Ask the Art Professor: What is a gesture drawing?

Clara Lieu

“Ask the Art Professor” is an advice column for visual artists, now featured in the Huffington Post.  This is your chance to ask a professional artist/educator your questions about being an artist, the creative process, career advice, etc. Submit your question by emailing me at clara(at)claralieu.com, or by commenting here on this blog. All questions will be posted anonymously, and you’ll receive notification when your question is online.  Read an archive of past articles here.

“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…

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Have you done your animation exercises today?

This is a list of animation exercises that goes from basic to advance posted by user Camaro on the forums of the 11 second club. which you can use to either improve your skills or get rid of the rustiness in your animation. Give them a try and enjoy!

 

::Basics:: (Be comfortable doing these before anything)
:::: Ball bouncing/Rolling
:::: Balls of different weights(basketball, tennis ball, bowling ball, beach ball, etc)
:::: Balls in an obstacle course
:::: Flour Sack
:::: Overlap/Follow through (hair, tails, etc)
:::: Weight shift
:::: Side step
:::: Hop-scotch

::Intermediate:: (Slightly more advanced, have a good grasp on the basics. Character interactions, realistic weight, etc)
:::: Character lifting/pushing/pulling weight(give them a realistic situation, not just a box in an otherwise empty room)
:::: Jumping and landing(straight up and down, across a gap, etc)
:::: Sword Lunge/Swing
:::: Character on a pogo stick
:::: Character using weighted objects (hammer, axe, etc)
:::: Baseball Throw
:::: Baseball Hit
:::: Discus/Javeline/Shotput Throw(or any number of other Olympic events)
:::: Sports (basketball, skateboarding, boxing etc)
:::: Character showing off on a diving board(does he fail or succeed? See Link on Monsters vs Aliens for a fail)
:::: Changing from one emotion to another
:::: Being hit by a ball
:::: Throwing a heavy object
:::: Slumping into a chair
:::: Standing up (on the ground, in a chair, etc)
:::: Sitting down (on the ground, in a chair, etc)
:::: Diving for cover
:::: Answering the phone
:::: A giant falling over
:::: Bursting out through a door
:::: A character clutching its head in dispair
:::: Waiting for the results of a job interview or tryout
:::: A character slapping it head as if it just said something stupid
:::: Tasting something delicious or disgusting
:::: Watching a scary movie
:::: Trying to take operate a complicated DVD player
:::: Falling out of a chair
:::: Leaning on something only to find that it gives way and falls over
:::: Trying to carefully remove a painting from the wall
:::: Waiting for a late bus
:::: Late for a bus that’s on time
:::: Tuck and roll
:::: Trying to remember where they put something
:::: Trying to move against wind, such as from a giant fan, trying to reach a goal
:::: Catching a heavy object, such as a boulder
:::: Climbing a wall (different heights)
:::: Back/front flip
:::: Wall run/flip
:::: A tightrope walker
:::: Trapeze artist
:::: Weightlessness/underwater
:::: Running through/avoiding obstacles such as an obstacle course
:::: Having fun on a trampoline
:::: A character climbing a pipe such as on the side of a building
:::: Two characters of different strengths/sizes sawing a log
:::: Quadrupeds/Creatures
:::: Winged Creatures(dragons, birds, etc)
:::: Dropping something off at the mailbox
:::: Character tries to access a bank machine and it misbehaves
:::: Character tries to use a restroom and can’t
:::: Character thinks they’re going to sneeze, then not sneeze and then finally sneezing
:::: Character trying to swat a fly or catch a bug
:::: Stretching
:::: Coughing
:::: Laughing
:::: Lying down
:::: Kneeling down
:::: Rubbing your hands
:::: Checking the time
:::: Answering a phone
:::: Ducking under a swinging object
:::: Reaching into a cupboard
:::: Pulling out your keys
:::: Buttoning your shirt
:::: Brushing your teeth
:::: Flipping a pancake
:::: Turning on a light
:::: Opening a window
:::: Putting on a Shoe
:::: Putting on a Hat
:::: Putting on a Belt
:::: Putting on a Pants
:::: Putting on a Glove
:::: Putting on a Shirt
:::: opening a Soda (variation: it’s been shaken)
:::: opening a Box of chocolate
:::: opening a Car Door (variation: for a date)
:::: opening a Jar (variation: it’s stuck)
:::: opening a Bag (variation: it’s a mystery what’s inside)
:::: A character climbing a ladder, but has to jump and pull himself up to reach the first few rungs.
:::: Dropping onto a soft surface, such as a giant pillow

::Advanced
:::: Walk cycle (show different attitudes)
:::: Run Cycle (same as walk)
:::: Lip Sync tests
:::: Coming to a stop from a walk/run
:::: Starting to run from a walk or stop
:::: A pace back and forth
:::: A Sneak
:::: Fight between two characters(big vs small, etc)
:::: Dancing(Any number of possible genres. Pay special attention to footwork)
:::: Parkour
:::: Two or more characters working together to reach a goal (i.e. a high place where character a gives character b a boost with his hands, then character b pulls character a up)