Action / Gesture Drawing Technique

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Old 04 April 2008   #1
Action / Gesture Drawing Technique

Hey guys,

One aspect of my work that I'm striving to improve is that of action / gesture drawings. Having trawled the interwebs for information (including the excellent Walt Stanchfield notes), I was surprised by the staggering amount of really bad information out there regarding this technique.

However, I'm finding that whenever I attempt to capture the essence of the pose whilst out and about, I'm finding it very difficult to capture the action of my subject, and instead end up focusing on immaterial detail work that, to be quite honest, doesn't look all that great.

I'm wondering, aside from the Stanchfield notes, if anyone knows of any resources that detail more about actual technique of capturing action poses in a short space of time, as opposed to the theory and / or purposes of gesture drawing? Or anyone perhaps willing to share some insight into their own techniques?

Apologies if this has been covered before in a similar thread - I did a search, but couldn't really find what I was after, and thanks for all your help guys.
Old 04 April 2008   #2

You can find examples of my students' 10 minute gesture drawings from reference here:

They're based on the gestural principle of finding basic spheres for the head, torso, and pelvis, and then long, flowing lines for the legs and arms (appendages to the torso / pelvis) which are then fleshed out with greater volumes following the contour and perspective of the forms. The formula is rooted in analysis rather than copying the reference - by analysis, I mean searching out and finding the basic, simple shapes of the form, as opposed to trying to meticulously record contours, a process which students erroneously think of as 'drawing'. The better you are at analyzing forms, the better off you will be in terms of actually drawing. In other words, drawing is analysis.

Here's a quickie demo I did previously for a student:

I recommend Glenn Vilppu's DVD on gesture as well as the book by Karl Gnass, Spirit of the Pose.

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Facebook Page | Blog
Downtown Los Angeles

Last edited by Rebeccak : 04 April 2008 at 07:07 AM.
Old 04 April 2008   #3
Thanks so much for the rapid response - this is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for, and I'll be sure to check out Vilppu's DVDs as well.

Thanks again.

Old 04 April 2008   #4
No problem.

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Facebook Page | Blog
Downtown Los Angeles

Old 04 April 2008   #5
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