"Gestober" need critique :((

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Cyx1718 5 years ago.

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    So this october, I've decided to focus on doing more gesture drawings! Since a lot of people are doing inktober, I decided to do my take on it: gestober! I want to get better at the overall form of the body and anatomy. I especially have difficulties with proportions.

    My original goal was to not miss a day... but then I missed the first.. and a few more. So far I've done 7/12. I have also been doing some stuff in my sketchbook, but don't have any pictures on hand.

    I can def see some improvements since the first day.. but I'm finding that I'm quite slow and can barely ever manage to ever draw feet in 30s :(

    Let me know what I should work on! Thanks!!








    Note: I've only been drawing since early 2015 and have not really done any gesture drawing in my life...! Be gentle on me :')

    • Cyx1718 edited this post on October 12, 2018 7:48am.
    • Cyx1718 edited this post on October 14, 2018 1:20am.
    • Cyx1718 edited this post on October 20, 2018 6:47am.
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    Hi! I'm also doing "gestober"! Regular Inktober was super involved for me last year and I don't have time for 2-hour+ portraits every day this year. So I decided to work on my figures! Kudos to you for doing the 30 second ones. I haven't tried that yet, and my 1- and 2- minute figures are still sketchy. I also started drawing in mid-2014, so it sounds like we're in a similar boat! :)

    I really love that you are using just one line to convey a shape instead of sketching things out ahead of time. I think that will really help you gain confidence in your line choices and it's something that I want to be better at myself.

    A lot of your figures have a real weight and movement to them, which I really admire! For example, on October 6th, the figure on the lower right hand just looks so solid to me!

    Since I've never tried 30-second figures, I'm not sure how useful my advice will be, but I think it's okay that you can't always get to the feet. Having such a short time forces you to sum up the main parts of the figure that stand out to you, which I think you're doing a good job of right now. But if you want to focus more on legs/feet, that could be an intentional exercise: do 30 second figures, but start from the feet and go upward to capture as much as you can from there! I'd be interested to see how that goes for you. Maybe it will help you figure out how to convey those parts more quickly!

    You've inspired me to try doing 30-second figures today! I'm a little nervous, but I think it will be fun! I need to kill my perfectionism with these kinds of things every now and again. :) All the best to you on your gestober journey!

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    Yesterday and today's gestures!

    For some reason today, oct 13, I started with 2m ones... at first I wanted to just do 2m but it's now I've realized WHY the class option starts with 30 seconds... definitely helps you warm up ^^'




    Hello! Thank you for the long reply, I appreciate it. The October 6th ones weren't done using this site actually, I was watching a concert livestream and drew poses of the dancers! Feels good to know I captured things well :')

    I think the idea of starting with the lower half is good.. but also very scary. I've always started with the head, so it'll definitely be a challenge. I have also been doing feet gestures and such (mostly 60s and 2m) and I'm hoping those can help as well.

    Thank you so much for the message!! And I'm so glad I've inspired you. I wish you the best of luck in trying 30 seconds and may we conquer our gestober!!!


    Good job on trying to get hands and feet into your 30s poses. Your instinct that it’s important is a good one. And there’s a lot of improvement visible in your 30s figures in that regard. You’re also doing a good job of aiming for flowing, strong lines. Not always perfect but it’s visible that you’re trying.

    It looks like you’re drawing pretty small. Definitely think about pushing yourself to use more paper. These feel like they’re averaging 2+ figures per pocket notebook page, and that’s REALLY small. Don’t be afraid to draw big. And the habit of always drawing small can actually cause hand injuries long term so mix it up. If you can grab a ream of copy paper that’s a good size for doing class mode with a sheet for every pose. If you can make yourself go bigger than that try to.

    It looks like you’re using ballpoint pen. There’s definitely good points to a thin drawing tool. It lets you be precise. But for gesture it can be good to try something that feels too big. Especially with bigger paper! Don’t be afraid of big strong lines. If they’re wrong you will do another one in 30s.

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    I'm actually not drawing that small! These are done digitally as well. I have a Huion GT-191 which has a 19.5 inch screen and use about half the screen for each figure. I use a different layer for each and then rescale all of them to fit on a page.

    Thank you for all the tips! I'll try using a bigger brush and use a black copic for trad gestures.


    Half the month has passed! I really hope I can keep this habit even after october ends :')

    Today's gestures done trying Torrilin's tip of a bigger brush!



    Need help... ;-; I seem to be struggling with legs a lot...




    (I usually do these in the morning when I have my cup of coffee, but 18th was done after work.. and wow it shows my brain was tired)


    Simplifying arms and legs from Croquis Cafe.

    I find this video is very helpful to think over if I feel like I’m getting messed up on legs or arms. The overall advice to consider the large muscles first in the gesture is important. But he’s also adding a rough gesture for the knee and feet to the large muscles. And he’s showing an efficient way to convey shadow even if you’re using a very fine drawing tool. Lots of subtle bits in a 2.5m video.

    There’s a second video on complex or convoluted figures that is also relevant. It’s basically using the envelope method to block in features.

    I don’t think you’re actually going far wrong. It looks to me like you’re doing about the same or maybe a touch better than you had been at the start and you’re noticing bits where the default gestures you have been using aren’t quite conveying the info you want them to have.

    The brush pen set seems to have given you a big jump in flow. So I’m guessing your brain is noticing small errors in curve accuracy. For me, if I feel like curves are off it’s often helpful to try the envelope method to get a better idea of what has gone all funny. The other thing you might be responding to is you might be seeing the gesture in smaller muscles that you’d been leaving out and feeling like it’s a mistake to leave it out.

