More Tips on Gesture Drawing with Examples!

Hi everyone, it's great to see the recent price rise in Steem. I think it's a positive sign for the long term outlook of the Steem blockchain and the rest of the crypto market. I want to continue sharing more advice on gesture drawing from a book that I have been following called 'The Natural Way to Draw' by Kimon Nicolaides. There is a lot of valuable advice that is worth sharing and will help me understand the content further.

Quick gesture drawing of my sister stretching.
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When studying gesture it's important to not only look at the movement that the model makes but the impulse in the model that causes the pose in the first place. For example, knowing where the position of the arms or torso is one thing to understand the action but it is important to understand the feeling behind the pose. Is the model alert or tired? Are they tense or relaxed? This is necessary, as you need to participate in what the model is doing as much as possible in order for it to reflect in your drawing.


An exercise to practice this is called potential gesture. You draw not what you see but what you think the model will do next. This will help understand the forces and impulse behind the gesture.

You can get good gestures from drawing people exercising or stretching. Stretches give you more time to draw. These drawings I have done are of my sisters dancing and stretching. It can be quite easy to make mistakes in terms of proportions when doing 10-30 seconds gesture drawings however, this is something that will hopefully improve over time and at the moment gesture is more important to capture.

Do not study first the shape of an arm or even the direction of it, become aware of the gesture. Gesture is intangible and does not have a substance, it is more of a feeling which becomes more apparent the more you practice drawing.


The details can come later but it is important to get the impulse through gesture of the model before anything else as this is what will bring your drawings to life. I will continue to practice drawing in order to become better at this.


As I mentioned earlier practice is the most important part when it comes to gesture. I have done dozens of drawings like this for this exercise but have only shared a few here. If you will do this exercise I encourage you to use very cheap paper such as newsprint or manilla paper and to not be afraid of making mistakes.

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I hope you learned some valuable tips for your next drawings!


Comments 5

I learned to draw with the aid of Nicolaides - the book is embedded in my Visionary Art Gallery site: NICOLAIDES - The Natural Way to Draw.
I studied art in the late seventies, and my Figure-drawing Professor was a hard task master: we were drawing until our fingers were bleeding (a little exaggerated, lol)! Twice 3 hrs a week, no breaks - but in those days we were allowed to smoke and drink in class, so by the end of the day, there were quite a lot of empties to take out.
Bottom line: I recommend this book to every student and aspiring artist. I find it regrettable that this kind of teaching does not happen as much these days.
As for paper: I can also recommend brown wrapping paper - it is, since unbleached, completely acid-free and will last forever. I had used some of these drawings on wrapping paper and later painted over in glazes with acrylics.

18.01.2020 16:49

I'm about half way through the book at the moment and it does require dedication with each exercise taking at least 15 hours. I have learned a lot though and agree that these basics in drawing should be taught more. I also use lining paper but might try your advice in future.

18.01.2020 17:24

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18.01.2020 19:09

That is very interesting hint to keep in mind. I absolutely agree about practicing anything you like just make simple quick sketch. Probably many of us to lazy as a human nature in general is.

18.01.2020 21:32

Never realised how important gesture was. Always did drawings from photos but they ended up pretty static however, gesture makes my drawings much more dynamic now and yeah I agree practicing is difficult but a little everyday makes a lot of difference.

18.01.2020 23:42