Gesture Drawing - BASICS part 1 | Alycia Pace | Skillshare
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6 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Preview

    • 2. 1IntroBasics

    • 3. 2LOAandshape

    • 4. 3silhouette

    • 5. 4review

    • 6. 5referencevideo

34 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this class I want you to draw with me as we explore 4 main principles of gesture drawing:

-line of action




The last video in the class you can use as reference for practicing these principles. Sometimes drawing from photos results in stiff and lifeless drawings, so here I’ve created a video of me posing so that you’ll keep in mind that’s what you’re drawing is a living breathing thing. 

This is class is the first in a series of videos covering basic fundamentals of design for Illustrators and Animators. 


1. Preview: Well, let me tell you about jester drawing basics Part one when this course will be talking about line of action, breaking down the figure into shapes like a basic shape and then importance in silhouette and getting it strong silhouette and exaggerating your posts that its readable, clear dynamic. This class is for you. If your drawings are getting a little stiff, uh, and you would like to bring some life to them. If you have a basic understanding of anatomy already and you're just ready toe, push your characters and give them more life than this is the class for you. Also, it's a great class to watch and draw alongside of me. I'm not most eloquent of people, so I don't know if it's the one that you're just gonna want to, like, grab bag of popcorn and watch. I would say to grab a piece of paper a pin and draw alongside with me because practice is what's gonna get you better. So practice along with me and let's get drawing 2. 1IntroBasics: Welcome to Juster. Drawing part one. Ah, in this section, I just wanted to discuss basics as well as talk about gesture, drawing versus figure drawing. And what the differences he could know what to expect in this class. Uh, gesture, drawing and figure drawing are quite different in that gesture drawing. It's more about the energy of the pose. While figure drawing, it's a little bit more about proportions in getting everything realistic. Uh, this right here is Ryan Woodward. Amazing professor that I had at BYU. He left before I could take his gesture during class, but I drooled over his gestures all the time. Look at these. Amazing. So much life. So much movements. Energy, character, I mean. Oh, well, look at those because lines of action. Um, if you have not seen his video on YouTube, it's called. I thought of you, Uh, go look it up right now if you haven't already seen it. And, uh, everything he draws is just it comes toe life. So that's something I want you to practice getting the life of the characters that you are drawing. And that's what these classes forest practice that Here's another page of them. Just look how loose it is. He's not worried about getting all the little details. This is just about the movement is just about capturing the action of what he's seeing. So I think that's a mistake that beginners make. And I definitely did this when I was first going to my first even. It was a figure drawing class, and, uh, I was just so focused on drawing every line, drawing exactly what I was seeing, thinking that I was seeing. But I missed the life animist, the energy, and it got very stagnant really quick. So that is why I wanted to take teach gesture, drawing as the first part of my basics course, because I wish I had had it earlier. This is Ah, Bob Baer, another BYU professor that I had and he figure, drawing and figure during you focus more on proportions, and if you look at these characters there, you're sitting or of it. This is just different, but I would suggest to look a tsum proportions. Make sure that you have that right. Um, and drawing from life is always the best as you're practicing these the's principles. But when you're dressed her jarring. Don't worry about the detail. So these air figure drawings when you go to do your dress your drawings, don't be worried about making it look like who it's supposed to look like. Getting the features just right. The folds, the lighting. That's not what we're talking about. This class. Talking about movement and expression and exaggerating things. It's OK if your proportions are a little off, but I do think we should talk about the basics real quick, even if you are doing cartoons or character designs. Letter pulled and the proportions are a little wonky. Yes, still gotta know with the basics. He still gotta know the rules before you break him. So let's talk about those rules. According to Pinterest and the intimate, the body is about eight heads tall in about three heads wide. So if that's not something that you're familiar with, or you haven't drawn a lot of regularly proportioned humans, I would suggest doing so so you can copy bees do Ah ah, few practices just to make sure that your hand is used to drawing the form in this size. Also, I would suggest looking at this stick figure retyped character because it's focusing on the form of a person as opposed, still, like the contour lines. So the ones to the right of this, you see, it's just like the contra online. But what I'm really trying to get across yes is to really focus on the the form and what's underneath those lines and the energy. That's a