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  1. #1
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    I want to get better at gesture drawing!

    Hi! I'm pretty embarrassed to be posting here since I'm miles behind everyone else skills-wise. I'm technically not new here, about a year ago I made a thread here where some nice people critiqued my artwork. Unfortunately, I feel that I haven't improved much if at all since then. These are some pretty recent game character concepts I did. Clearly I wasn't going for realism with these and was just drawing in the comic-esque style that I enjoy drawing, but I guess drawing that way doesn't help you improve very much. These drawings aren't what I'm here to get help with but I welcome comments and criticisms on my progress if you have any

    What I really want is help on my gesture drawings. I feel like they're a good "re-starting point" for me. They're quick, simple, and if I can do them I've already basically won half the battle. But I'm awful at them! Even the most very basic poses. I'll show you some examples:

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    This is four 2-minute figure drawings I drew from the line-of-action website.

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    And these are a value study and some gestures drawn in ink, from my life drawing class at college.

    Obviously there's a lot wrong; the proportions for one thing. One of my main problems is that I always get the head too small (probably since it's where I start) but there's other problematic areas too. I feel like there are also other problems I'd like help identifying.

    I feel there's something wrong with my approach to drawing these. My main routine is to draw an oval for the head, then draw a stick with two balls on the end for the shoulders, maybe another for the hips, and then I just do what feels natural from there. And the results haven't been pretty.

    Sometimes I try drawing a stick figure and then adding volume to it but that doesn't seem to work out for me either.

    I'd like to move on from these super-basic drawings and make gestures like the right picture here but I don't really know how to proceed from this point!

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum for people of my level or anything, feel free to move it if so. Thanks in advance for the help!


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  3. #2
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    Don't start with the head. Start with an unbroken line that represents the gesture or feeling of motion that flows through the figure. Then place 4 lines on your gesture line that indicate the top and bottom of both the ribcage and the pelvis. Then you can worry about appendages.

    Also, buy the book "Force dynamic life drawing for animators." It will teach you the secret magics.

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    First of all, I don't really think your gestures are as awful as you make them out to be. Gestures are more of a way to study the movement of the human figure than a way to make a pretty drawing IMO. It's an exercise in getting you to see the human body in a certain way, just like how you might draw cubes when you first start studying perspective. The value is in what you learn from doing them rather than in the actual drawings themselves. What you're trying to capture is the pose, energy, and/or movement of the figure in a short amount of time. I think you've done that here, but I also feel like you could be a bit looser in your drawings. The ones that you've done in-class are considerably more effective than the ones done from the computer. In general, studying figure drawing and especially gesture drawing from a live model is going to be a bazillion times better then working from images. So, good for you that you're taking this class and being serious about it! Don't stress out too much about proportion. It is important, but try to be more quick/effective at capturing action and the feeling of the pose before you worry about proportion. Eventually, you're going to be able to tell if something's off and just eyeball your proportions the more drawing you do, especially if you go beyond gestures and do longer figure studies as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by doodlebugger View Post
    I'd like to move on from these super-basic drawings and make gestures like the right picture here but I don't really know how to proceed from this point!
    I think the left image is more of what you should be aiming for in a gesture drawing. The right image looks to be more constructed, and in a full figure drawing it would be like the second step after doing a quick gesture. Obviously, he's highly skilled and the whole thing probably took him like, half a minute or something but don't overthink it. Look, gesture drawings are not meant to be pretty, but I can relate to having that expectation. Well done gesture drawings are some of my favorite kinds of artwork. There are times where I find myself seeing these gesture drawings done by masters and thinking my work (all of it, and not just gestures!) is absolute crap in comparison. To me, these drawings are art but to most of the artists doing them, they just see them as exercises and a way to study. At the end of the day, it all goes back to the action of the pose. That's what matters. Whether it's your "stick figures" with volumes or Proko's (seemingly) effortless sketch, the purpose is the same. Don't worry about the aesthetics when you're just starting out. If an approach doesn't work for you, try something else. You don't have to draw gestures like anyone else. There are no rules in gesture. A kindergarten-style stick figure is a gesture drawing (albeit a crappy example). This is a gesture drawing. There's a wide range of what gesture can be depending on skills and preference. Take it easy and focus on capturing the energy of the figure in front of you. If you're not enjoying it or not learning anything, then and only then are you doing something "wrong." Hope that helped a little!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David_a_ray View Post
    Also, buy the book "Force dynamic life drawing for animators." It will teach you the secret magics.
    There are no secrets, there is no magic.

