Project Friday: Gesture Drawing in the Comfort of Your Home

November 8, 2013

Above: Quick sketches made using images on Pixelovely. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

I know it might sound blasphemous but sometimes you just don't want to sketch while watching "Perry Mason."

If you don't know what that comment means you haven't been reading my blog very long so go check out "Don't Worry, You Don't Need To Call the Police…" and/or search "Perry Mason"—no quotation marks—in this blog's search engine.

Christine Mitzuk told me about where you can set up a customized figure drawing session (specify the types of models you want to see and the time limits). It can be useful to never leave your computer!

There are some other sections on the site where they have training information. I haven't looked into any of that, but you might want to poke around and see if any of it is helpful. (That reading time however DOES NOT COUNT as DRAWING TIME!)

What I found today when I got ready to write this post is that they also have the same set up for animal drawing. In the "mammals" sample I just ran through there were horses (lots of horses), zoo animals, dogs, cats, lots of horses, you get the idea. There are sleeping animals and frolicking animals, all great for practice.

So Project Friday this week is simple. Get to Pixelovely and start sketching. Set up a class mode (which will tell you how many poses and how long each will be, to give you some sense of timing) and get sketching. Have some bond paper on hand if you think you'll be "wasting" your expensive art paper in your journal.

(Personally I don't hold with that definition of waste, but I would rather not argue with you I just want to get you sketching, so a stack of bond paper it is.)

Make a commitment to set up two sessions today, perhaps 30 minutes before dinner and 60 minutes before bed? If you extend Project Friday throughout the weekend (and I think it would be a grand idea for you to do just that) then I suggest you set aside 30 minutes in the morning, an hour in the afternoon, and an hour in the evening on each weekend day. That would be a total of 8 sessions from Friday to Sunday night. A mini-art camp while you got all your tasks from life done as well.

If you manage to do even a little bit of that then take a moment to donate to the creator as a thank you for creating such a great tool. (There's a donation link at the side of Pixelovely's page.)

Yes sitting at the computer can be very productive. 

  1. Reply

    Thank you, Roz, for sharing this resource! I have never done this kind of quick sketching before, and it was an interesting experience. I did a 30 minute class session on reptiles. In the beginning those 30 seconds per image go by quickly! Though the results are not as nice and neat as I would prefer, it seems like the time constraint helps focus the mind on the essential lines of a subject. What are your thoughts on the advantages of a quick sketch practice?

  2. Reply

    I can’t summarize my quick sketch thoughts in a note. I write about it all the time on my blog, recently here, e.g.,

    Everything I do at the MN State Fair is a quick sketch—see the category cloud for Minnesota State Fair to go through those posts and read what I think about it.

    Basically I think sketching fast has its place in any drawing practice because it teaches you the value of time, the length of time, time management, gets you to focus in on what originally attracted you in the first place…it also gets you accustomed to having adrenaline in your system and working in a focused manner anyway, which is essential (I believe) if you’re going to sketch out anywhere.

    Ultimately the best thing about practicing quick sketches is that you can call on the skill when you need it. And we always need it at least a couple times a day when we are out and about and see something we have to sketch.

    • Stacy
    • November 13, 2013

    Thank you, Roz for the thoughtful reply! I am inspired to incorporate more quick sketching into my routine.

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