More Fun in Gesture Drawing

April 2, 2012

NOTE: If you are here because my video "Making a Visual Journal with Paper Scraps" sent you here, please note I finished the movie early and put it up for a Project Friday on March 30, 2012—forgetting that I had referred people to today's post. Please check out the additional tips in Friday's post.

Enjoy today's post while you're here:

120306TwoSwitching1min3779Left: Sketching the model in one-minute increments in two different posses. See below for more details.

In the Gesture Figure Study class I'm taking at The Atelier with Christine Mitzuk we do fun (and challenging) experiments every week. 

On this date we were working on capturing the weight and tension shifts as the model changes her position. For this first example we had one minute to start on the first pose (on the left) and then the model would shift her weight and take the second pose for one minute. We switched back and forth on the minute for 5 minutes on each pose (or 10 minutes total—though there was a timer problem and the second pose had one slightly longer segment).

Why am I working on lined paper? Well I had whipped through all my newsprint (we work on newsprint with charcoal) and by the time I got to the 11th pose I only had really old brittle newsprint that didn't take the charcoal well. I ripped out some pages from my lined notebook and they were smooth and heavenly to sketch on. I wish that paper came in larger sheets!

The pose on the left side is cut off at the hand because the clip on my board rested there, holding the small sheet in place.



Left: Another version of the exercise, this time with 3 minutes on each pose for a total of 15 minutes, one side getting less time than the other. But both got too much time as I started to get fussy.


I never sketch in charcoal outside of class and besides the engaging exercises that Christine sets up for us, I'm finding that I quite enjoy getting messy with the charcoal!  

Changing media is a great way to free up your hand, eye, and mind, and see out new approaches.

I have previously posted about my experiences in this Gesture Figure Study class here.

  1. Reply

    What an interesting exercise, Roz. I wonder if I can get my life drawing group to try it.

    Do you draw on rough newsprint or smooth? I prefer the smooth. I wonder if it would be more like your lined notebook paper?

  2. Reply

    Maggie, it was great fun I hope you can get them to try it. The model held the timer in her hand for this exercise so she could keep resetting it as she changed position, and obviously you want to have her keep her feet in the same general space, just shifting the weight.

    I don’t normally draw on newsprint at all, I only use it for waste paper when binding books. But for this class I got really large pads of it—smooth.

    The second pad, though had a different feel to it and it was labeled the same. When I compared the pieces from both pads I could see that the “bad” pad was a different color and obviously aged as newsprint gets.

    The rest of that pad is definitely only being used for waste paper for binding!

    Good luck with your experiments.

  3. Reply

    I love these, Roz!

  4. Reply

    Wendy, I’m glad you like these, they were great fun. More fun stuff coming. Sadly there are only 5 more weeks. EEEK.

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