>Think First – Consider the Story


“There is an overwhelming tendency to draw the outline of the figure rather than the energy and thought within the body that is behind the move or the pose”
                                                                                                            Walt Stanchfield

One of the easiest things to overlook when drawing from life, especially with the quick gesture poses, is to stop and think first. The model, if they are good, certainly has given some thought to their mood and motivation for the pose. If you are out sketching folks in public they are all thinking ‘bout something as they move or stand about. That is where the thinking comes in . . . as the artist/story teller you look at the pose first . . . NOW stop and think the pose. This is not just a collection of parts these are a collection of parts in a mood, with weight and feeling. For this drawing it took me three passes.

The first drawing was all about just documenting the facts of the pose. Sarafina has a lot of attitude but all I got was the facts.

The second drawing I changed my perspective, came in close . . . I started thinking where is the story?? Is it in the arch of her back, should I tilt the head more, is she feeling ‘saucy’? Think, think, think . . .she is full of new breath, catch the inhale, show the shoulder blades and what about her hand it should help tell this story of a strong woman full of energy and arching her back, convey energy and dance . . . This is a cabarette type moment!

After those thoughts, the third drawing was made and finished well after she finished her 10 min pose, and that was ok, after all I now had a story in mind and all the parts ‘had part to play’.

Gesture Drawing notes by Diana Coco-Russell