gesture drawing gesture drawing Gesture drawing, five minutes

  1. Before you begin read pages 15-18 in Kimon Nicolaides’ book, The Natural Way to Draw.
  2. Next find a subject. This can be a friend or relative who is willing to pose for you. The model can sit or stand and is free to move in place. If necessary you can also draw a pet, work from a mirror or improvise by using an object or poseable figure.
  3. Set up the newsprint pad on a drawing board. Ideally it should be on an easel or propped up in front of you.
  4. Look at the subject and observe not just what it is but what it is doing. If the subject is a human or animal, notice how it is leaning, where the weight is, how it is moving or how it is about to move. What kind of energy is there?
  5. Pick up your pencil. You can experiment with different ways of holding it but keep it loose. Begin by “air drawing” in front of your paper. Then, as your hand is moving, apply it to the paper and draw. Move quickly from one area to the other, responding the the subject, trying to capture it in one minute or less. Do not try to outline the subject or to draw separate parts. Try to scale the figure to fit on the entire sheet.
  6. Have the subject change pose and repeat on a new sheet of paper. Or if you are using vine charcoal you can simply wipe it away with a rag and use the same sheet.
  7. Now vary your times up to 5 minutes per drawing. Continue the session for 30-60 minutes with breaks.