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Art Lessons: Gesture #2

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with gesture we really realize who
somebody is.
I mean, think about it.
If you're on a football field and you look
across the football field,
you're gonna really be able to tell just
by someone's posture,
just by someone's gesture who they are,
So if a guy is slouching all the way
across the football field,
and they've got, kind of you know, their
head down,
shoulders are high, hands in their
You know
baseball cap to the side, looking down you
that's gonna tell you a lot about
somebody's personality.
So with gesture, we're not only getting
into the essence and
the spirit of the pose, but we're also
getting into, really,
how someone carries themself, who that
person really believes that they are,
or what that person wants to project out
into the world.
So if you see someone, immediately you are
registering right away who that person is.
They say don't judge a book by it's cover,
but you're really judging right away
because immediately you're taking
someone's body language, posture and
gesture, you're not even thinking about
It's going right into the subconscious but
you're making a judgment based on
somebody's gesture.
That's how important gesture is to drawing
cuz right away,
it's telling the viewer everything about
the figure.
So if somebody is like super proud you
know and
they are, hey I love myself,
you know they've got
their maybe their fists and
face against them, and
they're looking high in the sky,
a little bit more stoic, you know.
This is going to be a slightly different
of feeling than this as is somebody who's
slumping way over,
way over like this and immediately,
you know you could see that this person
well maybe just old or maybe they have a
And there, it just or
they have a cane here, like that, right.
Or they have a hand on their back oh, my
it doesn't feel very good, I'm not happy.
So, whatever it is,
gesture says exuberance,
joy or, depression.
It's everything.
So, let's walk through a couple of things
in gesture
that will allow us to map out the steps
that we need in order to really
get the best gesture possible when we're
drawing our figure.
[SOUND] So first of all, I'm drawing with
the prisma stick and
I really like drawing with this because
it's a wax,
it's basically prisma pencil but a thick
stick, and
it's an indelible line, so you can never,
never erase it.
In other words, whatever line you put
down, you're committed to it, that's it.
So for me, it's really important to commit
to that line.
So you don't have to draw with this,
certainly you can draw with,
with just a pencil, just an HB pencil, an
at home pencil.
This is fine too.
In fact let's just do a drawing with this.
Cuz with this then you can erase
But the important thing is really not to
think about erasing,
it's just to kind of put down information,
just to feel it.
And remember, there's no rules, there's
just tools.
So I'm going to give you, not rules
because you're going to ultimately
figure it out in your own way from the
information I'm giving you, but
I'm gonna give the principles and the
information that's going to
help guide you to doing the best gesture
drawing ever, ever.
So, we're going to look for certain things
that are just going to really help guide
you along.
So the first thing I'm gonna do, is I'm
gonna hold my pencil straight out.
Now, a lot of times, I'm seeing students
do this.
I've seen really good artists do this too,
and it's a mistake.
Often times, artists measure with their
hand bent like that.
Now there, there's two things.
Sometimes you measure for straights, and
verticals, and diagonals.
And other times, you actually hold your
thumb here and you use your thumb and
the top of your eraser and you actually
measure like from the head down
to the collar bone is the same size as the
collar bone down to the belly button.
See that.
Cause you could actually do that.
So from the head to the collar bone is the
as to the collar bone to the belly button,
there's that type of measuring too.
Now, the mistake is when you see this.
Because your arm isn't straight,
you're never gonna get a real accurate
vertical or horizontal or measure.
Because when you hold it here, the next
time you hold it up to the figure,
you're gonna hold it here.
And the next time you hold it up to the
figure you're gonna hold it here.
So you're gonna get different measurements
every time.
So that's not an accurate thing.
So please extend your arm all the way out.
So if you're gonna measure, you're gonna
do horizontals.
You're gonna do horizontals, you're gonna
do verticals,
you're gonna do diagonal measuring, you're
gonna actually measure the proportions.
Hold your arm straight.
Very important.
So, I'm gonna quickly do a
vertical-horizontal pass.
That's what I call a vertical-horizontal
And that is that I'm gonna quickly do a
scan of the figure
to see what I'm going to hit first and
what I'm going to draw first.
Now, the more you do this, the less you
really have to measure,
the less you have to do a scan, but it's
really important to get that.
Because those things are completely basic
to understanding
spatial relationships, and really, it's
understanding drawing.
So, my pass is gonna be okay.
I'm gonna hold my pencil up horizontally,
I'm gonna drop it down,
and the first thing I'm gonna hit is the
top of her head.
I'm gonna drop it down, hit her shoulder,
drop it down, and
hit the top of her waist.
See, I'm gonna drop it down.
Her knee is over here while the other knee
is over there.
And quickly I'm getting a scan.
In other words, I know that that's the top
of her head.
I know that this shoulder is higher than
that shoulder.
So it's on a slant.
I know that this pelvis is higher on this
side than it is on that side.
And then I'm gonna do kind of the same
thing with my verticals.
So I'm gonna hold it like this, not like
this, or like this, but like that.
And I'm gonna scan over there, and
the first thing I'm gonna hit, if I go
left to my right, what do I hit?