raise. Also, here you can see it. Mine is not set our heads tall and it's interesting. I feel like something that we need to be aware of. That we might do that I dio when I'm drawing is I often make the torso too big to talk too long and the lakes to short because I have a long torso and short legs, so it's more natural for me to do that. So that's something that I have. I noticed it had pointed out in my work, so just be aware that that might be something that you're doing. Also, make sure as you are thinking about the form, think about the figure that you were thinking in spheres and cylinders in actual shapes, and not just lines those wooden figurines that you see in art rooms. Uh, that are not actually that helpful to me. Anyways, we're helping withdrawing because I feel like if I am using them as reference, my things end up looking not very like life, almost toylike. Imagine that because you're looking at some sort of, like toy thing. Ah, but what it is good for helping with is to help you think in those forms instead of looking at a photo per se. Because when you look at a photo, you were just thinking in a flat world, none of the world. But you're thinking of lines you're thinking in a different way than when you're looking at something in real life. So I was just as you are practicing, go out to a coffee shop, go outside, go to the cafeteria and draw from life, Uh, and think about the gesture and not the contour. I know for me, I grew up drawing from photos. It's just what I did. Ah, and that was hurtful for me a little bit. I mean, it was helpful as well, but it's better to look from life because that way you will be thinking in three dimensional shapes, thinking about what it looks like in life. So those are the basics. Let's move on to the second video 3. 2LOAandshape: before we begin, I want to apologize. I'm really bad at talking. I was listening to the last video. Now, just like wow words. I'm draw things all day, Just not very eloquent. And I apologize. This is some dumb things, and I'm sorry. So things was Diggory with me. You guys are very patient and very kind. Okay, let's talk about line of action. This is the foundation to gesture. Drawing is why we're starting with it. So basically you're getting in the line. The movement, the line of action behind of energy. The line. Yeah, you'll see. I'll show you. So here's kind of simply put the line of action on these photos. I would define it. So I want you to go through. I'll be going through these sections and then the last video is a reference video. I decided to take a video of myself posing instead of reference photos, uh, so that you can. I think watching a video is better than looking at photos because you see it, the character move the person moved from Costa pose. So you're thinking about it as like, this is a living moving thing as opposed to a photo, I just I find that it helps, so hopefully we'll help you guys do so go through. And so you'll go through the end for the homework and you'll go through and watch it several times, doing the line of action, doing the silhouette, the different things that will be a target. So and we all go through a lecture in the right. So I just wanted to sketch out some characters in the show kind of what the line of action means. It's often involved in, like the spine and how the spine is moving, cause that impacts the rest of the rhythm and flow of the figure. So I hope this makes sense. It never made a ton of sense to me inwards until I just started trying to find the line of action. So go through on that last video you can skip there. Now you can pause through and try. The poses that I have Here are some of the ones that I have included. So I guess you could just do it now at your desk while you're sitting and look at these and decide for you what you think. The line of action is line of the movement where Yep, yep. Says don't worry. This is the most vague of all the sections, but, um, so I'm just kind of showing here. That line is the important flow of the character. I looked it up online to see what the death finish in is, according to Google. And it says making the line of action curved as opposed to drawing as a straight line, gives your characters pose more force and attitude, which in turn, aids and making your characters poses more visually interesting to the viewer, the line of action is a simple, curved line that evokes movement. So I think that is something important to say. So if you're looking at a character that's straight up and down, you're gonna want to avoid straight lines in gesture drawings you want, uh, movement formed, flow, curved lines, but now ruined her about shapes. And I do see some straight lines within my shapes. But you were well, this is just breaking down the figure into shapes because what I'm trying to get out here is helping you to. Instead of seeing the exact line of the calf and the this and the that year, breaking it down into shapes. Lines of action. Uh, you'll just be trying to think about it in a different way. Then hopefully then you have in the past, hopefully can sheds a little bit of light onto the knowledge that you already have. So after you go through a little interaction in the reference video, go through and find just the basic shape. Simplicity is good. Let's simplify this figure. Figure drawings hard. Try to simplify the form interest in basic shapes, and that will help in the next