Forum posts by Thestripper

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    I love how loose those drawings are rendered. In 30 second poses this is a good level of drawing complexity, nothing more is needed to describe the pose. I can easily read and understand them all. I would advice you to try and avoid the short scratchy lines (like on the second pose on the first sheet, the one with two swords). Aim for flowing, long and light lines until you find the gesture and then put it down in one motion. Maybe those are contour lines or so called "rubber bands"? That's good practice to use those. Maybe it's time to try 60 second poses but try to clean things up a little. Don't take the complexity of your drawing any further but try to be more exact. In 60 seconds you can move a little slower.


    I just wanted to say that the way you have posted this, with numbering and the reference thumbnail next to the drawing is stellar! This makes it so much easier to critique. Keep it up.


    Only do it if it's fun to you, it shouldn't be a burden. It's totally normal to feel like you are getting worse. I can recognize that feeling for sure. Simplify your drawings and stick to 30 or max 60 second poses. You are doing quite well I think, your drawings are not bad at all but I think you are on the verge of getting really good. But first you have to learn to simplify your drawing. Short studies are the way. Look at some videos. Proko has good ones for gesture.


    Hi Georgia!

    I like your studies of the babies but I do see how you could improve with just some simple exercises. In gesture drawing the most important thing is to describe the pose as simply as possible. That's why you should always look for "the line of action". It's so important that this forum is even named after it.

    When you have looked at your subject and decided where the one or two longest lines of action are then put them down on the paper with only one or two long continous lines. Do not sketch many short scratches! Short scribbly lines can never establish a good gesture. See intruduction videos on Ytube on quick gesture drawing. Proko has good videos on this but only use the very basic videos. Forget the five minute studies untill you can lightly and quickly sketch down a baby in any pose in 30 seconds. Do not use longer time than that until you got this! It will seem futile for a while but eventually you will start to loosen up. Simplify, don't draw fingers, toes ears or other small features. Just put down gesture lines and then it's time for the next drawing.

    I would also suggest to warm up with some simple exercises to lose the nasty habbit of short scrathcy lines and get used to only making continuous long flowing lines where you never lift your pen from the paper. Do a sheet or two of these exercises before you do your gesture drawing. It is very helpful! Good luck!




    "I don't know why but somehow I feel like 30 or 60 second gestures turn out to be stiffer than the longer ones I make"

    Yes this is often the case for everyone and it means you have got to stick with it. I know this will sound strange, but it's almost like you have to give up.. Don't get me wrong and Do Not Give Up, but you have to do the grind with the quick 30 second studies until there's something in the brain that eventually let's go or gives up in a way. It might be the fear of messing up a nice fresh paper that lets go, or maybe you have done 5 good ones in a row and all of a sudden you get scared to botch the last one on that sheet of paper. Or it might be something completely different but whatever it may be, it has to go so you can sit back, observe and draw and enjoy without stress, this is the essence of gesture drawing! When this happens is also when you start to get better at drawing really fast.

    You just gotta hang in there and grind away drawing after drawing and suddenly you will start to see that when you are hitting "the zone" everything all of a sudden starts to flow. You don't feel like you need to stress in order to get anything done before the time is up and even though your figures might not have hands or feet and certainly no facial features, they will still be more expressive than anything you have done before. This is the sweet spot you want to hit but to get there you have to go the distance.

    If you feel like 30 seconds is too short, it means you are trying to draw to much detail. Be mindful of this! If you feel stressed or get tired from drawing 30 second poses it means you need to simplify the drawing. Simplify the hands and feet (or discard them entirely) untill you can comfortably "finish" in time. If you do this for 20 minutes every morning and every night. I guarantee you will see a big improvement in about two weeks.


    Hi Eshlost.

    I don't agree with the previous poster who said that your figures are stiff and broken. Of course this is something we can all practice and get better at but in this regard it looks like you are doing something right and are headed in the right direction. You manage to find some good gestures in most of your poses. I would advice you to skip the shadowing though. Yes yes, I know it's tempting and that it can make a figure look cool. But at this stage I would drop it and rather do shorter studies fucussing exclusivelly on rythm and flow.

    Sometimes I think that it might in fact be better to practice gesture drawing by not drawing human models at all but rather do many and very short sketches of simple shapes that have "flow" and "gesture" in them. Like drawing quickly but intently the shape of a horses tail while it is running in the wind... or the way water swirls in a slow moving stream, cascading northern lights, the way a snake moves in the desert sand... My point is that the "movement" or the "gesture" of the shape is what gives life to a drawing. Practice it until every stroke you make has it ;)

    Practicing with human models can sometimes be too distractive because we all want to make our drawing look as much as that person as possible but this is missing the point. Finding the relaxed state of mind where you express the movement-of-the-shape with speed and ease is the key. Don't care to much about how the finished sketch looks, not yet at least. I would advice you to shorten your time to 30 or 60 seconds poses and be sattisfied with doing a lot less "finished drawings". Only mind the biggest lines, never mind the rest. Good luck.


