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  1. #31
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    armando, Ingres' quote would make for a great discussion in and of itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    In Russia we don't call this "gesture drawings" but rather "quick drawings" ("nabroski"), or simply "sketches".

    I hope this might help as well:
    Sketches - very fast drawings – usually take from 5 to 15 minutes.
    Gestures as I know them typically take between half a minute to 5 minutes, and they are usually being referred to as the essence, the core, the energy, the impulse of the pose. I feel that the notion of sketch is more general, not necessarily excluding gestures.

    As far as I know, the Russian approach to art is very traditional, so I'm not surprised the concept of gestures is not used. I think Nicolaides was the first to coin the concept, about 80 years ago, so it is a relatively recent invention.

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    eezacque@xs4all.nl,

    I don't believe in any new "inventions" in fundamentals of drawing, sorry.

    Below is what we call "nabroski", all done by our Academy students. I've picked the ones that take less than 5 minutes for sure.

    You can call it any way you want, but you can't create anything new in this field, really. Otherwise, it's called "reinventing the wheel".

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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    eezacque@xs4all.nl,

    I don't believe in any new "inventions" in fundamentals of drawing, sorry.

    Below is what we call "nabroski", all done by our Academy students. I've picked the ones that take less than 5 minutes for sure.

    You can call it any way you want, but you can't create anything new in this field, really. Otherwise, it's called "reinventing the wheel".
    Then why don't you close shop? If everything has been done before, let's stick to the old masters. Or do you really believe your students are any better than Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt or Repin?

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  6. #35
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    eezacque@xs4all.nl,

    To "close" what "shop", to be exact?

    Yes, I agree to being "stick to the old masters" if you want to study drawing.

    Your last question doesn't make any sense to me, sorry.
    No, our students are not "any better than Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt or Repin", but they study from them.

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    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post

    Below is what we call "nabroski", all done by our Academy students. I've picked the ones that take less than 5 minutes for sure.
    Are you saying that all these drawings were done in under 5 minutes?

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    papageo,

    Yes. With a couple of exceptions (a portrait under #122, and a group portrait under #121), they all were done on the average of 5 minutes or less. It's a normal practice for the Academy students.

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    There was a sign on the Academy building, “Free Arts”. “What’s that?”, we asked our professor. – “That’s to be able to create anything, but to create what you want to.”
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    I've been doing life drawing about 4 times a week for the past few months, I think once you're in a rhythm and constantly doing it then pinpointing the essence of a pose will start coming more naturally.

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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    papageo,

    Yes. With a couple of exceptions (a portrait under #122, and a group portrait under #121), they all were done on the average of 5 minutes or less. It's a normal practice for the Academy students.


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    Gesture drawing was invented as a drawing exercise by Nicolaides, but it has links to innovative drawing styles developed by contemporaneous and slightly earlier artists, and more distantly to the "scribble" style of compositional drawing that can be traced back to Leonardo. Notwithstanding the latter connection, some early twentieth century artists, notably the German Heinrich Kley, took gestural drawing to highly virtuosic levels that had few if any real predecessors.

    The sketches posted by Book Guru seem to support eezacque's suspicion that gesture drawing is not taught in Russia as far as the traditional academies go (the examples shown are all quick/rushed outline-and-shading drawings rather than gesture drawings), though I'd be surprised if it isn't part of animation training there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    Gesture drawing was invented as a drawing exercise by Nicolaides, ...
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho....php?p=2756795

    Right.

    Nicolaides, with his book, invented "Gesture Exercises" . Just like you have "Blind Contour" exercises, it's a student exercise with a model. People often try to make the goal as precise, fast contour drawings, but that's not the point of the exercises.

    Plus, it's not often a step you see in a professionals method for making a painting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Isn't it likely then that gesture is just a cloudy idea? It's a little of this and a little of that and yet none of them. Could this be why there never is a definitive answer. There is only an answer once you stick in a qualifier, it's not just gesture but Niccolaides-gesture, Villpu-gesture, or Mentler-gesture, they're all different and it's pointless to refer to one when the question is about the other.
    Not to get off the subject, but that does seem to be the problem with using words when describing learning how to draw and describing methods. For example "copy" always comes across as a negative word. It's very vague what you mean when you use the word "copy". No matter how you use it in the forums, it just sounds wrong to people. Does it make sense to say, "indirectly copy"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    Nicolaides, with his book, invented "Gesture Exercises" . Just like you have "Blind Contour" exercises, it's a student exercise with a model. People often try to make the goal as precise, fast contour drawings, but that's not the point of the exercises.

