Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The role of gesture

One of the hardest things in teaching life drawing is convincing students of the value of gesture.  Gesture drawing has a lot of confusing meanings and uses, everything from just loosening up to much more.  The more can be defined as establishing the movement or pose of a subject or object as well as the proportions or character of the subject.  Think of it as quickly establishing the verb and subject - the 'what' and the 'who' in the very first moments of a drawing.

What is posted here is an exercise I did with both my Humber and Seneca College students in which we started with a 20 minute study of a skeleton. It was followed by 10, 5, 2 and 1 minute studies of the same skeleton. In each the focus would be to reduce the drawing to the essentials for the allowable time.

In the end the purpose was to show them that regardless of the length of time allowed, the drawings began the same way, but just allowing for more work to be done.

I suggest the same exercise for anyone wishing to understand what is truly essential for the start of any drawing, regardless of subject or time.

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