Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gesture: A Dramatic Purpose

I still think that gesture is about hitting a pose clearly. Before you can even reach that point, a vital step too easily overlooked is that gesture always needs a dramatic context no matter what, or else there's no purpose to the gesture. I mean, if there's no purpose to the gesture, you might as well be drawing perfect circles and ellipses anyway (which one probably should be doing from time to time anyway).

It's important to bring dramatic context to a gesture:

1. Milt Kahl did it: he would spend a whole day just staring out in space thinking about what he's going to do before he even does it.
2. It clarifies what you're doing without being very technical about it.
3. It gives you far more control and authority over what you want to achieve.
4. I have to stress that you really have to think about the dramatic context before you even lay one line down, and you have to have dramatic context even when you draw naked figures in space.

For example, lets say I was to draw a naked guy in space, inventively, . . . what are some things I would think about:

1. What does a naked guy in space do?
Stand, in some open space, like an exhibitionist, not just stand, but he's hitting a definite artistic pose, because he knows he's being drawn. He would probably look off to the side, or up in the air, because it would be weird to look directly at people drawing you . . .

I mean these sort of thoughts help you paint a visual picture, that lets your imagination fill in the clues, as opposed to jotting off lines and letting the muscle mechanics of drawing or happy accidents do the work of drawing for you . . .

Usually, you don't even intend to draw naked people in space, and an easy way to jump into a good pose when you intend to just sketch one character is to just imagine that there's some other character there that's just not shown- NOW you're character is doing something- DRAMATIC.

The only technical things about thinking things through is you want to definitely decides the hips, knees, and head are going to be for compositional/proportional purposes. Also it helps to draw the head tilt first, that way the character has a definite state of being- because a head tilt is never generic, a tilting a head a certain way is the most specific dramatic thing a human can do- they say it does more that words can.

Another technical thing I just discovered that is really awesome is to double up your lines like this:

There's something about it that absolutely clarifies every single line that you do- it's like your first line is always bad because you're finding something out, and then your second line verifies the statement.