section, which will be talking about. So what if you know what shape you're wanting to work with and simplifying the form that will help you so much in your character designs and in drawing dynamic poses and iconic poses. But stop thinking in lines they conform. If that's all that you get out of this class, I will feel like I at least helped a little bit. So think about shape rhythm lines. Don't I mean who lines? I said it. I don't think your minds does. Don't do it. Okay, I want to quickly talk about making sure that you're not worried about drawing perfect lines either lengths. You're drawing in lines, but don't thinking like, Ah, but let's talk about the line and the quality that we're looking for We're not. We're not really looking for quality and line. We're looking at looseness of line, broader strokes, smaller strokes would that is going to prohibit you to have the looseness that you need in order to get the force in the movement and the energy and the action of the post. So loosen up a bit. I was, ah, listening to YouTube video on the guy who wrote the book called Force. He Talked About Here. I'm showing you like the small little lines what that would look like. Uh, just looking at the pose and seeing the contour and how detrimental that could be because you get proportions off pretty quick. You can see here that she is not accurate. Uh, so it's better to think broader to think, get the line of the line of action and the whole just be thinking the whole pose and energy of the Post. And anyways, this guy, the guy that wrote the Force animation book I don't remember the full title force. You'll see a pretty gesture during on the top. Um, he was saying, To think about your line is like figure skating. It was really poetic, and I care reword it. But that title for you it's forced. Dynamic life Drawing for Animators by Mike MMA, MMA Tessie and he's got four part YouTube video. If you want to look that up, too, Like I said, he's much more eloquent than I am. And that book it will be like everything you need to know about gesture drawing. It's brilliant. So look that up. Uh, here. I'm just reiterating line of action just a bit. Yeah, make sure you guys have bit of an idea of what that could look like. Um, some other drawing books that I would recommend. So there's that force book and drawn toe life. I think it's washstand. Stanford State. I've never said his name before, but well, something one of the Disney guys novel Hope Disney Drawn to Life is a great book to to talk about drawing from the heart and, uh, drying, creating dries that will come to life. So after this lesson, I want you to fast word go to the last video. I think it's called a reference video and go through and break things down into line of action and shape and post it up on the skill share site. I would love to see them love to. You can comment if you're looking for feedback or if you're just looking for thumbs up because I can give you one or the other. I know some days it's just like I just need someone to tell me what's good about this, cause all I'm seeing is the bad and other days you're, like, ready for that critique. So, uh, I wanted to be a safe zone. So I mean, I want people toe critique other people's work. But if you're not looking for critiquing just looking for like I did it can comment on your assignment. But thanks for hanging with me. Sorry, this has been long winded. I guess I'm tired and should do these in the morning when I have energy speaking energy. Make sure that year focusing on the energy of your posts when you do your homework, so I will see you guys in the next 50 years 4. 3silhouette: Let's jump into silhouette for gotta you their silhouette with you Now we can spell m learned gesture draw at same time. Yea, Okay, so this is really important. This is an important step hopeful. You guys have thought a lot about the shape of the pose, the line of action. And now you're ready to get the silhouette in there. And this is really important, because if you get the silhouette right, then you're characters will be more readable. They'll be more iconic. They'll be easier to Ah, distinguish what's going on? Uh, so that's something that, as your drawing characters is your drawing any anything is you're designing. You want to make sure that the silhouette is strong and that will increase the, uh, visual appeal of your designs and the clarity of what you're drawing. So I those arms air really long. That post has been a really hard one for me. I I guess I should have tried it from more of a profile angle cause straight on. You don't want things to be to balanced. Yeah, I should have redrawn that from the side. It's now I'm doing the, uh, appearing over. It's like a a pirate on a ship or something. Uh oh. I was talking about balance. So So, like on that first drawing that I had done the angry pose. If you look at the photo, everything's quite balance. And that's not something that you want in your designs. You want to break it up? You don't want everything to be symmetrical unless that's what you're going for. For example, if you have somebody that's like O C. D. And really everything's in order, then maybe you would want to, and that would work with their character. But like, you, miss pose where they're angry. You want things a little bit? Uh, Don't want everything. Yeah, symmetrical. All right, So, silhouettes, uh, this one is key. It will really create interest in what