I decided to do some gesture drawings last night, and I ended up using 6 pages out of my sketchbook because I was really learning from it.
The first 2 pages were definitely drawn looser than the rest. I wasn’t focused on getting the shape right because that didn’t matter at the time, so I used ovals and circles. Here, i was getting a feel the the individual shapes within the wooden figures and how they interacted with one another. I was learning how to see angle and the proportions of each joint and limb in relation to one another.
The next 2 pages, I decided to be more particular with my shapes because my hand had become comfortable drawing the figures. I definitely had difficulty drawing the legs and the feet, I kept drawing them at the wrong angle, but I was using a pen so I couldn’t erase it. And that’s another thing, I was using pens instead of pencils so I can force myself to see my mistakes straight on. An eraser would have prevented me from seeing my actual skills and improvement. I was also using pens because I wasn’t too focused on shading, just more on plain shapes.
So I when became really comfortable drawing the figures, that’s when I decided to use actual photo references. I googled ballerinas, because they’re crazy humans, but also because their bodies are perfect for this exercise. Ballerinas who train extensively for years focus on ever part of body. I definitely notice that they’re very particular about their form and what angles to bend their knees at, where to position their arms and also their feet. they have really long limbs(or so it seems) so I was able to notice the length of their arms in relation to their torso, bum and legs. I definitely became better that being able to see shapes of the wooden within the ballerinas’ bodies. Later I went in with a brush tip marker and drew their actual bodies. This exercise was extremely helpful and is a great way to learn how to learn bodies.
Whenever someone pulls out a camera to get a snapshot of me, a deep dread boils in my stomach. I try to laugh it off and snap into a fun and flattering pose but all I can think about is how for years and years I would see photos of me and despair about how “fat” or “ugly” or “shifty-eyed” I was. Even if I thought I looked good in real life, I’d see a photo and think I looked hideous. I have three older sisters, so you would think one of them could have taught me how to deal with this issue years ago. Unfortunately, only one of them ever came up with a solution and that wasn’t a very good one. In her teen years, my sister Colleen was known to always have throw pillows on hand when her hair and make-up wasn’t perfect so that if someone tried to snap a photo, she could block her face and body with the pillows. The joke was on her, though. My parents thought these photos were hilarious and actually put them into our family albums next to all the other family …
I read this back before sophomore year… it really helps, and i know a bunch of people who aren’t photogenic.
And trust me, it’s not what you think it is.