    Plus, it's not often a step you see in a professionals method for making a painting.
    I beg to differ. Nicolaides teaches gestures as the foundation of a drawing, very much like a writer jots down his first ideas before actually writing his text.

    However, the gesture that underlies a drawing is typically more efficient than the scribbly notes made in a pure gesture. As such, you could call Nicolaides one-minute gestures an exercise, but there is really a continuous transition from exercise into foundation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    I beg to differ. Nicolaides teaches gestures as the foundation of a drawing, very much like a writer jots down his first ideas before actually writing his text.

    However, the gesture that underlies a drawing is typically more efficient than the scribbly notes made in a pure gesture. As such, you could call Nicolaides one-minute gestures an exercise, but there is really a continuous transition from exercise into foundation.
    It sounds like your implying that the point of the exercises are to eventually develop a skill of drawing gestures from the imagination. That Nicolaides wants you to jot down inspirational ideas of gestures you might have for a picture, then turn it into a contour drawing. Much like a writer jots down plot ideas and so forth for a book, he's working from his imagination, not reference directly in front of him.

    He's not trying to teach you how to develop gestures from your imagination, but how to capture that essence that's in front of you.

    You COULD do many multiple precise drawings of the figure in different methods, for however long it takes till you really grasp a good solid understanding of drawing gestures. But for Nicolaides, he developed an exercise for his students on how to understand gestures and really grasp it when they drew from a model in front of them.

    I don't doubt that professionals go back and practice "gesture exercises" from time to time. But I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the example I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods. In other words, first they develop a gesture drawings (like the ones I posted) then a rough drawing and so on... I've never seen those types of gesture drawings for a painting.

    If there is, I'd like to see some examples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    It sounds like your implying that the point of the exercises are to eventually develop a skill of drawing gestures from the imagination.
    Not necessarily. The idea is to capture the essence of the figure in a quick note, which is then worked out in subsequent steps...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I don't doubt that professionals go back and practice "gesture exercises" from time to time. But I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the example I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods. In other words, first they develop a gesture drawings (like the ones I posted) then a rough drawing and so on... I've never seen those types of gesture drawings for a painting.

    If there is, I'd like to see some examples.
    Nicolaides shows numerous examples of gestures from well-known masters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    Nicolaides shows numerous examples of gestures from well-known masters.
    But you don't see the final paintings from them. You don't know the method of how they were used. You don't know if they were done from imagination or from a model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    He's not trying to teach you how to develop gestures from your imagination, but how to capture that essence that's in front of you.
    If you examine the book you'll find that in later exercises he builds on the skill of gesture drawing to draw the figure from memory (memory drawing), to draw poses slightly modified in the imagination (potential gesture), to draw imagined figures from verbal descriptions (descriptive poses), to draw the figure as visualized from a different viewpoint (right-angle study), and to draw compositions from the imagination (daily composition, etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    ... But I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the example I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods. In other words, first they develop a gesture drawings (like the ones I posted) then a rough drawing and so on... I've never seen those types of gesture drawings for a painting.

    If there is, I'd like to see some examples.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    But you don't see the final paintings from them. You don't know the method of how they were used. You don't know if they were done from imagination or from a model.
    True, but do you really think that, say, Rembrandt, started to draw in a totally different way because it was the start of a painting? Also, the distinction between imagination and model is irrelevant, here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    But I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the example I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods. In other words, first they develop a gesture drawings (like the ones I posted) then a rough drawing and so on... I've never seen those types of gesture drawings for a painting.

    If there is, I'd like to see some examples.
    While maybe not "gestures" in the Nicolaides sense of them term, here's two gestural sketches by Rembrandt and Raphael with their associated paintings. Obviously, the Rembrandt painting has been cropped over the centuries, but you can see the initial thought in there (this particular reproduction is slightly more cropped than the real thing).

    Although, as a side note, in Rembrandt: The Painter at Work by Ernst van de Wetering, he makes the case that some of Rembrandt's gestural studies may have been done while the painting was in progress, rather than as a preliminary. In other words, he might have used them as a way to quickly test ideas and solve problems when he got stuck with the actual painting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I've never seen those types of gesture drawings for a painting.

    If there is, I'd like to see some examples.
    Oh yeah...most professionals begin with a gestural statement or construction, sketch, block-in, whatever you want to call it...whether working from imagination or observation. And traditional, professional animators are all about the gesture.