you are doing. This is the tying of the shoe pose, and I think here I'm still thinking a little bit too much in lines. You might want to try changing up your tools. So here I had on procreate, I used procreate app on iPad. Pro love it highly suggest it. But here I was using, like, an ink pen. And maybe you should use something that's more conducive toe making shapes instead of lines . I wish that I had done that. So when I have done in the past, um traditionally, which is just hearted, I used markers. Net will hope. Keep some broad strokes and keeping thinking about shape as you're doing your silhouette. So here's the checking of the watch. The arm is quit large. Switch that up a bit. Um, but see how I kind of exaggerated the tilts, the lean. So we've got that hit jetting out there a little bit more than I noticed. It wasn't reading well because the head was veering away from the watch, but where she's I say, she I let me ah, where I'm looking at my watch. You want the head tilted forward because that kind of reads better. It still doesn't read. Great. Sure, why that is in the heels just totally threw it off that ones. But in here it is just doing this rural quickly to show you what I mean by silhouette and how you can Ah, instead of looking instead of copying exactly what you're seeing, I want as you're doing silly. Let's go ahead and change the pose a little bit. We'll see that I do that often change it to where it will work better for how you want things to be read and seen and interpreted. For example, here you can see that I have turned to the post this praying pose more to aside so that it can be easier to read what is going on, where it's coming more from the front in the silhouette. You won't be able to read what's going on. With the legs being so short, it wouldn't make as much sense. So here I am, playing with that a little bit with the arms because you have a clear silhouette if you pull the arms out away from the body so that you can know what's going on. And that's something that's helpful as you were you on the silhouette. But if I was designing the actual character, it would be more successful and work better if I was thinking of how it would affect the silhouette of the character. If you feel like you've got it down at this point, you're welcome to positivity and go to the last video and look at the reference end. Create the civil. It's on your own or instead of listening to me or as you're listening to me, you can take out a piece of paper and be doing it alongside with me. So this one I'm doing the anger pose looks kind of like a constipated post. More like, uh, I think maybe the line of action here should have been totally at a diagonal instead of a Dagnall and then going straight at the legs because you see how that you don't feel the anger in that pose. So I think I failed of the model here, so it would have been the line of action. Feel better. Everything was diagonal, but I am recording this after I have drawn it so I can't go in and change that. I kept struggling with what was going wrong, and that's because I hadn't figured out that line of action. So that's why it's important. Do the steps here learn from my failure, this pose. So here is the waving pose. The line of action goes through that arm and down the legs. The arm is really long. We're not worried about portions right now. Worried about whether or not you look at this and know what's going on. Looks like Maybe she's going for a slam dunk cause for homes so long doing Space Chan arm extension and then this one is even. There's a spider pose, so you want to make sure that everything readable. So I picked up that leg a little bit higher. Kind of exaggerated touch. Yes, it wasn't that much higher, I guess. I guess what I did is I separated Thea negative space about something to be thinking about when you're working on the Sylhet. Negative space would be what I'm not drawing, but what I'm leaving. So I left a bigger gap between those legs. Kind of exaggerated pose a bit, and I wasn't sure how to do those arms to make it clear what was going on. And then last of all, let's try this sadness pose. I tilted it again, did it more of from a side view so that we can get the legs in there, try to get the arms to breaking, kind of figure out what's going on from the shape of the silhouette. I wanted to tilt that head in more to create the feeling of sadness, Al, maybe just looked a little bit bored. So let's try that here. I'm just kind of tired, but hey, Cannell's perfect were striving for improvement here. Hopefully, you're drawing alongside of me, just, like, so boring. So begin about negative space there. I left a bigger gap underneath me, and by so that it's easier to read what's going on. I don't have the ad fingers or anything. Keep it simple. So now go to the reference video and drops, um, silhouettes. I'm excited to see them. 5. 