Something else has occurred to me that the first method really hones your observational skills while the second hones your communication skills. I know over thinking again but I find that really interesting!
Another way to look at it is that measuring/constructing is engineering, nothing to do with being original/creative/expressive/sensitive, while gesture is all about being responsive, sensitive, interpretative. You need both.
Nicolaides puts his notion of gesture to extremes, in that he totally emphasises being responsive. I had a teacher who urged me to gesture blindly, and fasterfasterfaster, which really hampered my ability to assess proportions correctly. Vilppu is more at the constructive side of the spectrum.
my two cents..
As a beginner, I've been struggling over the same doubts as well, and after spending a long time (way too long) reading books and watching videos I realized that the very basic skill needed to draw is being able to "see" proportions, distances, angles, plumb lines and so on. Even when you do a gesture, you need to put your gestural lines (or squiggly lines..) in the right places, with the right basic proportions, and the right orientation. Even when you build the construct with sphere and boxes, you need to orient those solid forms in the right direction, and, in order to do that, you need to "nail" the angle between body parts. Even Vilppu says that when he does gestures, he takes care of placing his lines in the right places, and he can do that because his eye is accustomed do judging proportions and angles by decades of drawing; I remember him saying that after you do the gesture and you build the solid form with boxes and spheres, you actually need to draw what the actual shape, and you have to avoid drawing just "bumps", but you have to really look at the model to study the quality of the curves that compose the contour; moreover, he also advocates the use of traditional academic tools, such as measuring with your pencil, checking vertical, horizontals and angles.
I think any great artist that advocates the use of gesture and construct has internalized the ability to judge proportions, distances and angles, after years of copying. They probably started drawing at a very young age, and the first thing kids do is to copy their favorite cartoon character or comic book. On one of his videos Viluppu says he started drawing and painting when he was very young, by copying pictures from National Geographic. Probably every great artist started copying at a very young age, and when they started their formal art training, their eyes were already used to judging proportion and distances.
I think a total beginner should start his training by copying what he sees. After his artist eye gets better, he'll move on.
And after that sort of study does what I said hold true? That it gave you a better eye for angles and proportions so that your 2 min drawings improved or was it too divorced for the animation style drawing process?
What I think you mean by 'animation style drawing' starts with gesture and moves from there into a more constructive phase, where measuring has a place and time, and ends with a nice touchy line.
I didn't really experience that learning to measure helps in gestures, it is more a skill that builds upon gestures.
Also, there is a gestural way of measuring which is very natural for animators: flip your eyes between your drawing and your model, and whatever moves is wrong. It takes a little training of the eye, but is a valuable addition to your skill set.
Hi Ewell yeah I have read through that thread at least until it starts to go a little over my head
It fantastic at showing how things have evolved in the fine arts tradition I would love to see something similar in how things have evolved in the animation and concept art industry in a similar fashion. Its interesting to see how the level from which you are 'creating' rather than simply 'observing' increases as you get into this industry, even in a life drawing session.