Saturday, 11 August 2012

Tips and Tricks from AESA's Figure Drawing Workshop - Gesture Drawing

In the first blog post about the UVic Art Education Student Association's drawing workshop  I discussed blind contour drawing.  In this entry we'll be looking at ways to better understand the human body and how it moves.  During the workshop the participants explored gesture drawing.

A gesture drawing is work of art that is done rapidly.  In terms of figure drawing, it means that the artist is concerned with capturing the essence of the pose. During the workshop participants drew a series of poses in a short amount of time, ranging from as little as 30 seconds to as long as 2 minutes.  Creating gesture drawings
allow an artist to capture poses that cannot be held by a model long enough for a detailed study.  As well, this practice reinforces the importance of movement and action which can be overlooked during a longer drawing session. 

Below are examples of gesture drawings done during the workshop.

The primary purpose of gesture drawing is to help artists understand how the human body moves.  Gesture drawings allow you to focus on the effects of twisting on the body, the exertions of muscles, and the natural range of motion in the joints.  By making gesture drawing a regular warm up exercise, your students will develop an instinctive understanding of human body proportions which will help them when they go to create more elaborate drawings.

Try This Trick

Having students mimic a model's pose for a few minutes before drawing also helps them to physically understand how the model's body is in tension.

Teaching the Primary and Secondary Colours

Enjoy this video of OK Go explaining primary and secondary colours

Monday, 6 August 2012

Figure Drawing Workshop-Blind Contour Drawing

This is a previous post I wrote back in March after the Art Education Student Association drawing workshop.  Recently, some of my own students were introduced to blind contour.  The kids found their results hillarious and it turned out to be a great ice breaker activity-just make sure each student is ok with having someone else draw their portrait. 

AESA's figure drawing workshop began with an exploration of blind contour drawing.  Blind contour is a method of drawing that involves drawing the contour of your subject while not looking at your paper.  For the workshop each participant found a partner and had 5 minutes to draw their partner's face.  The key to blind contour drawing is to draw one continous line in a slow and steady manner without lifting your pencil from the paper.  While the drawings produced may seem more akin to scribbles, blind contour drawing does help students to draw more realistically, since it trains students to focus on all the details of their subject.  I have also found that blind contour drawings are full of character, can be a good classroom icebreaker, and can ease students' anxiety of not being able to draw realistically.

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