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October 22, 2014, 01:36:30 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeArtWorkshopDrawing Workshop 1: Gesture Drawings
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Author Topic: Drawing Workshop 1: Gesture Drawings  (Read 75178 times)
Derek
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« on: September 19, 2008, 04:20:30 PM »

Sup, y'allz!  I'm starting up the drawing workshop.  Let's face it - being able to draw rules.  But we all want to jump in and start drawing like Frank Frazetta (insert your fave artist of choice).  No one likes practicing for very long.  But HEY, you gotta do it.  Underpinning the skills of every great artist is strong technique and an understanding of form.

The number one pitfall of art: "OH, it's just my style!  I'm just doing game art/comics/cartoons, I don't need to know form/human anatomy/whatever!"

You would be incorrect in this assumption, good sir/lady. Gentleman

You learn things the proper way and when you understand the rules you can effectively break every single one of them!  So that's what we're going to do here, we're going to try and learn, and we're going to help each other get better!  Le'z do eet!

Gesture Drawings

A gesture drawing is a quick sketch to get the feel for the form and motion of a figure, whether it be man or beast or whatever.  The temptation is to jump in and start doing full, detailed figures... which is FINE, but hopefully every one of those is backed up by at least a handful of quick gesture drawings.

This is key: first try to visualize the figure or scene as a motion, then as shapes (forms), and finally as what it actually is.  Start at the top level, the most abstract level, and work your way down.  Right-brained people will have a much easier time with this (which is why they are generally considered "creative" types).  Left-brained, analytical people will try to work from the details up.

If you're a left-brained person, try to train yourself not to see heads, faces, necks, torsos, arms, hands, etc., but see forms - lines, shapes, and volumes.  In the classic book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," one of the exercises they recommend to break left-brained people is to draw a picture upside-down.  This will force you to "draw what you see" instead of drawing "what you think you see."  The human brain has this amazing ability to recognize patterns, but for drawing purposes you're going to want to put that aside.  Not every eye looks the same, and you're going to want to see each eye for what it is, instead of what you think it is.

Okay, so let's see a visual example of what I'm talking about here:



The upper left is the figure I'm drawing.  The upper right shows the "motion" of the figure.  Every figure should have a single line that directs the it, and every other line, should, in essence work with that line of motion.  In a game, you might call that the "basic idea" or concept of the game that ties it all together.  It's kind of a feeling.

For example, when you think about Olympic swimmers diving into the pool, you might visualize them as parabolic lines.  It gives you a sense of how they're moving.

The lower left is a gesture drawing.  The purpose is to help you understand how a body moves, how it feels, what forms are at play.  From a gesture drawing, you should be able to feel how the figure is bent, where the weight is.  How it's moving.

The lower right is a depiction of the volumes at play.  It's good to think about the body as 3d, made from different volumes.  Again, it's all about learning and understanding how things fit together.

It's important to realize when drawing the figure that you are not just drawing the outline of the figure.  Lines overlap, lines go over and under... understand that YOU ARE CREATING FORMS.  In the lower left you'll notice I pulled out a couple lines in purple.  As you can see, the top line crosses over the bottom one.  This gives the viewer a real sense of the body twisting.

"How do I know when lines should cross over, and when they shouldn't?"  Sometimes it "just looks right," but often times the reason is because of the way the human body is put together.  Muscles do not just sit in their own space - they cross over each other all the time, and also interact with the skeleton.

It will take a while to get there, so for now just concentrate on the body's motion and the major forms.

Linework

Another thing to think about (I know, as if you need more!) is lines.  I notice that most beginning draw-ers use very scratchy lines.  It's obviously a confidence thing (or lack of).  You're going to want to break this as quickly as possible:



Lines should have no more than 1-2 strokes each.  If you want to draw the curve of a deltoid or a bicep... or draw the motion line of a figure... do it with one broad stroke.  Part of the fun and beauty of drawing is the feeling of drawing, of following each line.  If you were cruising downhill on a bike you wouldn't want to hit the brakes every 5 seconds, would you!  (Well, maybe you would, but the point is, you'd be doing out of fear, and not because it feels good.)

Keep in mind that there was a point when you drew good lines - when you were a kid.  Kids are fearless.  That scratchy line business?  It was built up out of your adulthood anxieties!  Let it go.

Some Tips to Make it Easier:

- Get yourself a fat marker to draw with.  Sharpie or Crayola.  DON'T USE A MECHANICAL PENCIL, WHATEVER YOU DO.  Or a ballpoint pen.  Those are two of the trickiest tools for a beginner to start with.

- Draw BIG.  Don't confine yourself to a tiny corner of your paper/canvas/screen.  Don't constrain yourself.  Draw off the damn pad if you feel like it.

Homework

Alright, I think I've rambled on enough for now.  Let's start drawing!  Your homework for this workshop:

1. Head over to Posemaniacs.com and click on "30 Second Drawing" under "Tools."  Start with 10-second gestures (yes, just 10 seconds!).  You're really only going to have time to capture the basic motion of the figure.  But that's the point!

Regarding tools, I'd suggest either Photoshop w/ a tablet, or pencil/charcoal/marker on paper.  If you're just starting out, again, don't use a mechanical pencil and don't use a ballpoint pen.  Use something thick.

2. When you feel comfortable with that, work your way up to longer gestures.  Remember, try to capture the feeling of the figure.  Think about what forms are at play.  Practice your line work.


