Failing at Gestures

So, coming back to gesture drawing (practicing) after so long, it is really hard to be pleased with the results.

It always seems like I’m failing.

I’ve been looking at the gesture drawings of some fellow artists in the forum of I have read often enough — and I actually believe in it myself — comparing your own drawings to others’ can lead to a dead end very easily, it can make you withdraw inside and strengthen your own doubts about your skills, basically it isn’t much help at all and will only keep you back. Still, I catch myself doing it. So here I am “saying” it out loud and clear: You are you, and you should listen to your own thoughts, emotions, ideas. Make some new rules. Perhaps try out a few things the others are doing, but DO NOT COMPARE YOUR DRAWINGS TO OTHERS! (… you don’t know what background the others have, how long they have been doing this, where they went to school, who their mommies and daddies are, how long they have each day to work on this stuff, what they eat for breakfast, whether they have family or even friends (I’m not saying you can’t have a great family and many great friends, if your a good artist, just sometimes they can be a distraction, but also a good source of input and perhaps one of the days, a source of cheap models for you …))

Here goes, the collected 2 minute gesture drawings of the last 48 hours. Gals w/ or w/o weapons, men w/ or w/o underwear, and a few faces to round it up.

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Gestures .. Gestures .. Gestures

I have been quite the laggard lately. Not attending to my 1 minute gestures, which basically are fun, especially when looking back and noticing the progress. I believe the latest gestures this morning, after a long stint of abstinence display a little bit more of depth. Not all of them, of course. A few are completely missing force, which is disappointing.

These are 90 second online gestures (, whereby I now use 90 second gestures to give myself a few seconds between gestures to look around the room. So basically, they are something like 75 secs, but who cares. Perhaps I’ll go down to 60 seconds again and call them 45 second gestures.

All gesture sketches are with a soft vine charcoal stick, about 8 cm long on yellowing newsprint.




Midnight Gestures

In the middle of the night, after an evening of birthday celebrations, Here goes for nothing with a number (20) of one minute gestures. A splinter of vine charcoal on smooth newsprint.

I’m currently reading a few reprints of Robert Bevervly Hale‘s works (Drawing lessons from the Great Masters and Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters and more). You must look into his work if you’re serious on figure drawing. Even if just for a sensible basis of your further progress. The Masters spent their whole lives and their passions on solving the technical problems far more elegantly than we can when we address them in our drawings. The Masters are my bench mark. I can only fail.



Force in Gesture

Back to Mattesi’s Force. Here a few examples at drawing 60 second gestures, concentrating on Force (dynamic and applied) and then using a few seconds here and there to shade a bit. Finding that the soft compressed charcoal (just a “bit” between my fingers) is right up my path. As if I was drawing with my finger tips. (As always, click on “thumb nail” to blow it up). Off to my nude life drawing course tomorrow, this time with an easel.


Daily Gesture Drawings

Attempting to keep up the daily gesture drawings. Something I was introduced to by one of the many learn-to-draw books I purchased last year. This book, Kimon Nicolaides’ “The Natural Way to Draw”, describes Mr. Nicolaides’ approach to teaching drawing. The term of gesture drawing is – as I believe – based on Mr. Nicolaides’ usage and meaning. Don’t expect me to explain it here, go out and get the book. He gives lots of hints to which principles to practice and if you are open-minded, the book may open your eyes to a whole new world of art. The entire book covers a one year course and I am still stuck in the first quarter of the book. I keep up daily gesture drawing especially after I found a few gesture portals on the Net which offer figure drawing models in 1 minute intervals.
Here two links for gesture tools:
quick poses
practice tools for figure drawing