    I suggest you study Loomis' mannikin, which will teach you the basic structure of the human body and its proportions, and take it from there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_a_ray View Post
    Don't start with the head. Start with an unbroken line that represents the gesture or feeling of motion that flows through the figure. Then place 4 lines on your gesture line that indicate the top and bottom of both the ribcage and the pelvis. Then you can worry about appendages.

    Also, buy the book "Force dynamic life drawing for animators." It will teach you the secret magics.
    David_a_ray that's an interesting approach! I've always been aware of the line of action concept but I guess I'm guilty of never really putting it to use. I'll try the technique next time I get the chance. I'll see if I can scrounge together enough money to buy that book

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyvisions View Post
    First of all, I don't really think your gestures are as awful as you make them out to be. Gestures are more of a way to study the movement of the human figure than a way to make a pretty drawing IMO. It's an exercise in getting you to see the human body in a certain way, just like how you might draw cubes when you first start studying perspective. The value is in what you learn from doing them rather than in the actual drawings themselves. What you're trying to capture is the pose, energy, and/or movement of the figure in a short amount of time. I think you've done that here, but I also feel like you could be a bit looser in your drawings. The ones that you've done in-class are considerably more effective than the ones done from the computer. In general, studying figure drawing and especially gesture drawing from a live model is going to be a bazillion times better then working from images. So, good for you that you're taking this class and being serious about it! Don't stress out too much about proportion. It is important, but try to be more quick/effective at capturing action and the feeling of the pose before you worry about proportion. Eventually, you're going to be able to tell if something's off and just eyeball your proportions the more drawing you do, especially if you go beyond gestures and do longer figure studies as well.

    I think the left image is more of what you should be aiming for in a gesture drawing. The right image looks to be more constructed, and in a full figure drawing it would be like the second step after doing a quick gesture. Obviously, he's highly skilled and the whole thing probably took him like, half a minute or something but don't overthink it. Look, gesture drawings are not meant to be pretty, but I can relate to having that expectation. Well done gesture drawings are some of my favorite kinds of artwork. There are times where I find myself seeing these gesture drawings done by masters and thinking my work (all of it, and not just gestures!) is absolute crap in comparison. To me, these drawings are art but to most of the artists doing them, they just see them as exercises and a way to study. At the end of the day, it all goes back to the action of the pose. That's what matters. Whether it's your "stick figures" with volumes or Proko's (seemingly) effortless sketch, the purpose is the same. Don't worry about the aesthetics when you're just starting out. If an approach doesn't work for you, try something else. You don't have to draw gestures like anyone else. There are no rules in gesture. A kindergarten-style stick figure is a gesture drawing (albeit a crappy example). This is a gesture drawing. There's a wide range of what gesture can be depending on skills and preference. Take it easy and focus on capturing the energy of the figure in front of you. If you're not enjoying it or not learning anything, then and only then are you doing something "wrong." Hope that helped a little!
    Thank you for being so nice sunnyvisions! It's true my drawings done from the computer have a certain stiffness to them, I feel like that also carries over to some of my life drawings as well although maybe it isn't as evident in the examples I posted. You're right about gestures being for learning rather than to produce actual pleasing results, but I feel like the results are an indication of how much you've learned, and my drawings just don't seem to reflect a lot of wisdom. You also have a point that the definition of gesture drawing is kind of vague. I guess a better example of the level I want to reach is illustrated here, quick and simple but it still gives you a very good idea of what the final product is probably going to look like. I'll try to loosen up a bit when I'm drawing, I've always been sort of a fidgety dude hahaha, so a big part of me wants to make slow and careful lines. But I gotta learn to ignore that part of my brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    There are no secrets, there is no magic.

