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Introduction to Gesture Drawing

Lesson 1 from: Introduction to Figure Drawing: Essential Gesture & Structure

Amy Wynne

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction to Gesture Drawing

Let’s do this right! Lay the foundation for convincing structure in your drawings, discuss drawing from the inside out, and review master sketches.

Lesson Info

Introduction to Gesture Drawing

I'm amy Win. And I'm excited to have you in my historic Rhode Island studio today to explore figure drawing. We're going to have an introduction to figure drawing, a really basic approach that anyone can do. We're going to approach it in a gestural intuitive fashion where we're drawing the body with our body. We're working in a way that is an academic that really has to do with flow and energy. Artists throughout the centuries have done this. If we look at these sketches here, these master sketches, we can see the Michelangelo here. You can see how he rendered the upper body with a fair amount of accuracy. But because this figure was in flow, fluid motion, it's like you could barely keep up with the legs, you could barely keep up with the upraised arm. There's a sense of movement, a sense of fluidity and really a sense of trying to capture that fleeting gesture. That is so much a part of the beauty of figure drawing. This Rodan sketch here is I think really one of my favorites rodent w...

as a sculptor. And if you take a look at sculptor's drawings, I think you'll be incredibly inspired. He did a series of these Cambodian dancers using watercolor and pencil. And there's just this beautiful kind of sensual fluidity to these drawings where you really feel like he was in the zone just sort of in the experience of tracking the bodies as they move through space. And that's what we're going to be practicing in this course. This sergeant here yet another dancer and a different media. You know, there's this sense of this like kind of joyous upraised arms and then the kind of flouncy fabric in motion even that will be something that will give a sense of energy um to the drawings when we when we draw. Also in this course, really important, we're going to talk about materials, we're going to talk about how to set up for success in terms of making it easy for you and in fact, you don't have to break the bank and buy a ton of different expensive drawing materials. But we will talk about sharpening the pencil, how to stand at the easel. Just ways to make it more fluid and direct in terms of process. We'll also be working with this idea. This really actually really important idea of essential gesture. The idea that the body has an inherent balance and weight and fluidity depending on the position of the body and this red line here and we're going to practice this, this red line, This essential core gesture is really the heartbeat of any drawing. So I'm going to show you how to practice finding that. And really most importantly, feeling that that confidence that practice will allow you to start working with more uh kind of direct layer drawings that end up kind of being wiped away. We'll work with charcoal in a forgiving fashion, where it's really mostly about process as opposed to having some kind of tight preconceived product in mind. We're not going for any kind of masterpiece. We're really tracking the fleeting movement of the body in an effort to build our confidence and bravery to have that kind of energy infused future drawings. We'll be working, tracking the body's joints, the access points in space because when we realize where those are, we can start to work with a dynamic gestural structure, will also be working with planting the feet on the ground because it's almost impossible to create a figure drawing with a sense of weight and balance unless we can really establish the feet meeting the earth. And then ultimately, we'll start to work a little bit with core volumes, sort of like beads on a wire, the spine being the wire, how the body might move in space, adding a little bit of volume to it. And ultimately, one of my favorite exercises is drawing the figure in the round where our model will turn in space incrementally, just little by little. And we'll be able to see a way to realize the figure in more of a sculptural fashion. So, all of these fun exercises that have to deal with energy that have to do with drawing the body with your draw with your own body that have to do with finding the gesture. These will all culminate and build to allow you to create drawings full of life and energy. So, let's get started

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Figure Drawing Materials
Essential Gesture
Constellation & Joints Reference
Core Volumes
Core Volumes Twist