Gesture Drawing






Not all drawings are made with careful lines. Sometimes artists will use a technique called gesture drawing -- making quick movements with a pencil to capture the movement, energy, or action they see in a composition. These pictures are rushed, inaccurate drawings that are primarily used for practice. They help the artist to relax and not concentrate so much on the details of the subject they are drawing. In this way, they also help develop visual skills. Many artists use this technique when drawing thumbnail sketches or doing warm-up exercises.



When creating a gesture drawing, you want to capture the movement, not the details. You can practice gesture drawing using both animate and inanimate objects. If you want to draw figures, you can draw from a live model (I use my children), action photos, or even your own hand.



Begin your picture by drawing lightly; you don’t want to interrupt the flow by having to use an eraser. As your drawing takes shape, you can add darker lines to indicate movement and shadows. Remember, you must draw quickly. Set a timer for anywhere from ten to thirty seconds and see how you do. Of course, the more you practice, the easier it will be.


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