Sessions #3 – Gesture & Structural drawings

This exercise was to create two sets of gesture drawings and one set of structural drawings. I had to arrange two different still lifes and for each set of still life objects craft  two gesture drawings, each drawing from a different view. After creating a total of four gesture drawings, I had to choose a view from each set and then make a structural drawing based on that view.

Conceptually I understand the idea of a gesture drawing – quick strokes designed to show the mass of an object. However, my “will” kept interfering with the concept, so that my gesture drawings did not wind up being crafted according to the rules of gestures. My drawings are “a bit too tight…Gesture drawings should be done very rapidly and typically with one continuous line.…build up the mass of the object by drawing not the outlines, but rather lines to build up the interior mass. There is a difference between sketch drawings (which are loose drawings) [and are what I appear to have made] and gesture drawings (which use line to represent mass).”

Structural drawings rely on lines to convey the basic shapes and forms of the object. The basic forms in drawing tend to be a cube, sphere and a cylinder. Structural drawings, using positive and negative space, are meant to show how these forms connect to create the shape of an object.

The overall goal for this exercise was to convey a “sense of form”, so my drawings work on this basic level, but there is definitely room for improvement!  I’m just sharing the ones for which I wound up crafting both gesture and structural drawings.

1A original

Gesture 1A drawing

Structural 1 drawing

2b original

Gesture 2b drawing

Structural 2 drawing


2 thoughts on “Sessions #3 – Gesture & Structural drawings

  1. synapsesensations Post author

    Hi Ken,

    I continue to think about your comments, which remind me very much of how Brian Bomeisler ( described the purpose of engaging the right side of our brains. Essentially, he said we wanted to try and turn off the logical side of how we perceive objects so that we didn’t draw them according to the pre-conceived notions of how we believed they should be drawn, but rather drew them as we actually saw them. Several years ago I took a 5 day intensive drawing workshop with him, and felt at the time that I “got” it. Of course, it helped that we were in class 5 days in a row and were engaged in drawing for 7 hours a day. For lack of practice, so much of what I was beginning to “get” has been asleep, and I am trying to wake it up 🙂

    What you share of your daughter’s comment, regarding drawing shades rather than boundaries, makes me think of drawing the negative space as opposed to the positive space. I love doing that type of exercise as it quite gets me out of thinking about “the object” and instead just gets me drawing. The result is usually better than when I am thinking about what it is I am drawing.

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Ken Allan

    Kia ora e Laurie!

    I have experimented with sketches (drawings) the way you describe. It’s interesting what I found on analysis. It showed me that I don’t see with my eyes. I see with my brain. In other words, my brain tells me what I should see and it comes out all wrong, of course, when I draw.

    Once I realised that the brain was determining how I drew, and not what was entering through my eyes, I was able to draw the shape and bulk of a subject the way my eye saw it, and not the way my brain wanted to see it in the sketch.

    The lines, that define the shape and form of a subject are often created by the brain and don’t actually show up in a photograph (because they often don’t actually exist as lines at all).

    I watch my daughters sketch – they are very artistic. My older daughter, who’s now studying Fine Art, is especially good at drawing subjects without the lines I describe here. She explained it to me as drawing the shades rather than the boundaries.

    Catchya later

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