Hey just thought maybe someone could try explaining gesture drawing. I just started college at CCS and in fundamentals we are going over this to start out with. The professor is telling us that there is ONE line that can be drawn (gesture line that is) to capture the essence of the still life or whatever it is your drawing. He was telling us that its not really something that can be explained but felt, but its not subjective, it is only "THIS" line and nothing else. Its not a "oh i think its this line going that way" type of thing, there is one there but the thing is I have no idea to to tell if I have that right line connecting the drawing. The connecting line doesn't necissarily have to be a physical line or contour line but an "internal" line.
I just thought maybe someone might have a better grasp on it and maybe be able to explain it a little more clearly.
Hey, Avetice! So are you in the traditinal animation program? Who's your instructor?
The gesture thing is critical knowledge, for sure. I'm mildly surprised that they are starting out with gesture drawing this early. It's a simple concept, but very difficult to master. Many, if not most, artists struggle their whole lives to improve their gestural drawing, while drawing accurate observed forms comes with practically no effort.
Gesture drawings of a still life? Hmm. I guess there is such a thing, but it's more clearly observed in the human figure. The reason for this is that we are all human beings, and can empathize with the model. As the model stretches or twists in some action, we can imagine our own muscles stretching or twisting, and this comes through in the drawing. Kind of difficult to do when you are drawing a flowerpot.
I disagree with the idea that the gesture is not subjective. Gesture is one of the ways that you, as an artist, stop becoming a human photocopier, and start becoming an interpreter of your subject. Two artists might draw the same pose by emphasizing the action in a different way, and come across with an entirely different message. Also, it's not a "connecting line", although we do draw using lines, which generally connect... come to think of it, maybe it is a connecting line, but that's a gross oversimplification, like calling Hamlet a "bunch of words". The gesture is it's own thing. Action distinct from form. If you are drawing the form of the figure, you are missing the gesture. As you develop your gesture, forms may emerge, but then you have moved into another aspect of drawing. Gesture is kind of like animation curves that can be applied, in the computer, to whatever 3D geometry you want. In that sense, it's not a "line" of any kind. It's not anything directly observable at all!
Think Midichloreans. Think Yoda, think The Force. Gesture surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the Universe together.
the best way to explain it is to tell you a practical approach that I would take to gesture drawing. First, take a pastel or graphite stick and break it in half. Sit or stand with the drawing board at arms length. Hold the pastel with the very tips of your fingers. Keep your arm stiff, wrist locked, right above the paper. As the model takes the pose, get ready and ... dont draw! Look. Spend 90% of your time just looking deeply into the model, trying to understand the action, where the model was coming from, where the model is going, what is happening inside the model's head. After you get this all figured out, spend 15 or 20 seconds actually making marks on the paper. Draw only by using your shoulder and upper arm muscles.
And one more thing. It's all about control, not speed.
Hey roman, thanks, no Im going the I.D. route but in Foundation Drawing this was our first lesson for the week. My instructor for foundation drawing is... Robert Maniscalco
he said he was one of the new professors. Your the one that posted about CCS in my thread before the forum went down weren't you? ...did you get your degree already?
hehe your last paragraph is basically what we did in class last time. We used conte, charcoal(compressed or willow) etc... but I'm about to go back outside and do some to fill my own old sketchbook that should have been full months ago
... then i gotta actually do some for homework too in another sketchbook
jeez the amount of sketchbooks i had to get is crazy
...just finished reading my color theory stuff too and i dont think i have found any of the books i have to read yet to be uninteresting... i think i will thoroughly enjoy college
Last edited by Avetice; September 8th, 2002 at 03:38 PM.