Gesture Critiques

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Katie Of Conrad 3 years ago.

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    These gestures were all from a "class" session, so some had longer time than others. I think one of my biggest flaws is that I use too many lines, and I am trying to work on that. I'm pretty sure that another problem I have is that as the session progresses I get frustrated and stop paying as much attention to what I'm doing. I tried to show a range of better and worse drawings here, and I was wondering if there are any obvious problems that I'm missing?

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    It's a good start but you're right about using too many lines, if you're not careful you might get into bad habits. It can make it hard to see the pose. I did this a lot when starting gesture drawings too, and find it helps to stick to 1 - 2 minutes per pose, as it starts to sink in that you don't have time to make that many lines! If you practise a lot, even for a week, you do get more confident and less worried about making every drawing accurate. Try to stick to one line, you can look up "ghosting" so you imagine the line before you put it down, otherwise just commit to the line and let it be incorrect. Your brain naturally sorts it out the more you draw.

    Your work has a lot of life to it and doesn't look stiff, which is great! I like the left one on page 5 the best, the line of action is clear and the legs look more confident.

    I set a timer for 25 minutes when I do these, and then take a 5 minute break. It might be worth timing yours to see where your concentration stops and make sure to take breaks. Even if you can only concentrate for 10 minutes, don't worry! Lastly, have you seen the Proko gesture tutorials on youtube? He's great at breaking it down really clearly.

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    Your drawings look really nice, they dont feel stiff at all as the above commentary has said. I would recommend to you to take a look in Mike Mattesi. His drawings is all about life and fluidity. If you want to learn more, his book, Force: Dynamic Life Drawing, is a great book to read. About your lines, he can teach you as well.

    Im reading the book and I already have seen a huge improvement in my drawings.

    I hope I helped you ;)


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    I've looked at all your inscribes, KatieOfConrad, love how structural your drawings are, yet I've got one small prayer: First off, how long was your class mode? Second of all, would you like to get that Mike Matessi book on figure studies, then sketch one illustration on it in 10 minutes, pretty, pretty please, please?? The reason why is because, your attitudes will become the most longest, largest, and lightest thus far. Feel confident and beg that it'll be a surefire success.

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    Thanks everyone for your advice! I will definately work on doing more ghosting, and I like the suggestion to time myself while drawing. I will try look into Mike Mattesi's book and I appriciate the recomendation. I'm actually already using the Proko figure drawing course, but I'm glad that there are others who feel it is worthwhile.


    It's interesting what's said about too many lines. I was told this when I did some training with the Watts Atelier - they seemed very keen on ensuring I don't use too many lines as otherwise I'd get confused. But...I then did a bunch of training with Glenn Vilppu who tends to use a different method and a lot of lines!

    Personally, I prefer Vilppu's approach and my figure drawing has improved a lot using his methods. With that said, I get how too many lines can then become a bad habit (and my sketches are still way too messy). However, it's better to get the energy and have too many lines, than miss the gesture and have a cleaner image - using less lines will come in time IMHO.

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    Great efforts! Thanks for providing a range of drawings - it helped to see the variation in your lines of action and how some of your pieces benefitted from a stronger line than others. Notably, Gesture3 and Gestures5 were very stiff drawings; and even where you had a great line of action (like in Gestures4 and Gestures6), the secondary limbs didn't flow as well.

    I also agree with your observation that you use too many lines when you draw. I'd encourage you to work at this, because the short "scratchy" lines not only reduce line quality, but also add to the stiffness of the figure.

    I'd recommend two things:
    - Exaggerate lines of action and draw a secondary line of action whenever possible. If your initial drawing looks like a flowy stick figure, you should have a good skeleton on top of which to build forms. Recognizing that some of the poses on this site can be pretty stiff, it can be useful to mentally contort the pose for your drawing. This'll help you develop a habit of going more dynamic, which should make your drawings more interesting.
    - If you have difficulty focusing as the session goes on, I'd focus very tightly on getting the torso section right, which should at least help you put all the limbs and head in proper perspective and orientation. Many teachers have their own methods, but a simple exercise I'd recommend is "The Bean"

    . If you do nothing more than create a bean and build simple cylindrical limbs off of that, you should be set to add more detail as your interest and focus merits throughout the session.

    Good luck on your practice!


    Thank you guys. I've tried to work on some of the things you talked about, and I'm starting to see improvement.

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