Trying to improve my gesture

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Muffin Machine 2 years ago.

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    Trying to establish solid fundimentals. At what point should I move from gesture to construction/Anatomy, or does it help to have that in mind while doing gesture initially?

    Also it's my first time uploading for critique, should I upload my whole session worth of images when looking for feedback, or just the one's i think I'm weakest in? For now here are my 5 min studies, since I think they show where I'm having a bit of an issue.

    Most recent studies

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    The ratio is like a cartoon character. Adults are the same length as eight heads from head to toe, so it would be good to draw while considering the ratio. And it would be nice to spend a lot of time on painting and describe it more.


    Try contour drawing to train your hand and eye coordination and to pay more attention to what you're seeing, instead of what you think you see. Draw your hand, shoes, anything, and really pay attention to the path of the line and how each shape relates to all of the others. Use your first line as comparison between the next and the object. Mentally consider the distances. Look at the object most of the time. Personally I don't like guidelines like head is eighth of the body or the Loomis method. If you learn to really see, things like foreshortening are easier without guidelines like these.


    Ah, okay, I hadn't noticed, thank you, that helps a ton I'll make sure to keep that ratio in mind going forward.

    • BCSkulls edited this post on October 25, 2021 5:28pm.

    Ah okay, I see what you mean , I'll be sure to practice some contour drawing to train out of that bad habit, Thank you!



    Drawing is like working out in the gym. You got to warm up first, or you will hurt yourself and your image. How you do that is up to you.

    Here is an example of my drawing regimen:

    1-hour reading current art exercise or education book.

    Thirty minutes are drawing shapes in one stroke.

    Thirty minutes are practising line quality and shading exercises.

    Gesture class on this website- anywhere between one hour to 3 hours.

    Formal study drawing based on what I read that day-30 minutes-1 hour.

    Whatever formal work I am currently making- End of my workday.

    As you can see, I start with the simple skills and work my way up the more complex, more detailed works. Study what you want to learn about anatomy, change to simple drawing tasks so you can think about what you learned, then apply them as you switch from gesture to more formal works.

    As to the critique: try for things you felt were the most successful, are in the middle of the drawing session, or ones you think are weak/poses you believe are hard to accomplish. We can learn a lot by the things we are willing to show our skill levels to others. I think samples are acceptable, but the more you post your work the more feedback you will get.

    Enjoy your studies!

    All the best,

    JCML Fine Art.


    Studying anatomy will never hurt your understanding of the human body.

    I am not sure why this question seems to pop up here, but perhaps somewhere it has been said that learning anatomy too early can be a distraction/hinderance? Knowledge of the anatomy of the human body (or of any thing you want to represent in art) will only hurt your understanding if you view it as a replacement for seeing.

    I did make this mistake for many years, believing that because I studied anatomy I would not have to ever draw from life or reference. I was in my early 20s before I realized that this was a mistake. However, once I began drawing from life, I found that my knowledge of anatomy made it much easier to understand the forms of the human body as they tilted toward and away from the eye.

    One also cannot underestimate an understanding of perspective. Especially when drawing from photo reference, since photos inherently contain a "second hand perspective". In other words, you must know where your eye is seeing from. Otherwise it's all just beans and bumps. I find that incorporating a simply horizon line into my drawings is enough to sort out the contours. And as others suggest, learning to draw contours will aid you greatly.

    Anatomy and perspective should work together to aid you in seeing. Whether it's seeing something in front of you, in a photo, or in your mind...As long as you don't replace seeing with knowing, you'll keep growing.

    As JCMLfineart says, it's a workout. You do a lot of working out. And then you go lift a car, and it looks effortless and easy. I recommend Iterative Drawing as a practice. So, taking one of the poses that you have done and do it many, many times. Not completing the drawing. Simply starting from scratch anywhere from 5-10 times. You'll notice that your understanding of the pose starts to change. You'll notice that you want to rely less and less on the reference. Keep using the reference, but ask yourself "What is it that I'm understanding now that I didn't before? What am I remembering about this pose? Where am I getting stuck each time? How am I getting unstuck?"

    Good luck! Draw something!

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