    I suggest you study Loomis' mannikin, which will teach you the basic structure of the human body and its proportions, and take it from there.
    I will look into that! I do own one of Loomis' books Creative Illustration, which is still sitting around waiting to be read. One of my favorite artists used to draw like an elementary school before he started intensely studying the human body and proportions so maybe this kind of study is exactly what I need.

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    Hello! In my last art class, my gestures went a little better from following David_a_ray's strategy. But, I still feel there's a lot of problems I'm struggling with. See:
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    My teacher suggested a more sketchy, squibbly style that I used for these gestures. David's strategy helps me do away with my habit of making the head to big, I don't know why!

    Also, we do in fact do figure studies every day in class! I'd actually like feedback on one of them since my problems carry over to figure studies as well.

    http://i.imgur.com/HTLY8ek.jpg

    I wish you could see how little this looks like the actual model! This picture just turned out looking very flat and two-dimensional despite the pose leaving plenty of room to express volume and such.

    My teacher will give me some advice during class but it usually amounts to things like "This arm looks a little long" or "the head is too wide" Things that might be helpful in the moment but, I feel like there's something wrong with my entire approach to drawing that he can't diagnose. I think he pities me-- I've gotten visibly upset over how bad my drawings in class were, a few days ago I was holding back tears in front of him and I think he notices that and doesn't want to make me feel bad hahaha. But, I want criticism even if it's brutal.

    So yea, maybe the leg's a little long or the head is too tall-- but is there anything you can identify about my technique that seems wrong? I'd also appreciate any advice on how you recommend I practice to get better. Class is only 3 days a week after all.

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    The first problem is that your teacher isn't communicating effectively with you at your level. "The head is too wide" is not useful criticism if you don't know how wide the head is supposed to be in the first place. That's only a good critique if you already know how wide it should be and you just overlooked it.

    The second issue is you probably haven't memorized "ideal" or as I call them generalized proportions, using the 8 head method. Learn this. Practice it. Then you can mix and match to meet your needs and tastes.

    Make sure you know how to measure from observation properly. There is a right way and a wrong way. Proko has a good video tutorial that will show you how it's done.

    http://www.proko.com/drawing-measuring-techniques/

    Explore that site for more cool stuff.

    Finally, don't beat yourself up for not getting it. We all do that, but it's unproductive. Just keep drawing. Milage makes a huge difference. You'll get where you want to go.

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    Hiya!

    I think it's been mentioned already, but PROKO on youtube! Proko like mad bud! Also loomis figure drawing for all it's worth is a great book, even if you just learn the mannequin. (save loomis for pdfs!)
    Prokos gesture videos are very easy to understand, and he will guide you to the mannequin stage, but don't rush it. The ideas seem simple, but it helps in my case to repeat the exercise till I get it wrong. That means I have to learn what I didn't understand about the concept, and then i'm actually learning not just enforcing ideas I already knew (a little masochistic but it works for me...)
    I would suggest some under the table practice, with clean lines and simple structures. Your teachers suggestion keeps your lines loose and full of gesture, but it's difficult to progress from that mess of lines to a completed figure drawing. It is probably possible, but you would have to know your masses very well which is more of a mouthful than you could probably chew at the moment. Disney scribbled gesture like mad, but the best of their draftsmen were clean and decisive, also known as efficient.
    Proko and loomis start with different, but related stuctures. These structures eliminate the complicated forms, and let you play with gesture and proportion exclusively. One of my favorite artists Bryan Lee (Funkey Monkey not the pilgrim dude) likes to repeat that you can only handle a few concepts at a time (Light, form, gesture, color, line etc) so the goal is to ONLY pick one or two for each session.
    You're not horrible by a long shot. If you could see my scraps buried away in boxes, they look the same as yours.
    Actually mine are worse.... So if that helps you're doing better than my start!
    Give yourself some credit, you're inexperienced, not a bad artist.
    -Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by doodlebugger View Post
    So yea, maybe the leg's a little long or the head is too tall-- but is there anything you can identify about my technique that seems wrong? I'd also appreciate any advice on how you recommend I practice to get better. Class is only 3 days a week after all.
    In my opinion, gesture is a waste of time if you haven't internalized the proportions of the human figure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcosBell View Post
    Hiya!