4review: Okay, let's wrap up, uh, to begin our wrap up session. I wanted to talk again about thinking about things as informs. So this little worksheet of character sketches is from drawn to life. And I just want you guys when you're looking at a person when you're doing the reference video at the end and completing your homework to think about that, to see instead of the figure to see it in spears and circles cylinders. Okay. Ah, have you guys heard of grazing? Norm? They are a fantastic resource when your education so look him up on Pinterest or Google or follow them on Instagram. But here is one of their sheets. No straight lines. So up and down poses. See how the character that they've drawn here, the up and down one. That's just there's no life in it. But if you just give a little bit of weight arm hips and there's less straight lines in the one to the right in that one, so much better. Nothing kills oppose quicker than appear straight line, so even if you just give it a little bit of curve, it will help a lot, Um, and combining curve Laurean's well, uh, give you a lot more rhythm in your drives. Then they had a sheet on line of action. So to review the class, I thought I would show you guys that, um, I liked on the bottom the samurai. I mean, if if he hit had moved that soared over, then the rhythm and the energy of the post wouldn't have been a strong and dynamic. It's so just wanted to show you guys, he's, uh they point out that the sparring is always part of the line of action, so to be thinking about that. But when I liked that figure next to the swimmer of putting a little bit more weight to that hip all of a sudden, this gave him a little bit more personality. So, series. I just want you guys to be practicing that. To be thinking of that, you could even just copy these sketches because they have a lot of life in them and then exaggerating the pose here pushing it. We're gonna talk about exaggeration a little bit here in a bit, but don't you see the difference between these? So the white characters versus the gray ones just So sometimes I I will draw something, and then I will redraw over and over just trying to push it. And sometimes I put it too far and it loses what I was trying to say in the first place. But I think that's something to try. When you're doing your exercises to draw the pose and then push it a little further, then he greater norm also adapt this about silhouettes, which I thought was really good. Just showing how you can make the clarity better. Yes, you are working on improving your So what? So pick shapes to guide the I. I like that. That's a good design tip and then avoid tubes. I don't know what they were trying to say by that, but all right, let's talk about exaggeration. We just crossed over. So here are some reference photos you will be working through in the next video, which I felt kind of like an idiot. Fill me. But, uh, I think it will be helpful to you Grace to see a video instead of preference for this from the Internet. There are a lot of really good resource is if you type in reference for drawing figure drawing. There's a lot of good sites that you can pick where you want him clothed or unclothed. If you want. Men poses female poses. You're needing to work on one or the other, and then you can give it a time. And you can take a long as you want if you're really in the beginning phases. But don't take too much time. If you're taking too much time, then you must be noodling. You must be going into detail. But if you do just need timeto work through the pose and you want to draw out several times like here. So I did the 1st 1 and I just wasn't getting what I was hoping for. So then I curve that back more to show some sort of grumpy old lady, okay? And I think that helped by curbing the back more, bringing the head down, even though, obviously, in that pose, as you can see, I my head was not to down that low, but I wanted to make it a grumpy old lady, so I I pushed it a little bit further. So injuries find those sources online, and, um, I was just about a minute, maybe two minutes at first while you're getting the hang of things. But the quicker it is, the more loosen, the more energy you have and you won't allow you to take. Timeto should start shading perfecting things because this is for practice. So the 2nd 1 once again, the 1st 1 that I did it just wasn't as pushed, so I needed toe, bring the head down, lower and exaggerate the arch of my back there. Part of exaggerating would be acting. So we build it to animate is akin to the building toe act, Walt Stansfield said. And I think even if you're just illustrating and you're not, you're not an animator. You still are telling stories, and I think if you want your characters too, breathe tohave life. Um, it's important tech. Act out the post to feel the pose here. I just wasn't and you can see it in the arms that What does she feel? I just like Yes, I was not feeling angry enough. What I really struggled with this post. It's and I you could see it in my of my drawings. Uh, watch. Stansfield also said the animator must portray the characters, actions and reactions, their wildest feelings and their subtle ist moods. Whether the character is animal human or an animate object, the action must be character beyond what might have been done in live action, although never beyond the limits of good taste. So it's good to be subtle now and then, but in gesture drying. This isn't about being settled. This is about pushing it so that it reads clearly. And that concludes our adjuster, drawing Part one lecture series. So move on to the reference video, which is next and go through line of action shapes, silhouettes, exaggeration. You can do it it several times. Just keep repeating the video until you get things comfortable. Uh, and they're about 40 45 2nd poses just so that you're aware and then draw from life. Draw, draw, draw from life. That's the best way to learn. So go forth and draw 6. 5referencevideo: