drawing: gestures

rredheaded  asked:

Help! I have been trying really hard to improve my drawing skills, practicing almost everyday. I have been watching tutorials and studying anatomy but I can't get my characters to look natural.. They look extremely stiff and blocky... Any advice?? Oh! I almost forgot, I LOVE YOUR ART SO MUCH!!!


Studying anatomy is fantastic. Whatever you do, don’t stop! I’m going to suggest gestures but that is by no means a suggestion to swap. Just start implementing gestures as well. 

Okay. So. Look at this.

This is a still from Glean Keane animating Tarzan - and it exactly nails what a gesture is. Just a few simple lines that are full of movement and you can tell exactly what the heck is going on. All with a few simple lines. 

Learning anatomy is great - but learning how to implement it is another thing. If I focus too much on nailing anatomy - the drawing starts to feel stiff, exactly as you’ve stated. 

Gestures are all about forgetting what you think you know about muscles and structure and instead drawing what movement in a body FEELS like. That might sound cooky but that’s kind of how I approach it in my head. It’s all about those lines of movement and contrast and CURVES. 

I think loosening up and forgetting about how technically correct a drawing is and instead embracing something rough and full of movement, and looking at how the lines in the human body contrast themselves will do you wonders. Keep learning anatomy, but look at how we move and look the weird shapes we can make with our bodies. Look at the way we slouch and stand tall. The way we dance, the way we run. Sit in a coffee shop and try to draw the heart of someone’s pose in like 30 seconds. 


Even just grabbing a photograph from the net and looking at it objectively - how would this pose break down into a few simple lines? It’s so damn simple to look at something this way. You can endlessly improve your knowledge of anatomy and your technical abilities - but I think so many of us (myself included) stumble at the simplest foundations. 

My last suggestion is a wonderful book (videos are floating around on youtube as well) from Mike Mattesi in which he talks about Force. It’s fascinating stuff! I love this example of a simple gesture being built up on. 

I hope at least some of that was useful! Just start small okay. Think about learning the chords before you try and master Stairway to Heaven. 

junglekarmapippa  asked:

Batch Request: I'm not sure if it's a word request or a batch request. I would like prompts of gestures (Like rolling your eyes) that I can use several times during a short story, like a recurring theme. Any gesture big or small will do and they don't have to be that many. Thanks a lot, I love your blog!!

//How’s about a list of gestures? 

  • Rolling eyes.
  • Clicking their tongue against the roof of their mouth.
  • Popping their knuckles.
  • Tapping their fingers against a surface.
  • Rubbing their nose, face, or neck.
  • Standing with their hands on their hips.
  • Playing with their own hair.
  • Biting their nails.
  • Clenching their fists often.
  • Shrugging.
  • Waving their hand/s.
  • Clapping their hands together.
  • Gesticulating when they talk. 
  • Excessive use of their middle finger (against someone, or even doing mundane things like pushing up their glasses).
  • Rocking back and forth, on their heels.
  • Crossing arms over their chest.
  • Excessive sighing or snorting.
  • Rolling their shoulders.
  • Stroking their chin.
  • Tugging on their earlobe, especially when in thought.
  • Picking at their clothes.
  • Excessive glancing at the time.
  • Bouncing on their toes.
  • Leaning against a wall or something.
  • Restless legs when sitting or the need to pace.
  • Clasping their hands behind their back.
  • Nodding their head, even when they’re not being addressed.
  • Neutral aggressive face, especially when in thought.
  • Wrinkling their nose.
  • Fiddling with objects in hand (keys, coins, etc).
  • Application of chapstick, even when they don’t need it.
  • Licks their lips.
  • Chewing on things.

I hope this helps!


I switched over to doing everything on my ipad including practices. I’ve only  been able to less lately due time and other projects.

My figure drawing class has me doing a significant amount of figure studies each week, so it has somewhat filled that role, but I’m super persnickity, so I have to keep doing my own thing at a more intensive pace on the side.