Looking Ahead:

In the next couple of workshops, we'll probably start to practice hooman anatomy.  Learnin' the proportions of the body and the basic muscles groups and such.  If you want to get a head start on that, check out these scans of Andrew Loomis's famous Figure Drawing book.

And definitely read Arne's art tutorial, if you haven't.  It covers a lot more than just figure drawing, but it's got some great all-around tips, and it's a easy and fun to read.

Feedback:

Please post your stuff here!  Please give feedback, either to me (if I said anything erroneous, or just on the workshop in general), or to the artists.  Or just to add something.

But please:

1. If you post here, be prepared for critique.

2. If you give critique, be constructive.

3. Either way, don't be an ass.


Happy drawrin'! Beer!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 04:38:37 PM by Derek » Logged
Derek
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2008, 04:20:59 PM »

Inspiration:


James Jean


Henry Yan


Zhao Ming Wu


Justin Sweet


Andrew Loomis
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 04:36:26 PM by Derek » Logged
Jrsquee
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2008, 05:17:52 PM »

Awesome awesome awesome!  This is just the kickstart I need to start learning to draw again.
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Guert
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2008, 05:31:42 PM »

Thank you  Kiss Time to get the rust off those drawing wrists! Smiley
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Zaphos
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 06:00:05 PM »

Neat, thanks  Smiley


What is the purple T thing next to the bottom left figure?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 11:29:54 PM by Zaphos » Logged
Melly
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 06:05:07 PM »

I read that book! Shocked

Also, it's interesting how, in most art schools, we learn to draw in a static way. Static blocks, static fruit, static people. All static. All BORING.

I'll be trying this. How long do we have before you give the next exercise? I'll probably not have much time at all this weekend, which is a fucking shame.
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 06:09:21 PM »

Zaphos, it's a copy of the hip joint, I'm guessing it was there to help illustrate this point

Quote
"How do I know when lines should cross over, and when they shouldn't?"  Sometimes it "just looks right," but often times the reason is because of the way the human body is put together.  Muscles do not just sit in their own space - they cross over each other all the time, and also interact with the skeleton.

Haven't hit pose maniacs in ages. Deffintly will try hit this up later tonight.

Also mad props for including James Jean sketches.
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Andy Wolff
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 06:23:25 PM »

This is really helpful
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 07:56:06 PM »

You are a Boss fellow, Derek. Thank you! I shall do the practice.
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2008, 09:42:11 PM »

Oh cool, drawing workshop!

Quote
try to train yourself not to see heads, faces, necks, torsos, arms, hands, etc., but see forms - lines, shapes, and volumes.

I think this is one of the most important points in learning the basics of drawing well (besides practice, practice, practice of course). I'm still not 100% there, but training yourself to not draw the idea inside your head of what things look like, but to draw what they actually look like is when my drawing abilities went from typical amateur to respectable.

Oh, and Arne's art tutorials are pretty much how I learned to paint.
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2008, 10:45:11 PM »

Also, it's interesting how, in most art schools, we learn to draw in a static way. Static blocks, static fruit, static people. All static. All BORING.

These are gesture drawings.  They should be anything but static and boring!  The point of gesture drawings is to nail down the pose in as little time and as few lines as possible.  The lines should flow with each other and the form of the person.  I start gesture drawings at 30 seconds a drawing to loosen up, and then eventually go up to 1-to-2-minute drawings.

Here are some gesture drawings of some normal people I saw on campus last Wednesday:


...as well as a page of pre-animation majors acting normal ("normal" as far as the average art-major is concerned):
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2008, 07:24:32 AM »

My homework
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2008, 08:38:27 AM »

I understand what you're getting at with linework, Derek, as I've always had a pretty sketchy style where I leave a lot of scaffolding lines around what I draw. But getting that smooth, single stroke also involves a certain measure of speed, right? I imagine if I were to drag that stroke out for more than a few seconds, I'd transfer all these tiny imperfections from my hand onto the page. Or when I expressly use just one line, say to get a simple cartoon look, the line also tends to be pretty heavy.

Additionally, I realize I should be drawing more with my arm and less with my wrist, but how does that translate into where I should be positioning my hand? I usually rest my wrist on the table when I draw.
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2008, 08:58:38 AM »

But getting that smooth, single stroke also involves a certain measure of speed, right?

Speed comes with confidence. If you know what you're drawing and were the line is going to be then you can draw it quickly and smoothley.

It doesn't nessicarily have to be speedy though, go on youtube and watch some convention sketches by some awesome artists to be blown away with the sheer confidence of there lines (I'd recomend Bruce Timms sketches or Skottie Young sketches as they both use fairly heavy lines in simple drawings)
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2008, 09:40:37 AM »


Burne Hogarth says good job, derek.

derek is spot on about learning the rules first and then breaking them.
i never really learned technique, and rather developed a personal style early on.
that was a big mistake. now i can only draw what i can draw. i real illustrator will illustrate you whatever the fuck.

substance > style
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2008, 05:12:33 PM »

I wish I had this kind of homework more often.
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Cow
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2008, 06:43:26 PM »

http://cow.lastchancemedia.com/kindgestures.PNG

this was fun! all 30 seconds, did some 10 second ones before this to warm up though
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2008, 07:00:57 PM »

I just have to say cow, you're sketches make me want to go back and do more to try and get as good as yours.
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2008, 05:32:24 AM »

10 seconds is very hard, at least for me. I'm trying 30 and 15 and still failing.  :D Great thread though!
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2008, 01:58:05 PM »



all 10-sec ones. this is pretty hard
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