    I think it's been mentioned already, but PROKO on youtube! Proko like mad bud! Also loomis figure drawing for all it's worth is a great book, even if you just learn the mannequin. (save loomis for pdfs!)
    Prokos gesture videos are very easy to understand, and he will guide you to the mannequin stage, but don't rush it. The ideas seem simple, but it helps in my case to repeat the exercise till I get it wrong. That means I have to learn what I didn't understand about the concept, and then i'm actually learning not just enforcing ideas I already knew (a little masochistic but it works for me...)
    I would suggest some under the table practice, with clean lines and simple structures. Your teachers suggestion keeps your lines loose and full of gesture, but it's difficult to progress from that mess of lines to a completed figure drawing. It is probably possible, but you would have to know your masses very well which is more of a mouthful than you could probably chew at the moment. Disney scribbled gesture like mad, but the best of their draftsmen were clean and decisive, also known as efficient.
    Proko and loomis start with different, but related stuctures. These structures eliminate the complicated forms, and let you play with gesture and proportion exclusively. One of my favorite artists Bryan Lee (Funkey Monkey not the pilgrim dude) likes to repeat that you can only handle a few concepts at a time (Light, form, gesture, color, line etc) so the goal is to ONLY pick one or two for each session.
    You're not horrible by a long shot. If you could see my scraps buried away in boxes, they look the same as yours.
    Actually mine are worse.... So if that helps you're doing better than my start!
    Give yourself some credit, you're inexperienced, not a bad artist.
    -Cheers!
    My studies on how to get better at art lead me to Proko all the time! He does make sense and I still use some of his techniques today. I'll try to go back to clean lines and leave this scribbly stuff behind. My teacher recommended that we draw in volumes instead of just outlines, which did sound like a good approach for me. But I guess I'm not really getting how to do that.

    Thank you for saying I'm not that bad! I guess when I say I'm horrible I just mean I'm horrible relative to the level I wanted to be at by now. I know that's not helpful to say to myself but, it's hard to help myself hahaha

    Quote Originally Posted by David_a_ray View Post
    The first problem is that your teacher isn't communicating effectively with you at your level. "The head is too wide" is not useful criticism if you don't know how wide the head is supposed to be in the first place. That's only a good critique if you already know how wide it should be and you just overlooked it.

    The second issue is you probably haven't memorized "ideal" or as I call them generalized proportions, using the 8 head method. Learn this. Practice it. Then you can mix and match to meet your needs and tastes.

    Make sure you know how to measure from observation properly. There is a right way and a wrong way. Proko has a good video tutorial that will show you how it's done.

    http://www.proko.com/drawing-measuring-techniques/

    Explore that site for more cool stuff.

    Finally, don't beat yourself up for not getting it. We all do that, but it's unproductive. Just keep drawing. Milage makes a huge difference. You'll get where you want to go.
    A lot of the times my teacher and I make measurements that seem to conflict with each other. I.E. I'll make a leg that looks fine proportions-wise, and he'll come and say it looks off, and draw over it how he sees the leg. While it's much better drawn than my leg, it doesn't look like what I'm seeing. I guess our perceptions just have weird differences.

    I know it's not productive to be negative about your progress, you'll just have to forgive me for that since I can't really help it! There's just a lot of things that discourage me and I'm constantly wondering whether it's too late for me to get better or if I just don't have the mental capacity to be a good artist. It gets hard to ignore sometimes is all

    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    In my opinion, gesture is a waste of time if you haven't internalized the proportions of the human figure.
    This is a fair point. I ordered Loomis' figure drawing book and intend to study it daily to really internalize human proportions.

