Monday, July 02, 2012

Abstract shapes

Recently I've been asked how to get the "whole" body into a drawing in the time it takes to get a gesture down.  Some artists fall into a piece meal kind of sketching where they draw the form sections separately from one another.  I encourage and challenge you to strive to capture the whole gesture as one piece as early as possible when sketching.

I like to think of the whole gesture as an abstract shape that encompasses the feel and attitude I'm going for.  Within the first ten to fifteen seconds of the drawing I'm blocking out shapes that allow the gesture to live within it.

Henri Matisse inspires me with his abstract silhouette paper cut outs when I think of this direction.  The deceptive simplicity is very impressive and I believe we can be inspired by his work.

Henri Matisse
When gesture drawing we don't really have time for too much detail, we need to get the whole thing down fast.  I like to call this abstract shape the trajectory of a pose.   It's a planning stage that allows you to buy the impression you are creating and sends the drawing in a direction allowing you to finish even if the subject has moved on.

In thinking about this stuff I decided to take a break from the Cintiq and slum it with the chinamarker on paper.  I sketched this stuff out of my head and wrote lil' notes to assist my thoughts above.  All sketches were done quick in under a minute each for the more detailed.

Draw! Draw! Draw!


Anonymous said...

Wow, these are great.

Jesse said...

Thank you! These will surely help me out next time I'm gesture drawing.

chromasketch said...

awesome notes, very helpful indeed.

Dave said...

Great post! Really nice simplified form on the squatting figure(2nd sheet). It's great to see how you nail the essencials with just a few strokes on the figure with the broom. Thanks for sharing.

Chaitanya Limaye said...

Very useful and inspiring. Would love to see more such posts!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, I found your blog by doing a search for "stickman", go figure! I enjoyed reading your article and looking at your drawings. I particularly like your ability to add life to your quick studies!

Jennifer Sese said...

Another amazing and beneficial post on gesture drawing! Thank you for sharing your wisdom! : )

Unknown said...

Thank you for the post! great help :)