Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The next section in the book, Expressive Figure Drawing, talks about gesture drawing.  The author, Bill Buchman, says that a gesture drawing tries to "capture an essential feeling, meaning, or action - or all three."  When you do a gesture drawing you should consider the gesture of the model but also consider your gesture when drawing.  Don't be tenative but be sure and let the model's pose dictate what materials you use.

Here are a few of the things I did following the Brush Gesture Exercises:

First, you use a sheet and do two gestures on each sheet of paper. 

The first gesture is about continuous elliptical movements, creating the body shape by using quick swirling motions with the brush.

The second gesture is about mass and line, varying the pressure of the brush to create both solid masses and thinner lines.

The third gesture is about fluid lines, holding the brush at a constant distance from the paper (I pinned the paper up on the bulletin board over my painting desk so was stretching my arm out to touch the paper).

The fourth gesture is about contours and structure, seeing that the body parts are pointed in different directions and showing that as well as more roundness and depth than the first gew gestures.

As you can see (I hope), the model for this one was laying over a small, short stool with her hands touching the stool's legs or her own foot.  An awkward position that I don't think a model could hold very long, but an interesting one - definitely different from what you normally get.

From here the book goes on to the Oversize Gesture Exercise.  Using a chunk of charcoal, you work in broad strokes and thinner lines, depending on how you hold the piece of charcoal.  It's partly about letting go and letting the charcoal do what it does without trying to be too fussy.

I let myself get too involved in this one and lost the spontaneity of the original drawing.  I wasn't happy with the shape so kept reworking it, then put the dark charcoal around the figure and blended it a bit.  Finally, I just drew in the whole figure with charcoal and erased the shape with a kneaded eraser.  I'm not unhappy with the result but it definitely isn't a quick gesture drawing!  Control issues again, for me :(

For this one I returned to just depicting the lines and gestures and NOT getting too wrapped up in accuracy of the pose.  It's about the direction of the arms and legs and head. 

The next exercise should be fun = Dancing Movements Exercise.  Since I don't have a model who will provide those movements of dance, I've taped Moulin Rouge and will use a dancer there as a model.  Using light and swinging movements, I'm to do 2 or more gesture drawings each lasting about 6 minutes.  I'll do those and share them tomorrow.


Sadami said...

Dear Rhonda,
Go to streets and sketch people--is another option. Do not need to make pasterpieces from the beginning. I make TONs of messy sketches.

Regarding amount of visual info, "Lesser & essential" is the best. Like a punchy joke is wonderful, but a long boring thesis :).
Enjoy drawing and please be kind to yourself, Rhonda.
Cheers, Sadami

RH Carpenter said...

I don't have what it takes - yet - to be able to sketch people in public places. But someday! Less is always more but it's hard for me to do that although I know it! ha ha