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    There's a lot that relies on a foundation of muscle memory. In physical exercise your brain takes about 8 weeks to master a particular move. That's when you change up your exercise routine. Spend 20 minutes a day doing gesture drawings and in 8 weeks you'll be kicking ass compared to where you are now.

    I did this. I'm not just telling you to do something I haven't tried. Your brain just needs time to install the new software.

    And yeah, proportions; get those first.

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    But will that daily practice do me much good if, right now, my approach to gesture drawing is confused and troubled? I can't imagine practice helping too much when my technique is how it is. Of course I'll practice daily, I have a lot of free time this summer thankfully, but I think I need to find a better way to approach drawing because most of the ways I've been taught really aren't doing it for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doodlebugger View Post
    But will that daily practice do me much good if, right now, my approach to gesture drawing is confused and troubled?
    No. Practice is hierarchical, i.e. it consists of many subskills, most of which depend on another skill, and practice on a skill without sufficiently mastering the required subskills is a waste of time: don't run before you can walk. This is ill-understood, and too many schools waste their pupils time by telling them just to practice a lot.
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    Well, I'm definitely at a bit of a loss what to do for practice. I'm not a master of proportions but I should at least have enough knowledge to do decent gesture drawings. I know that the body is 8 heads tall, one head unit down from the chin is the nipples, one down from that is the navel, one down from that the crotch, two down from that the knees, and two down from that is the feet. The distance between the two nipples is one head unit. The wrist, when the arms are at the side, reaches down to the crotch. That's what I can recall from memory. I guess my problem is with gesture you're encouraged to go fast and I fail to remember these things at that speed.

    Maybe I should be working on full figure drawing instead?

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    Check out sketchbooks like "fantasyartist's" he does a lot of tutorials on gesture drawing and has some great work. I think you're doing pretty well, learn to draw the figure simple first, just an oval shape for the head and basic shapes for the torso, pelvis, arms and legs. That way you can focus just on getting the proportions right, which is step one. Don't bother with drawing the bumps of the muscles because you need to know where those muscle attach to the bones of the skeleton before drawing them. I am currently studying anatomy/figure drawing and I can definitely recommend starting with simple shapes, then once you've got proportions down you draw the simplified skeleton within that shape and the last step is studying anatomy where each muscle attaches to that simplified figure. Just keep drawing a lot, good luck!
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  25. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by doodlebugger View Post
    [...]
    That's what I can recall from memory. I guess my problem is with gesture you're encouraged to go fast and I fail to remember these things at that speed.
    Recall from memory is not good enough, you need to internalize the human figure, which is why I recommend you study Loomis' mannikin, until you can draw it effortlessly in various poses, from observation and imagination.
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    I'll do my best at that then! I've never been the greatest at studying but just drawing a bunch of cartoons hasn't gotten my anywhere so far. The studying route is looking a bit more promising.

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    Hello again! I've had a little while to study and do more gesture and figure drawings.

    Here's some gestures from class:

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    They're definitely better than what I posted in the first post of this topic, but still not good enough!

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    These are two figure drawings I did. I'm okay with the first one I guess, although I feel a lot of the lighting and value looks arbitrary, I guess since I haven't studied muscle anatomy much and didn't know exactly what it was I was drawing. The second one the face kind of creeps me out haha, I haven't done much study on faces either so I usually don't get those right except by dumb luck.

    If there's any other ways I can improve you can let me know!

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    I think the second one shows some promise! I like how you've separated off the different areas of shadow. Although in the first one (left) the lit areas do seem kind of random. But you will figure out better how to handle lighting with some more experience.

