Life Drawing
Lesson I
Gesture -- The Foundation of Figurative Art

Importance of the free-going mark


The short gesture pose forces the artist to work fast. Being perfect with fast marks is so unlikely, a better strategy would be using several trial marks for the subject parts. That could be the ovals, the center lines, the exterior contours, whatever you decide to focus on. The resulting drawing displays an evolving thinking process unique to the artist, which happens to be interesting.

Adding potential

Trial marks add a vibration that effects movement, tension, atmosphere, strength, delicacy, etc. The marks are seminal traits in your visual concept that can be used like idea pathways, suggesting direction as the drawing moves beyond the gesture phase.



Gesture Intro Page Skeletal Foundation
Stick: The following are the key elements for organizing a "stick" figure:
The line of action Three ovals -- Head, Ribcage, Pelvis Pivot points Long bones Tilts and angles Contour center lines of front and back torso, and face
Projection and volume augmentations: While good as a foundation, the stick figure does not adequately express projection of form, volume, or relative position in space. There is more you can do to express these important factors in the posing model:
The shortcomings of the stick figure Showing projection Application of the projection concept to the stick figure Simple volume solutions Relative position in space
Loosen up: Using the stick figure foundation with the projection and volume augmentations, you can loosely organize an expressive gesture sketch:
Compare the "contour" method to the stick-start method Importance of the free-going mark The line of action and stick are construction lines Adding relationship and rhythm



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This page created February 14, 1998
1998 by Rebecca Alzofon. All rights reserved.