    The "gesture" is the life and essence of any figurative piece...the difficulty is maintaining that essence as the piece develops.

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    Obviously, artist learn to develop their own type of stock character and can draw and scribble from the imagination and use it for thumbnails and so forth, but that's not what I'm trying to get across here.

    (Thanks for providing those examples though!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I don't doubt that professionals go back and practice "gesture exercises" from time to time. But I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the example I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods. In other words, first they develop a gesture drawings (like the ones I posted) then a rough drawing and so on... I've never seen those types of gesture drawings for a painting.

    If there is, I'd like to see some examples.
    I should have said, I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the examples I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods... that we know don't use reference and work solely from imagination.

    They're usually very rough constructed gestures, like Loomis shows you how to do with his rough mannikin scribbles. They don't look the same as Nicolaides student gestures from a model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I should have said, I haven't ever seen examples of gestures, like in the examples I posted earlier, from professionals in their methods...that we know don't use reference and work solely from imagination
    No one works solely from imagination...at least not representational artists. You're either working from direct observation or working from accumulated experience and previous problem solving solutions...often both.

    This guy was pretty good with gesture...and carried that through to his finished paintings.
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    Lots more here

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    They're usually very rough constructed gestures, like Loomis shows you how to do with his rough mannikin scribbles. They don't look the same as Nicolaides student gestures from a model.
    Why would they though? They look like Loomis gestures. I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at? Might be over-analyzing or have some expectations that aren't matching up with processes or...?

    Everyone is going to have their own signature when it comes to putting tool to paper or canvas.

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    Artists draw in all sorts of ways. And individual artists draw in all sorts of ways. Nobody, even the most controlled, regimented artist, follows the exact same process every time. The lesson? Learn to draw in all sorts of ways.


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    I believe that re-inventing the wheel is a whole lotta fun and one of the things that keeps me doing this stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Book Guru View Post
    eezacque@xs4all.nl,

    I don't believe in any new "inventions" in fundamentals of drawing, sorry.

    Below is what we call "nabroski", all done by our Academy students. I've picked the ones that take less than 5 minutes for sure.

    You can call it any way you want, but you can't create anything new in this field, really. Otherwise, it's called "reinventing the wheel".
    We're actually discouraged from doing these kinds of drawing (using line to depict detail, for example) while doing gestures. Most of what you are showing would not be considered gestures in my figure drawing classes.

    What you posted look more like contour line sketches, for the most part, few with some hints of value laid in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Everyone is going to have their own signature when it comes to putting tool to paper or canvas.
    I think that's why this keeps getting so confusing.

    The approach of Frazetta's gesture is not the same approach of Nicolaides student exercises.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    The lesson? Learn to draw in all sorts of ways.
    Right. There's many different methods to approach doing gestures. That's what I'm trying to get across.

    Nicolaides "gesture exercise" is from a model. Briggsy is right that Nicolaide is trying to get that across and has other exercises like "memory exercises", but it's done minutes after doing drawings from a model. And there's the descriptive poses and potential gesture. But you don't see any examples of this. They would normally look different from those "gesture exercises" because they're approached more constructively.

    I guess another way of saying it is, there's more form developed in one kind of gesture approach compared to the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    The approach of Frazetta's gesture is not the same approach of Nicolaides student exercises.
    Not necessarily. Remember that The Natural Way To Draw was compiled after Nicolaides' death from his notes, so he's not responsible for the illustrations selected. Any book illustrated exclusively with student work has to contend with the issue that most student work, by definition, isn't very good. Just because the examples of gesture drawing in Nicolaides' book are scribbly, misproportioned messes doesn't mean the goal of gesture drawing is a scribbly, misproportioned mess. It just means the scribbly, misproportioned mess stage is one students will have to work through.

    Last edited by Elwell; December 28th, 2011 at 10:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    I think that's why this keeps getting so confusing.

    The approach of Frazetta's gesture is not the same approach of Nicolaides student exercises.

    I guess another way of saying it is, there's more form developed in one kind of gesture approach compared to the other.
    Sure, and as Elwell pointed out artists use various "styles" or marks for various reasons and situations. In the end the gesture is about capturing the feeling of life...it may be in a horse, a tree, a stream, a person.

    I think you're gettting caught up in the idea of a gesture "approach" or set formula...everyone develops their own little ways of establishing the essential information, and it varies depending on the goal and limitations. Frazetta was particularly good at it and carries that dynamic through to his paintings, which is why I used that example. Someone like Tony Ryder has a completely different kind of thing going on.

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