Improving proportion in gesture drawing?


I don’t have any life drawing sessions where I live so I’ve been doing 20 minute sessions of gesture drawing a day for the past several months using the Croquis Cafe youtube channel. Thing is, I don’t seem to be making any progress. There are 5 one minute poses followed by 4 two minute poses and a final 5 minute pose. Very, very fast. I can see some action and gesture in some of my sketches, though they are still quite stiff, but the foreshortening/proportion/anatomy is so off it makes them almost unreadable.

Should I slow down and throw in some longer sessions (30-90 minute poses)? Will that help work out some of the proportion/foreshortening issues?

Or maybe alternate between the gesture days and the longer pose days?


These videos should help, also check out the book figure drawing design and invention by Michael Hampton. Goes through proportion, some anatomy and how to divide the body into 8 sections which you take into account when gesture drawing. Just start with these guys and i am no where near pro but i am seeing progress just from understanding where things go.


Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about proportion when doing gesture drawings. Try to keep things as loose and abstract as you can, thinking more about the visual flow of the subject rather that any construction.

Longer sessions will help you tie down construction and you can then start to combine the two - starting a long session with a gestural sketch, then building the figure around it. Eventually both aspects will inform and improve the other :slight_smile: