Friday, November 16, 2012

Gesture Stays The Same!

Sitting in class, discussing with students their characters' turnarounds.  I am amazed that so many of them have changed the dynamic poses they came up with because, "the pose was too hard to draw".  The gesture is the soul of the drawing!  Everything else; construction, anatomy and technique just get added to or built off the gesture. One word: Blah! If you redraw the pose into something "easier", you are actually dulling it down, like striping out the melody of a song, the flavor out of a sauce, or the personality out of a good friend.  A new "less complicated" version is just noise, tasteless glop or detestably uninteresting.  There is way too much of this watering down going on now-a-days so the challenge is to CHALLENGE yourself by coming up with gestures that are not only lively but but push the essence of the pose you are trying to draw. Doing so will push the limits of drawing ability as well. If the character/figure you are hoping to convey has a solid gesture, The specific shapes you use in construction should "fit" the gesture.  If the character's legs are very long, then those leg cylinders should be drawn long, but still reflect the gesture they are trying to express.  There may be a need to draw a new line or elongate the gesture but this new "complimentary" gesture line needs to be at the same angle(s) and expressiveness as the original gesture.  Think of starting any pose a character who has unusual proportions by drawing the gesture of 'typical' human.  Do not get caught up in the length of the legs or thickness of the chest etc.  Just draw an expressive gesture and add the components of construction to it.  If it helps, draw the pose using standard human expression and proportions first to give you an idea of what the pose looks like before you try to draw the character's actual proportions. This will free you from over-thinking your character's pose.  After drawing some poses of your character this way, you will get to the point where you can draw out your character with good gestures according to to its unique proportions.  Here is a quick GCA breakdown in three steps.  A lot of compression is happening in the abdominals as well as a twist through to the shoulders.

 I have taken three characters from my students (I don't really remember how they look but made some estimates) one has very long limbs -the character not the student-, one is very thick through the neck with long ears and the last is um, well fed. I used the same gesture (shown in red) from the above drawing to pose each one.

In each case I have had to 'push' the construction off the original gesture but those shapes follow the original gesture.  You can add just any constructed form on an expressive gesture, don't cheapen the work you do because it's hard to draw.  As always, you can click on the images for a larger version. Now go draw difficult poses, thanks for stopping by.