Monday, 18 March 2013

Gesture as Foundation.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2013. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Gesture for the drawing above.

Michael Whynot. Head Study, 2013. Red chalk.

I'm posting some recent drawings today and I'm going to talk a little about gesture. Gesture is, perhaps, the most neglected of all the fundamental skills a draftsman requires. This may be owing to the fact that it is so deceptively simple. We're basically talking about a stick figure. And any four-year-old can draw these; or so it would seem. And, therein, lies the difficulty. A well done gesture captures the rhythm of the figure (see my previous post on gesture). Within it should be contained all the necessary information needed to complete a figure which is the thrust of the forms; the pose. Once you have that, then a knowledge of form, light and anatomy (see my previous post on anatomy) will carry you the rest of the way.

The figure study, above, was done from the gesture drawing shown below it and was, itself, drawn from life several months ago.

Drawing complete studies from life is indispensable for the draftsman but is not always possible. The ability to capture gesture is a basic skill which must not be neglected. Learn to do it and use it as your foundation upon which to build future work.