    But for now my advice would be to work on drawing in better proportions. And you don't need to read 100 anatomy books in order to get human proportions right. There is more than enough information right there in front of you, if only you know how to represent it! In other words: draw what you see. Look the biggest relationships between shapes at first. How long is the torso compared to the legs? How big is the head compared to everything else? I think observing bigger masses and focusing less on symbolic drawing is going to be key to improving. I see you drawing a leg, or a boob, or eyes. Just try the shapes you see. It's probably going to look like crap for a while, but you will get it.

    For me, I drew for a long time without being able to really separate the raw visual information I was seeing, from what I thought I knew about an object. (I would draw an eye like however I thought it should look, not what was in front of me). Eventually it clicked that I could just see shapes for what they were, and not as lips, or a nose, or eyes. What you want is to get to that point as soon as you are able. Drawing on the Right side of the Brain by Edwards might help explain but don't take the science too seriously.

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    Yes! I like to think I'm always drawing exactly what I see but I'll have to watch myself and see if that's really what I'm doing. I feel as though sometimes I do things like always drawing the forearms as just rectangles with a bump, the head as an oval, boobs as half-circles, etc. I have another class tomorrow, I'll see if I catch myself doing any of that symbolic drawing.

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    Good start keep them coming !

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    These are two figure drawings I did. I'm okay with the first one I guess, although I feel a lot of the lighting and value looks arbitrary, I guess since I haven't studied muscle anatomy much and didn't know exactly what it was I was drawing. The second one the face kind of creeps me out haha, I haven't done much study on faces either so I usually don't get those right except by dumb luck.

    If there's any other ways I can improve you can let me know!


    You pointed out the problem right there: you need to increase your understanding of the anatomy and structure of the human figure. Although gesture drawing is not about anatomy, the gesture is created by the anatomy. There's no way around the fundamentals if you want good drawings.


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    Quote Originally Posted by fantasyartist View Post
    Although gesture drawing is not about anatomy, the gesture is created by the anatomy.
    I beg to differ: the gesture is created by the action.
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    I beg to differ: the gesture is created by the action.


    I understand your point. Let me rephrase what I said: the gesture is expressed through the anatomy.

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    I saw you say this line earlier

    I guess my problem is with gesture you're encouraged to go fast and I fail to remember these things at that speed.
    Then slow it down. There is nobody saying you have to be super fast with your gestures. If when you do gestures super fast, they come out like crap, then slow it down to a speed that they don't. The right way, is whatever way works for you. In the future, once you can get the lines down in a controlled correct manner, then you can speed it up to challenge yourself.

    I think the reason for timing gestures to like 30 seconds, or 1 or 2 minutes is to see if you can describe the form/action in as few strokes as possible (for some people at least) and by making the time limit short, it makes you move quickly to get something down.

    A possible better way for beginners is to say, I want to get the gesture for this drawing down to 6 strokes (or whatever number you decide). Then with each stroke you take a number off of what you have left until you are down to 0. Don't rush tho, just really think about each stroke and go as slow as you need to be to get it right/presentable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fantasyartist View Post


    You pointed out the problem right there: you need to increase your understanding of the anatomy and structure of the human figure. Although gesture drawing is not about anatomy, the gesture is created by the anatomy. There's no way around the fundamentals if you want good drawings.

    Hello! Yes, I've lately been studying Andrew Loomis' "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" to help me with anatomy. It's pretty difficult, especially memorizing all the underlying muscle masses, but I'm keeping at it. I think improving my technique is the bigger issue right now but I don't underestimate the importance of learning anatomy either, it's just a bit of a slow difficult process for me haha

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Fraser View Post
    Then slow it down. There is nobody saying you have to be super fast with your gestures. If when you do gestures super fast, they come out like crap, then slow it down to a speed that they don't. The right way, is whatever way works for you. In the future, once you can get the lines down in a controlled correct manner, then you can speed it up to challenge yourself.

    I think the reason for timing gestures to like 30 seconds, or 1 or 2 minutes is to see if you can describe the form/action in as few strokes as possible (for some people at least) and by making the time limit short, it makes you move quickly to get something down.

