Go Figure!

I’ve been playing around more with gesture drawings. I really love doing these quick figure sketches. When I was first introduced to gesture drawing last year, it made no sense to me at all. What could possibly be gained from quickly scribbling down lines that only remotely resembled a human being?

I’ve since come to see gesture drawing in an entirely different light. There is much to be learned, and it’s also a fun process. Gesture drawing is a chance to relax, to remove any worry about the outcome of a drawing, and simply enjoy the movement of the pencil — or pen, or pastel — over the page.

Since I’m not a natural artist, I have a tendency to tighten up. Gesture drawing helps me remember to stay loose, to move not from my wrist but from my shoulder. Another benefit is that gesture drawing gives me a chance to try different poses — and even different objects — that I might otherwise skip over. Like the chair this fellow is sitting in. Oh, just ignore his funky facial features. His face actually looked good until I started tweaking with it. And you can see I was never really quite sure where his left arm should really go, but the point wasn’t getting it all right. The point was to just quickly sketch, to try in a matter of minutes — if even that — to capture the basic shapes and positions of the human body.


After the first of the year, I’ll be doing even more figure drawing, and that, of course, means many more visits to online “ateliers”. Someday I hope to take part in a drawing session with a live model, but for now, online models work well for me.

I’ve shared a few of my favorite sites before, but let me share them again, along with a few sites I’ve recently discovered.

There’s also the Doll Atelier which uses 3-D “dolls” created with the Design Doll app. This is a program that allows you to “create a personalized sketch doll and make it pose”.

As you can see, there are many, many online resources for artists who want to learn to draw the human form, as well as for those who need “human references” for figure drawing as part of specific projects. Regardless of your skill level, these online “ateliers” have something to offer every artist.

Or, maybe you’re like I was…just not seeing the point in it. To that, I say, give it a try. Once you do, you’ll quickly understand the value of gesture drawings.


  1. I mostly use “line of action” (formerly Pixelovely) I love to go on there and have an hour gesture drawing session, I agree, is it REALLY FUN!! I’ve found I get better results at speed by using toned tan paper and sepia and white chalk pencils – messier than pencil, but, so much easier to get depth, contrast and all that good stuff! Sometimes I cheat and put the picture on “pause” because I just want to spend more time on something, other times it’s just fun to scribble a line or two per figure (and yes, some of them are hilarious to look at later!)…all in all a great way to feel productive and in the zone and yes, it does teach you a whole ton of good stuff. Hope you keep it up, Judith!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t been doing gesture drawings as much as usual since I’ve started oil painting. I’m going to put it on my schedule and start doing it again regularly. I always look forward to it. It’s such a fun break from being “too serious” about art…and I need that!

      Liked by 1 person

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