Her elbow.
So I know that her elbow comes out.
That's my pencil there.
I'm scanning that.
And that's dropping that way.
Scan again, her rib cage is coming that
way, right?
Scan again, this knee is actually further
out than her armpit area.
So we drop it, drop it down.
Her knee is right around there.
And these are just, like, really, really,
really fast measurements.
But, it doesn't get you off into the wrong
In other words, imagine had I put this
shoulder lower and this one higher.
Then already I've shot myself in the foot.
And I won't be able to do a good drawing,
cause I'm always trying to compensate for
the bad move.
it's like building a bridge, but having
really paltry crappy foundation in one
area, and you just didn't account for.
Eventually, your bridge will crumble.
So, this is really just basic stuff that
you have to do
in order to figure things out and take it
to the next level.
So, now that's I've kind of, like scanned
my drawing, and I'm still doing this.
Remember that some gestures are one
Some gestures are two.
Some gestures are five minutes.
I'm doing this, like, pop, pop, pop, pop,
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.
Super fast.
So I know that this leg is diagonally
going this direction.
Going back here.
[SOUND] And the foot is moving, see out
this way.
And actually, sometimes what I do is I
just do arrows.
So instead of just doing lines, I do
arrows so
I could see where it's actually physically
jutting to, where it's actually moving to.
So this is going this way, this is going
back, this going down.
This foot is going this way.
If I draw a line down this way, this will.
Will it?
Almost will.
This will kind of intersect with her foot
here, like that.
And remember, this is an armature drawing.
So we're getting certain landmarks,
certain principles down, and
then we're starting with the armature.
So any straights?
Diagonals, S curves, C curves.
No straights.
Now, the neck is going this way, like
that, it's going out.
Going out, like that, and down.
See, if I hold this straight, here, like
I see that the hair is going that
direction, and
the face is coming out here.
Now, her nose right about here drop that
and wow, the nose goes right down and you
can see why because her
nose is lined up pretty much with that,
with her left foot.
And that shows how much weight is right
over here.
In fact, I think her nose, her face comes
out a little bit more, and
you could really see that here,
and remember, we're not really getting too
much information.
We're just kinda throwing it on there and
getting it really, really, really fast.
This comes around, this wraps around.
And find that center line, always find the
center line, the belly button.
So we're not really concentrate on
That's not what we wanna do.
We wanna build from the inside out.
Okay, that's important.
We wanna build from the inside out, not
from the outside in.
This is not contour line drawing.
So, here we're finding the belly button,
it's pushing down.
And this leg pushing out here.
And we're thinking about it sculpturally.
It's going around.
This strap is going up and over.
This bikini top is going that way.
And even sometimes it might help to do a
straight line across
with respect to the bikini top to see
where it is.
So we see that this comes up here all
the way over and down.
Just a little side note.
I like to kinda hold, when I draw, I like
to hold my pencil like, right here.
When I choke up on the pencil too much,
it's like I'm rendering.
It doesn't give me a lot of range or
When I hold it here, I'm able to really,
really, really draw from my shoulder.
Cuz that's what I like to do, I like to
draw from my shoulder.
I think that's really important,
especially if you're drawing big and
you're thinking about the overall
you want to be able to draw from your
And that's why my deltoids are huge.
Actually, they're massive.
Just kidding.
They're pretty big though.
So this goes down that way and this goes
this way.
And notice, not choking up.
I can do that later when I start to
really, really render it.
But right now, I'm just kind of drawing
from my shoulder.
The elbow lines up with that pinched side
This comes out, like that, down.
Now remember, compression, right here.
Rib cage right in here.
This comes all the way out and even goes
out more to right about here.
This is where the great trochanter is.
Then, comes down.
So right here is the great trochanter and
this is what is the furthest point out.
So the shoulders are back here.
The head is down here.
Like I said, the nose is around here.
Lifts down.
It's all shapes.
If you get the right shapes, that's all
you need.
The right shapes will give you the right
The neck curls.
The bikini top goes this way to here.
It goes down.
This direction.
This goes this direction, wraps around.
Shoulder is here, kinda hides behind
And just to get a better understanding,
I'm gonna go in with a little bit of a
darker Prisma.
So, her ribcage is coming out here and we
see the pinch.
Then it extends all the way back and
this is where we see her bikini come down
like that.
This goes out and back, like that, and
this is going down this leg.
And it, there's an overlap here.
And this goes back.
So, even though we're just quickly getting
we're making these decisions about
that are going to make or break this
once again, we're gonna do this very fast.
We're gonna do a quick scan.
Quick scan, arm, quick scan of that side,
the elbow's out there.
Now, let's just get that longest line.
I feel like there's a beautiful, beautiful
sweep, from once again, the elbow.
To the leg.
There is a dynamic pinch right here.
Look at that.
The ribcage is jutting out.
This is moving back that direction, all
the way to the buttocks.
You can even see the sculptural quality
right here.
Grabbing the form.
This side is not only grabbing the form,
but it's going down, down, down, down,
and around the other side like that.