    A possible better way for beginners is to say, I want to get the gesture for this drawing down to 6 strokes (or whatever number you decide). Then with each stroke you take a number off of what you have left until you are down to 0. Don't rush tho, just really think about each stroke and go as slow as you need to be to get it right/presentable.
    I understand what you are saying. Truth is when we did 30sec-1min gesture drawings in class I would rarely ever finish, which definitely points to the idea that I was missing the point of them. More recently we've been doing 5 minute ones which are a much more comfortable speed for me.

    Thank you all for replying again! Recently I've come down with a cold so I had to miss my last few classes unfortunately, but I hope to get back at it tomorrow and I've been doing digital practice in the meantime. Hopefully I'll having some results to post soon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fantasyartist View Post


    I understand your point. Let me rephrase what I said: the gesture is expressed through the anatomy.
    So, in a simple cartoon character, without anatomy, there is no gesture?
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    So, in a simple cartoon character, without anatomy, there is no gesture?


    A simple cartoon character has anatomy. Anatomy refers to the structure of something, it doesn't necessarily have to be bones and muscles.


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    Hello! Unfortunately I'm feeling very discouraged today. I did some gesture drawings yesterday that I feel were a step down from my previous ones, it's really calling attention to some problems.

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    I think these aren't very good at all, and it makes me sad. I did basically the same thing I did last time, the only difference was my pencil was a little dull this time, and it was a different model of course. But those should be challenges I was capable of overcoming, and I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to.

    There are some problems I think I've identified but just don't know how to address:

    1. My drawings all look flat and stiff: Even with shading there's very little feeling of depth to my drawings. I could draw like, a line down the center to show a figure's curvature, but I feel like that's a lazy way out. I want to be able to convey depth with the contours alone.

    2. Problems drawing the torso and hips: I always drop the ball trying to draw the central body. It often seems to come down to a rectangular shape and I find it hard to make that look interesting, or give it a sense of depth.

    3. Problems drawing the head and hair: I started not being satisfied just drawing an oval for the head anymore. But my replacement of just drawing a rounded object with a little pointed area for the chin isn't much better, and I need to find a good mnemonic to memorize where the features line up on the head. Hair is usually a mixed bag for me; sometimes its crazy randomness makes it easy for me to draw in a pleasing, if not accurate way. This particular model had dreadlocks, which I had no idea how to approach drawing. I find it's mostly with male hairdos that I struggle to draw in an interesting way.

    4. I'm no good at eyeballing proportions: Oftentimes I'll be making the head too small or the legs too long before I even realize what I'm doing. Maybe I need to slow it down a bit but I'd like to train myself to get the gesture quickly.

    Those are my ideas of where I'm struggling, if you feel there are any other consistent flaws I should be looking in to or you can suggest a way to address the ones I've pointed out I would be very thankful!

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    woah woah there tiger for every good drawing you will make there will be 1000 bad ones.

    1. in my opinion you shouldn't even be remotely thinking about shading these figures, rendering won't save you if your drawing is bad (also you dont shade along with the form in warp lines, so that's why it looks flat too) about the flow, well, grab Matessis gesture book and copy the gestures. But I mean copy intently, not copy without thinking analyze what he does, read what he has to say, because each line in a gesture has a meaning. You're not using bouncing rhytmic lines in your drawing, you're just doing the outline, that's why it looks stiff.

    2. practice and experiments; there's no easy way out of this one the torso and hips will look different from different angles, from the back it's more round, like a bucket, from the front it's more boxy, there is no one way to do this

    3. there is no reason you should be focusing on the head, facial features and hair right now, that comes way way after gesture drawing And there is no reason you should be drawing hair in your gesture drawing right now unless it helps the flow and composition you're focusing too much on the little details instead of getting the big action of the pose.

    4. well you just started, rome wasn't built in a day! This is something you will struggle with, especially in harder poses, like sitting or laying down. The only thing you can do is practice, and practice well.

    good luck with further drawings
    ------
    my sketchbook : http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...i-s-Sketchbook

    "Second place is the first place among the last ones, and that's not my target."- Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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