Gesture Drawing Explained
Another Fifth Friday Extra
Like musicians and athletes, visual artists can enhance their drawing skills with exercises.
Gesture drawing is drawing the movement within a subject rather than focusing solely on its shape.
When we are drawing, usually we are paying attention to the edges of a shape, but shape without movement is flat. Adding the movement gives real life to our drawing and painting. We can do that by focusing our attention on what the image is doing: whether it is flowing, curving, reaching, pulling, stretching, etc.
In this tutorial, Dianne breaks down the gesture drawing process into practice exercises that show us how to focus on what the image is doing and how to draw that movement.
Typically, we have two misconceptions about drawing. First, it is wrongly thought that drawing is done to be only to be shown whereas one of the most important uses of drawing is to work out ideas. Second, it is wrongly thought that drawing should be precise whereas when searching out ideas, what becomes important is what the artist discovers rather than the drawing itself.
Drawing is indeed a powerful and delightful mode of expression and creativity. Some of the most moving art works in existence and now being created are drawings. But to limit drawing, or even painting, to production only is to limit potential for discovery. After all, it is through discovery where new ideas are born.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of the most beloved artists of all ages used drawing to discover and plan all of his works. Studies for the Last Judgement in the Sistene Chapel in Rome are found HERE, and for the Medici Chapel in Florence, HERE.