This comes out and then it's going back
and down.
So, it's really making a beautiful
diagonal here.
So, we're going down here and.
That calf is amazing how it goes out.
And here.
We see the ankle.
See the foot.
This fits lower here.
The gastrocnemius fits in here, but these
are, these are very,
very, very fast decisions that I'm.
Making, like that.
So we're not going to get into shading,
but I just want to point out,
like, all of this can be beautifully
modeled, but
if we don't have the right foundation,
what's the point of painting a bridge?
You don't have a good solid foundation to
bridge, you can put bells and
whistles on it, you can paint the bridge,
but the bridge still gonna fall down.
So, that's not gonna be a nice-looking,
pretty bridge.
I don't care how much icing and frosting
and bells and whistles you put on it.
A lot of people skip the basics and, and
you can't do that.
But what you can do is learn the basic
principles, and have fun and
you will learn it and then you can go off
and do whatever you wanna do.
So, here we could see that this side is
compressing with the rib cage here and
this is lifting like that and this leg is
going out
this one is coming down going out like
mm here this wraps around.
Now this is lower, this cheek is lower
Fits in like that.
Mm-hm, like that.
There's a beautiful C-curve.
No straights!
I don't see any straights.
You tell me where there's a straight.
I'd like to know.
Still haven't seen one.
This curves around like that.
And there's a beautiful gesture.
Everywhere is beautiful gestures.
There's a movement, there's a rhythm to
This comes out that way.
Now follow the spine.
See that?
The spine is going to guide you.
When in doubt, and you're looking at the
back of the figure, follow the spine.
See that?
The spine goes from here.
All the way out, look at that.
And then to the neck.
It's got a beautiful s curve to it.
See that?
It's beautiful.
Just beautiful, it's inspiring.
So see that s curve?
Like that.
And trapezius, the neck.
The neck is always curving beautifully
too, here.
And the arm, remember I'm using arrow
gonna go that way, gonna come out and down
like that.
You can take your time with this.
To get the right shapes.
The more you do it, the faster you're
gonna get.
Now you don't have to start with her back.
You don't have to start with her head.
And once again there is no rules, there's
just tools.
Start where, a really good place to start
is where you're excited.
What excites you about the figure.
Maybe it's her neck?
You know, maybe it's her ear.
Maybe it's the, the energy and
the dynamic quality of the leg jutting
back into space.
If that excites you, that's where you
should start.
A lot of teachers say, no.
You have to start with the head, because
if you don't start with the head,
then your proportions are gonna be lost.
But I know a lot of really good painters
and draftsmen,
who do not start with the head.
So, you can try starting with the head,
and that might be amazing for
you, but other times it just might be
You have to be excited about this.
Like when I look at the figure I just see
like, oh my god this is a,
this is a epic, epic symphony up there.
So I gotta be able to.
Feel inspired by this.
And sometimes I'm just more inspired by
the calf, and sometimes I'm more inspired
by the arm, and sometimes I'm more
inspired by the face.
So, it's really what inspires you.
Think about that.
What inspires you about the figure?
Cuz I know we're all inspired by the
Michelangelo was, was inspired by the
figure but
his inspiration was a lot different than
Raphael, and
his inspiration was a lot different than
So, for me I really sometimes look at each
individual figure and
I say wow that spine is amazing, that's
where I wanna start.
Like I was just going crazy on that right
So, here.
But, you know, as I continue to draw,
I guess I continue to get inspired by
So, I like that.
Scapula is, like, kinda lifting up,
pushing here, and
deltoid is, really able to see these kinda
Which is really nice.
Now once again, this is going that
And this is going that direction.
And the deltoid's wrapping around the back
of the trapezius.
Don't mind me if I just talk about.
These things, we're gonna get into all
this anatomy.
But it's not really important.
What's really important is getting that
dynamic quality and
really being inspired by this pose.
Does this inspire you, do you feel excited
about it?
Doing a beautiful drawing, that will come
in time.
You just have to have fun while you do it.
And, the more you do it the better you're
gonna get.
It's like riding a bike.
You know, the more times you get on that
The more times you, run around the track,
the faster you're gonna get.
It's the same thing with drawing.
It's a mileage thing.
So in the meantime, don't worry about
being Michelangelo.
Don't worry about being Leonardo.
The painter, not DiCaprio, obviously.
So, worry about having fun.
Just get yourself inspired.
Negative shapes.
And the top of that strap wraps around.
And we're not even getting into value.
Like I'll just block the hair, and just,
just to be a little crazy.
But we're not getting into this value or
anything like that.
We're just getting into direction.
And placement.
And look at the c curve, my god.
Just crazy beautiful c curves.
Crazy beautiful c curves.
And this is just kinda flat.
Now you could see
the contrapposto.
Contrapposto was the distribution of
So you can really see that.
You know, this direction is going that
So you see the distribution of ray.
These shoulders are going that way.
So, you're gonna, that's gonna really
force the opposition, and
that's why you're gonna see this pinch so
much here
And this stretch so much here.
Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch.
All right.
Now let's change gears, and let's get into