. I also know there's no way you were sustaining that kind of grind but just... nope.

    So my first and most important critique here is class mode. Learn to use it. Learn to love it. Figuary is a Croquis Cafe and Love Life Drawing project that uses Croquis Cafe classes to help you progress so it is also class mode. ONE class a day. I don't care if 15-30 minutes feels short and you still want to work. It is time to go have fun. That can still be drawing! Just it needs to be fun. Then you need a good night's sleep. There can be more class tomorrow.

    Sleep is when you learn. You cannot learn without it. No you can't do more classes if you take a nap.

    To go with class mode, after you finish a class, pick out what you think is the best drawing for each time slot. You don't care about why the bad ones are bad. You care about the good ones. Yes, that means you need to know which drawings were for what time length so you have to do some kind of setup. (I do see that by week 3 you have figured out it is good to keep track of time.)

    The short drawings are where you do most of your learning. The long drawings are your cookie for doing the hard part. I unfortunately see no evidence that you have figured out class mode by week 3 as there's no sign of long drawings. Marking up your work afterwards is a key part of the learning process. If you don't think about what good is for yourself, you have nothing to work towards. And if you don't like anything you do at all, there's nowhere to go. Liking stuff is fundamental to improving. That means you need to learn to like your own stuff, where you are right now. Even the unfinished stuff that looks really bad.

    Next time when you ask for a pile of critique like this, go a step further. Either pick a class where you think you did a particularly good job or pick a starting class and and ending class out of a series. Whichever you think is better for showing your learning process.

    Lastly, from the teachers you are mentioning... Look there is no shortcut to making art that looks good. You need practice time. You need sleep. And it needs to be focused practice. There's a reason the tutorial method here is so basic, and why the recommendations for first things to try are focused on basic and classic techniques. Working through a couple classes of the tutorial and couple classes for each of the standard methods will take you over a month of daily classes. You will make a giant pile of ugly drawings. There will be so many, they will look so bad. And in your fun drawing, you will find that everything somehow magically looks better. Maybe you picked up a good way to show what way someone is looking very fast. Or maybe you figured out something about hands, or you steal a pose from class that makes sense. Or you get a wiggle that you like for calf muscles.

    The life drawings aren't the goal, and they don't have to be pretty for you to learn from them. Usually I learn more from drawings that might seem ugly.


    @Polyvios Animations:

    Thanks a bunch for your feedback! But I have to tell you that those Vilppu poses that looks a bit better than the rest are just a mere copy of his gestures. In fact, the time that I tried to use his method on a photo reference (the 3 poses at the bottom) instead of just copying they turned out really bad, and that's why I decided his approach could not be the best for me.


    Thanks to you too for the response! I accept your suggestions, but I'll explain my point of view anyway (NOT because I'm being defensive but just to put things into perspective from this side): Honestly it doesn't bother me to grind a bit for practice. From what I've been told, you'd need to practice these thousands of times and I have time because of the quarantine. And indeed I usually try to go for 50 gestures per day, as a personal daily objective. As you have noticed they're short, so that doesn't take much time and in all honesty it doesn't feel that grindy!

    As for longer drawings, it feels quite the opposite for me. Spending as long as 5 minutes for a single pose feels incredibly boring, I'm doing that as a part of Figuary but it feels like an eternity and I can't wait to go back to 1-2 minutes drawings.

    The reason for this I believe it's because I'm still at the early stage of gesture drawing, which from what I've seen it should be about quick and short drawings just to get the movement of the pose, while longer drawings involve the actual figure with construction, contour, form and shading which I have no idea how to apply because I haven't studied them yet! Should I do them anyway?

    I see that you're talking about tutorial and standard classes, which are them? I saw the class modes on the figure study section but cannot find tutorials around here. Apologies, I'm new to this site.

    Finally thanks for your blunt response, you were very direct and specific, that's what I like to hear. I'll definitely try to make the most out of your suggestions about longer drawings and loosening up a bit about practice times.


    I think you are doing a great job so far! Your figures dont feel stiff and they all have a really nice flow like they are actually moving. Just make sure not to stay to safe when it comes to drawing if you want progress. Draw a sloppy pose, try drawing the same pose from different perspectives, dont be afraid to make something that you think wont turn out well or is to difficult because the worst that can happen is that you have to work on it meaning you have the most room to improve and become a better artist. In short just dont be afraid to push your work because if you want to show progress and improvement you are going to have to move out of your comfort zone sometimes.


    Good morning artist.

    Well, seeing your exercices I think that you are grow in your gesture expresion, I don't know if your are only interested in this area, but I suggest to try to express a little more the volume of the figure in your draw, still is some flat in my opinion, but you are in the right way, bye.



    you're doing well on exagerating movement which is the most mportant thing at this point. push it further and keep practicing. as far as demensions and technicality, that will come in time. keept practicing and be sure to either mirror your work digitally or with an old fassioned mirror to see any flaws. good job


    Hello Muralis,

    Your Gesture work is very good, you seem to have a great under standig the the concepts using a variety of shapes. I love how lose you are working the gestures, its a big thing to overcome stiffness and relax the wrist or hand, which you seem to have achived. Practice, practice, practice is what I was always told. When I have attended some live figure drawing workshops, I have taken a couple poses I really liked and further expanded on the concept by using charcole shading and establishing the body more. This excerise helps to build an understanding to valves, as well I have taken a pose and redrawn it in my studio.

    Woderful work!




    Gestures aren't really things you critique... but advice?

    I would say you might want to loosen up and try to "cut through" the figure a bit more.

    I use that style at times too; there's many ways to skin a cat.

    Your gestures seem to be so far "set" by the contour lines. That can make it difficult to use the gesture to put the figure in space/ capture mass.

    Maybe try the scribble gestures a bit.

    • Icon123 edited this post on April 22, 2020 1:46am. Reason: Pic won't share

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