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    I'm going to go against the grain here with the big brush you seem to have adopted and say that thinner brushes seem to work better for you comparing to what you initially sketched earlier this month. With consistent/non extreme pen pressured lines, I feel it allowed you to be more aware of the curves in the poses better and encourages you to use longer strokes. Compared to the thick pressured lines, it seems to be forcing you to connect them together because it's tapered at the tips which I think tends to break fluidity in your gestures.

    I'm inclined to say this because traditionally, I personally generally work with thin lines to develop the form and because it's thin you generally have more control on adding curved details later on when you gain more time to work on a piece and then add on thick strokes for shades to further develop the form. Starting with thick strokes is a sure way to concrete in not necessarily mistakes but forms you might later on wish to change but it is now more difficult to do so cause it has been thickly drawn on.

    For your 30 second gestures, I would recommend you to observe the flow of the figure rather than trying to finish the body in proportions. It's good that you're trying to do the full figure but you also need to get into finding the 'gesture' and that's the whole point of the 30 second time frame it's to force you to only get in the basic flow loosening you up and training your eye to see the movement in forms.

    With advice on legs, the video that Torrilin linked above is definitely a great one to watch as I've pretty much demonstrated it earlier and I usually tend to do those lines to sketch the legs at it's most basic curves and it also helps you see more of the flow of the figure's form. You seem to treating the thighs of the legs as a separate forms which is helpful but it makes you draw unecessary shapes which could confuse you on why it looks unnatural, again it falls back generally on the flow and gestures of the legs.

    Keep it up, sorry this critique is so rushed but I really love the gestures you've done so far, I've noticed really lovely lines in some poses! I understand some poses are generally easier to get the flow of because it's spread out but for bunched up/closed poses break down the gestures and carefully observe the movements.

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    • Fasdlk edited this post on October 21, 2018 12:24pm.
    • Fasdlk edited this post on October 21, 2018 12:47pm. Reason: grammar
    • Fasdlk edited this post on October 21, 2018 12:50pm.

    Wow! I'm very thankful for the long reply you decided to write. The video about legs and arms is definitely something I had already watched in the past, and actually used to do for sketching way back when I started drawing... but seems like I had forgotten about it/it never stuck.

    I started doing gestures mainly for proportions as that was what was really bothering me about my art (constantly having to fix limbs, hand/feet size, head size, etc) so that's mostly what I've been focusing on.

    Even though this critique was rushed as you say, I think it was very helpful! After seeing all the tips and advice you've given me, it's inspired me to try to focus on the flow first before the form!! so thank you! I will keep everything you said in mind when I do my daily gestures! :)

    • Cyx1718 edited this post on October 22, 2018 1:06am.

    Definitely, learning gestures at its core will definitely improve your proportional sense if you learn gestures 'properly'. I'll use the word 'properly' lightly cause everyone has their own way of judging and figuring out key points in anatomy and proportions. You generally learn key proportional points in anatomy when you do a lot of anatomical studies with heads as a measurement specifically with the whole 7/8 heads rule (I'm sure everyone is sick of it but we all go through it at one point in our lives lol). Even I'm rusty when adding forms but I know my key points by heart and will always refresh myself on it.

    Proko touches on this topic really well in this video if you haven't seen it yet. When I say key points it just means averaging figures for him in the video. Generally, It's like a house you need a frame to work with and gestures in a sense is helping you develop that frame. Gestures is there to compliment your proportions with dynamics. Anatomical Proportions in general needs to be studied and observed.

    Here's a simple break down on why there are certain timed drawing sessions for a reason:

    30 Seconds : Not enough for you to build a form but enough pressure and encouragement for you to get the gesture and flow of the figure down even if that's the only thing you can do, that is OK. If you just draw a spine line of action that's OK you will eventually get better at judging significant line of flow/movement on the figures. It's all about training the eye to observe and become more efficient later on.

    2 - 5 Minutes : You can now start putting forms on if you're efficient and a speedster but again even just figuring the flow/gesture is OK.

    10 - 20 Minutes : This is generally where you can take a breather and focus on the form and incorporating it with the basic gesture lines you started with.

    30 min - 1 Hour : Proportional Correction and Shading.

    You do not have to meet the standards, it's just there for you as a guide and learn why it is timed like it is so you don't stress out about finishing the whole figure.

    Looking forward to what you can do later on cause you definitely are in the right direction by wanting to improve. :P


    Did some 60s before Fasdlk's critique!


    Been mostly doing gestures traditionally... should probably upload those too.

    And now trying to do as Fasdlk told me.. harder than it looks.



    Nice! Would love to see you build up to do longer session up to 5 minutes if you feel like it! lets you see what you can do after a good warm up like those.

    Yeah! that's why 30 seconds to train your eye to see movement is (to me) important so you can build it up when it comes to longer times.
    But they're looking good! I can see the pose's movement really well even as gesture lines, keep up the good work!

    Try doing a class session of 30 minutes if you have the time for it!

    • Fasdlk edited this post on October 25, 2018 1:27pm.

    So I've been lacking this past week.. Work got hectic and I haven't had as much as time to draw as I would like! Shit happens, I guess ha.

    I did some 20min classes this week! Proud of that, but then again I drew a lot less aside from those.


    241018 (seeing a half finished canvas makes me sad..)



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