Trouble Drawing Gestures

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Brhody 9 months ago.

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    Hey everyone!

    I'm pretty new to Line of Action, and I could really use some help with my figure drawing, especially during the quick 30-second poses.

    Here's a link to some of my drawings:

    I don't think my quick poses are coming across well. I find it tough to capture the essence of the pose in such a short time. Do any of you have any advice on how I can improve? Should I try a different approach or method for drawing figures?

    Also, I'm not too happy with how my shading looks in the longer poses; it just doesn't feel right. If any of you have some tips on how to make my figures look more 3-dimensional, I'd be grateful! Thanks a bunch for taking the time to help me out.

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    Good evening, Olivia Flapdoodle, and welcome to our site. How are you tonight?

    Say, you're doing a mighty fine spot of progress on your first Imgur post link. I love how expressively you've drawn your fluid lines of action and rhythms, but I feel that your shapes of lights and tones are spot on, but I think that these all need some more loosening up, because they all seem all too timidest to me. Why don't you please do our interactive drawing tutorial right here?

    The logical reason behind this criticism is because, deep down you are totally gonna refresh yourself in gesture drawing fundamentals on not just figures, but practically anything and everything online and/or offline for your learning curves. You can start off with the quickest lines of action warmups, but end there with the longest but carefullest construction studies.

    Hope this has helped you out so much!


    For the 30 sec poses, I think you gotta get loose. Try not to stress about making it look good or like a person. I think you should start out doing modifed stick figures. What I do with these is simplify the form into a few different important aspects: the head, torso, bottom, joints(knees, elbows, and shoulders) and feets. All the connecting bits to these aspect are represented as lines. I simplify the main aspects into circles and a few triangles.


    Hi Olivia,

    your style shines through each of your sketches. I see a clear inclination towards geometric shape, and i think that would be an excellent thing to prioritize as you continue sketching. Visualizing the torso, head, and each limb as a shape first and a "correct-looking" body part second is a large part of what to take away from figure drawing.

    As for critique, i'm noticing some of the gestures look a bit disjointed, or lacking "flow". In order to unify each gesture, it may help to view each figure in order of simple shapes from biggest to smallest. The largest of these shapes may be things like the torso as a squashed square, widening at the shoulders or the hips, while the smallest may be a foot represented by a wonky trapezoid.

    Here's a simple representation of what i mean by this.

    Thanks for posting your beautiful work!


    2 1

    Hi Olivia! 😄

    Your drawings are great! I'm noticing alot of sharp lines, which I think is just a matter of beginning somewhere. You've taken the steps to start, so don't be too hard on yourself. If you look at one of your drawings, you have lovely flowing lines directing us where to look. Those are the types of lines you want to use when doing gestures. Be loose and have fun. Don't worry about your proportions initially. That comes in time, the more you practice the more your brain will "see". This advice might not be very helpful right now haha but it just takes time and practice. Get used to the movements and the rest will follow.

    If you're having trouble doing 30 seconds, give yourself more time! Give yourself a minute or two and take that extra 30 seconds to just look at the pose and feel it out through observation.

    Shading is so difficult! But my advice would be to curve your shading with the shape that you are trying to express and not just lay down a flat layer. Also, try to vary the tones within your shadow shape. Does this make sense? 🤣 Proko have really good course on shading that give you some nice fundamentals to play with. The language can be a bit confusing initially, but just observe and try to put it into practice in a way that makes sense to you.


    Hi David, thanks for responding. I’ll work on breaking up the figure into shapes, like you suggested. Quick question – when you start drawing the figure, where do you usually begin? Is it with the head, torso, or something else? Just curious about your approach. Thanks again!


    Hi Brho, thank you so much for replying! I've been keeping up with daily figure drawing, and I think I'm seeing some progress in proportions like you suggested I might see. Also, that link to the Proko website is awesome – they've got a bunch of tutorials I'm excited to dive into. Thanks for your help! :)))


    Hi Olivia,

    Just out of habit, i usually start with the head. This is simplest for me because it's a basic shape that still gives me a lot of information about how to proportion the rest of the features. For examples, when i start with the head that tells me how big the body should be in relation to it, and then the arms + hands and legs + feet.




    My pleasure! 😄


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