Exercise: Gestural Drawing

Aim: To explore form and movement

Materials: Newsprint paper, charcoal, and kneadable eraser

Time: 30 minutes

Set Up: Figures are ideal for gestural drawing. Ask a friend to model for you. Loose, flowing clothing can add interest. Try playing music and ask your model to take up broad, expressive, balletlike poses with plenty of twisting and stretching. You could try posing in a mirror, then quickly sketching from memory.

Start Drawing: You'll need to work quickly, as your model won't be able to hold the pose for long. The approach to gestural drawing is something like contour drawing, rapidly exploring weight, balance, and direction. Elements of contour and cross, contour combine to express the pose of the model. Gesture drawings can take as little as twenty or thirty seconds to complete, with the model changing rapidly from one pose to the next. Try varying your approach, using bold skeletal structuring, round ovoid forms, and wandering lines to explore the poses.

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