    I think you got some good flow going in some of the blue drawings, however I would strongly suggest that you go buy some soft lead pencils (6B or similar) because the you can vary your line from very thin and light to very dark and wide. With a pen, like you are using, all the lines will be the same darkness and width. This makes it impossible to put down light sketch lines to experiment with as you are developing the shape. Not even the masters can nail every line or stroke on the first try like that. You ned to move your arm and put down some long light pressure lines of action. When you find the shape and it feels right you go on to the next. Go check out Tim Gula for example. He is a master so he can put down his lines fast and with authority, but see how much he is sketching and moving the whole time? This is how you get better and learn shape. Good Luck.


    Never mind the feet and hands and facial features for now. Sure you can add them as gestures (very simplified) but focus on getting the biggest shapes in with long connecting shapes/gesture. I would suggest you download Loomis - Figure drawing for all it's worth.pdf

    Yua can find it free online. Go to page ca 38 - 41 "The Mannikin Frame" and study those pages. See how the shape gets more and more detail while still keeping it very simple? This is the way. And again, don't stress about how many minutes you draw each week, but keep in mind that it's much better for progress to do many short poses than making only a few longer ones. Do it for a short while every day for a week. You will progress to a whole new level!


    Very good flow in the 30 and 60 second poses. In the longer poses it looks like you are putting down a very dark outline around the whole shape which makes all shapes look flat. Think about where the light is coming from and don't put a dark line on the lighted side of the shape. I would also suggest that you check out Proko - The Bean videos to get a steonger sense of how the ribcage connects to the hipbone. Keep your poses short, no longer than 1-2 minutes. When you feel you can nail the gesture every time, then comes the next stage to put in details like facial features and fingers and so on. Good luck.


    Try some other image hosting site. Imgur seems to work good.


    Hi Bryan.

    Looking better. Have a look at the small figure you drew inside the box where it says 18min. This little figure has more gesture and more relaxed line than any of the other drawings. Remember the feeling you had when you did that? Do the same as you did there but draw larger and keep it light and loose. Progress will come before you know it! Good luck.


    Hi Eteng!

    It definitely looks like you are on the right track! You are starting to connect long rhythm lines and that is a good thing. There is one thing that jumps out at me as an obvious thing you could do to improve and that is shape and flow practice. What I mean by that is doing the kinds of exercises in this video (you can fast forward to 4:15). You are only using C-shaped lines and you would probably benefit greatly from freeing up the arm and learn to connect longer S shaped lines as well. Have a look at the video and try it out. It's a good thing to do as a warm up before a drawing session. You can make up you own shapes to of course but the circles, the ssSSssSS shapes and the zig-zags are great. Don't lift your pencil from the paper, go both ways. I would also advice you to try a soft lead pencil or such. Good luck!




    Hi Bryan. I like how far you have come with your figure drawing seemingly without practicing gesture drawing. And I like the pencils or charcoal that you are using, very beautiful. If you take what you have learned about shadows and details and put all of that aside for now and focus only on short interval gesture drawings I think you will see a big improvement in only a couple of weeks. I'm very hessitant to the 150 minutes mentioned in an earlier post, but I do agree that you should keep the interval short. Do 30 or 60 second drawings. The key is to do it every day, but you don't have to spend hours on it every day. Do 20 minutes where you stay focused and keep in mind to keep it simple enough and only capture the things that is needed to describe the pose in that short time (30 seconds is not enough to start shading, doing fingers or toes and such). Search you tube for - Proko gesture drawing. He has a very good and quick introduction on what you should focus on. And as I said, it's better to do this a little bit every day than to do it for many hours once a week. Good luck.



    Have a look here:

    Pages 31- 34 are very good exercises that will help you to understand the proportions and construction. This book is a fantastic asset for anyone who wants to learn figure drawing. Much of the good stuff is in the text so make sure you read and not just look at the pictures. He mentions to always draw with spring, not stiff and straight lines.

    Line: To make livey and loose figure drawing you first need to have a confident stroke so that you can draw with long swooping lines and not do many short "scratchy" lines. You can better your skill by simply doing all sorts of big shapes and going over them again and again. Do circles, ovals, C shapes, S shapes. Do really big ones, do medium and small ones. Go over them again and again without ever lifting the pencil off the paper. This will loosen up the way you approach drawing and it will train the fine muscles in your arm to do shapes with ease. Good luck!



    It looks like you did some progress after watching Andrew Loomis' method to construct a basic head shape. I think you could get more out of it if you focused less on the details such as eyes, lips and hair and just studied the construction elements. Dp some exercises where you draw small boxes in perspective and then try to draw it from every angle. Rotating it up, down and around. This will give you a sense of 3D representation. Then construct the head and it's main shapes from that. First a ball, then the center line, then cut away a little bit on both sides, attach the lower face and jaw (be mindful of the big shapes and the angles they have in 3D, just like when you did the boxes). Once you get the feel for it then you can add the details and they will fall into the right places and angles more easily. Good luck!