The Gesture Drawing Art Principle

Categories: AnatomyArtDrawing
About this essay

Gesture drawing is an art practice involving drawing a posing model (whether it be a person or an animal) in a particular frame of time. The purpose of gesture drawing is not to draw the model, but to draw the action (what the model is doing). This way of drawing helps artists by giving them knowledge of staging, form, and anatomy. It helps people develop their own style of drawing art, especially for animators. Art is about conveying an idea. When an artist creates something, he/she may know what it is or means, but other people (the audience) may not.

Learning how to stage art helps convey an idea, and gesture drawing is a great way to learn staging.

Without staging, a drawing may look stiff, unproportional and confusing. The best way to draw an action in the body and find the pose is to find the rhythm. There is always rhythm in the body, (and in everything) which makes it easier to capture the pose in the drawing.

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First, practice drawing 2-3 rhythmic curves around the body, representing the pose’s flow.

These curves could also be known as the “line(s) of action,” All you need to do is add more curves and you have drawn a symbolic action. The next step is to add construction by drawing cross-contour lines; not only to draw the being making the gesture, but also to add a sense of direction and perspective to the drawing. Construction helps define the figure drawing in 3- dimensional space.

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It helps to show what parts of the body are pointed toward the viewer and what recedes into the background. Gesture drawings can also be improved if the artist has a good knowledge of anatomy. Anatomy helps greatly with not only gestures, but figure drawing as wel (drawings that take 20 minutes or longer to complete).

This requires reading and studying about the muscular systems of humans and animals. Some helpful tips about gestures, even if the artist has no knowledge of anatomy, are that when drawing, sit back from the canvas and use your entire arm to draw the pose, and not just the wrist.

This will make you allow yourself to draw freely without worrying about whether or not the drawing is clear. Freedom can also be practiced in one-minute gesture drawings by just scribbling the pose. This practice of drawing is important because it allows artists and animators to draw things so close to realism and yet still have the artists’ signature style. For example, when Disney’s Snow White was made, the animals were drawn with cartoonish, rounded forms. When Bambi came along, however, the animators had studied animal anatomy and movements so well that the deer looked believeable. Gesture drawing helps the artist not only to draw a character, but draw the story of that character.

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The Gesture Drawing Art Principle. (2022, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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