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

Line of Action

It should take you about two short seconds to assess and make your line (or two lines) of action.

The line of action is the first, fast, simple mark - or two - that conveys the extent and direction of the pose. The three ovals -- head, ribcage and pelvis (next page) can be "hung" on the line of action. So, the line of action organizes the development of the life drawing. It starts the figure with an over-all assessment, not with a bunch of troublesome details. It is essential.


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



What's New? | Shortcut

Entrances: | Studio | Alzofon Art Institute | Guest Wing, Link Room | Idea Library | Academy |

Rebecca Alzofon can be e-mailed at
This page created February 14, 1998
1998 by Rebecca Alzofon. All rights reserved.