Capture those all-important Gestures!
When drawing portraits or life drawings, it is important to be intuitive in your reproduction of the human body. Unless you are planning a sense of the abstract within your drawing, proportions and a sense of realism must be exact so that those viewing the finished work of art can interpret the message the artist is trying to relay. Drawing the human form can be exacting in itself, but if the artist is to make the portrait or figure come to life, then capturing gestures is especially important and can make a big difference to the outcome.
In reality, we all make gestures and these gestures can become part of our persona and be tied inextricably with our expressions. When drawing portraits, a particular and well-used gesture may not be out of place and those viewing the final picture would be able to understand that the artist has captured the very essence of the person. In this respect, gestures become the artist?s friend.
If you feel that gestures could be used in your own drawings, then read the following notes:
- Try arranging for a friend to model for you and this way you can make some quick sketches and this will start the motion of pencil to paper becoming more fluid and relaxed.
- Ask your friend to assume an emotion for example - anger. Suggest ways for them to model this emotion and notice the difference in terms of posture. Then try sorrow and joy for example. Ensure that they use key gestures to complete their pose.
- Take some photographs as well as this will enable you to complete your drawing in private and will provide a good reference.
- These sorts of tasks can be useful for quick sketching or for finished drawings and do not have to be used just for portraits. When capturing these expressive moments, a drawing can become incredibly powerful just by having the viewpoint on the figure and a shaded background.
For any artist interpreting the physical form, it is important that all of our senses are used to provide a unique insight into the completed drawing.