“What is a gesture drawing?”

A gesture drawing is basically a quick drawing that captures the essential gesture of a subject in its most distilled form. Gesture is everywhere, embodied in every object, person, and place. It is action, emotion, movement, and expression all rolled together into one cohesive motion. Through gesture, your drawing can transform into anything from ferocious to quiet.

In drawing, gesture represents the primal instinct, the essential character of the subject.  As a form of expression, an initial gesture drawing is critical to every drawing. Without a sense of gesture, the drawings become sterile and static.  Drawings lacking gesture become dull and mechanical.  Instilled with a gesture, a drawing is able to communicate emotion and expression in a concentrated manner that is visually compelling. Through gesture, the essential character and emotion of any given subject can be effectively communicated.

A sense of fluidity is one of the key components of a successful gestural drawing. This is achieved when a drawing conveys a focused, single motion that allows the object to be perceived as a whole, rather than as a series of unrelated pieces.  Essentially, this brings together all of the parts and assembles them into a harmonious, cohesive statement.  Fluidity can be achieved in a number of different ways. The manner in which marks are created on the surface of the page can play a major role in attaining fluidity. Marks that continually flow and move into each other will tend to behave as a whole. An emphasis on the relationships of the big shapes, examining how they transition into each other can also be highly effective.

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Content courtesy (Clara Lieu, Visual Artist)
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