Project Gesture : Energy

Warrior 2 in Conte on A4

In the instructions for this exercise we were to ask the model to adopt a dynamic pose such as lifting an arm, twisting the hips, turning the head stretching the arms or walking. I had an idea of what I would be doing for this exercise from the start, so I asked my girlfriend to do the sun salutation for me and to hold certain poses that I thought may work well I stayed close with my A4 sketchpad.

1 - High Lunge 6B on A4
Warrior 1 6B on A4

Warrior 1 was easy to draw with the 6B pencil on the textured paper and as can be seen in the enlarged photo . However, I can never seem to use long flowing lines but am really sketchy and use lots of broken lines when faced with the task of drawing quickly within a time frame. The drawing itself would probably would not have expressed energy that we’ll so i added more pencil lines to depict movement.

Warrior 2 in Conte on A4
Warrior 2 in Conte on A4

This was the same for Warrior 2, which was drawn a lot faster and with more energy but I just think it needed a little something so spiced it up a bit.

2 - Cobra Pose Faber Castell Ballpoint on A4
Cobra Pose 1 Faber Castell Ballpoint on A4

The next pose was the Cobra Pose which after drawing the first one in Faber Castell Ballpoint I decided it was a pose that could be drawn with lots of energy and depict movement quite well if done right so with the girlfriend taking a short break after each one.

3 - Cobra Pose Faber Castell Ballpoint
Cobra Pose 2 Faber Castell Ballpoint
4 - Exploring Cobra Pose in Conte
Exploring Cobra Pose in Conte
5 - Larger Cobra Pose in Conte
Larger Cobra Pose in Conte

There were a couple that were ok and a couple that were totally out of proportion. The thing about the Cobra Pose is that the legs look longer in the pose especially with mygirlfriend who has quite a short body, or high backside as can be seen in the upward salute below.

6 - Arms Stretched Back 6B
Upward salute 6B on A4

I did a quick sketch with my girlfriend in the ‘upward salute’ pose, starting from the waste I worked down to the feet. I should have done it the other way around and drawn the top first because by the time I got to drawing the top she had eased off the bent back position.

7 - Back Bent Further Back
Upward salute Back Bent Further Back

The second drawing of the same pose was a lot easier for us both and this time I started with longer lines from the waist to the breast then from the breast to the wrist then worked my way down to the floor. Her hair flicked back gave me an idea and so i decided to add some trail lines to both drawings, successfully adding energy and movement to the drawings. For the next two drawings we chose the ‘Knees, chest and chin pose’ as I thought, like the Cobra Pose, drawing with energy I may be able to depict movement in the following sketches. This maybe true for the Conte sketch in two colours but not the drawing in charcoal.

8 - Going into Cobra Pose Charcoal
Knees, chest and chin pose Charcoal
9 - Going into Cobra Pose Conte
Knees, chest and chin pose, Conte pencils

That was it for the first day but the next day I had some time to kill between lessons at the language centre, so I thought I would try something a bit different. With 6B pencil in my A4 sketch book and working from two photos I had taken from the bed with my tablet the night before I quickly sketched my girlfriend and then distorted the body parts that had been caught in action (moving) in the two photos.

10 - Experimenting with Moving Limbs 6B
Experimenting with Moving Limbs 1, 6B on A4

In the first photo from what I can remember she was on her way to the toilet lifting her left leg up and swishing her damp hair to one side after making a start on blow drying it. In the second photo she was cooking her log up, maybe scratching the back of the right leg with the top of her left foot.

11 - Experimenting with Moving Limbs 6B
Experimenting with Moving Limbs 2, 6B on A4

The next day I cycled back up to my girlfriend’s home sketchbook in bag but this time armed with my felt tip pens and my girlfriend went through a few more poses to see which would be best as drawings.

12 - Felt Tip Pens Lord of the Dance
Felt Tip Pens Shiva dancing pose

Actually it doesn’t say felt tip pens on the box, it says wwatercolour Pens and the colours are far more vibrant than felt tip pens.

The Shiva Dancing Pose above is a very static pose but I thought by using the vibrant orange to sketch in the form first before I went over it in black it would give it some energy. I don’t think it does, my students think it does, nonetheless it does remind me of Degas’s ballerinas.

14 - Felt Tip Pens Back Bend
Felt Tip Pens standing salute pose

The last two drawings of my girlfriend were again of her in the ‘standing salute’ pose but drawn from a photo her back was bent so far back that I couldn’t ask her to stay like that for any length of time without her falling over especially with her hands together. The first drawing wasn’t in Proportion as her body ws too long and her arms were too short in order to fit her on the page.

The second drawing  was drawn at an angle in order toner her in Proportion and git yer on the page.

15 - Felt Tip Pens Back Bend in Proportion
Felt Tip Pens standing salute pose at an angle

At the end of our second session I got the girlfriend to take some shots of me in various poses, the following sketches drawn in ballpoint pen was the result. A quick sketch, full of energy and reminding me somewhat of a Scheile painting.

16 - Pre-kick Faber Castell Ballpoint
Pre-kick Faber Castell Ballpoint

Exploring Coloured Media

exploring coloured media - Ball Point and Felt Tip

In this exercise I set out to explore the different coloured mediums I had available which included oil pastels, soft pastels, felt tips, markers, different coloured inks and dip pens as well as coloured pencils and a pack of coloured ball point pens. Just like I did in the Making Marks Project in Part 1 I decided to go at this project using a mixture of doodling and filling in squares with different techniques.

Coloured Pencils

I started out with coloured pencils I had recently bought some Derwent coloured pencils for the composition development of assignment 1 but have yet to discover their full potential. I began by putting together a rough colour wheel based on one that I found online to see how the colours would blend together, there are much more possible colour variations  to be had from blending this medium but it gives me some idea and will help me in the future.

exploring coloured media - Coloured Pencil
exploring coloured media – Coloured Pencil

In the squares i tried different hatching techniques such as cross hatching and horizontal hatching. some techniques work better with this medium but I think all can be utilized in a drawing and this gives me some idea of what each technique can be used for,

exploring coloured media - Oil Pastel
exploring coloured media – Oil Pastel

Oil Pastels

With the oil pastels I decided to do some experimenting by doodling just to get a better feel for this medium as I know I will be using them a lot later. I found that they were quite good forstippling and leave a lot more colour on the page when stippling than coloured pencils which weren’t great and found myself drawing circles with them. They were also really good for hatching but can also be smudged quite well, so all in all a very versatile medium.

exploring coloured media - Soft and Hard Pastel
exploring coloured media – Soft and Hard Pastel

Soft Pastels

At the start of the course I bought some soft pastels but haven’t really used them until now. I hadn’t noticed that they were a portrait set so I didn’t have much choice of colours, however I did enjoy working with them. They were very good for stippling and hatching and depicted tone very well, in one box I did some stippling and then smudged over the top and was rather pleased with the result.

Hard Pastels

I’ve used these a couple of times now in both the Study of Light Reflected from one Object to Another exercise in part 1 of this course as well as in my finished piece for the Natural Forms part of Assignment 1 but yet still have to discover their full potential. Hard pastels are great for hatching and smudging as well as layering. They are also quite expressive when using certain techniques and they blend very well.

exploring coloured media - Ball Point and Felt Tip
exploring coloured media – Ball Point and Felt Tip

Ball Point Pens

I bought a cheap pack of Staedtler coloured ball points that were in a sale in a local art/book store and tried out different techniques, now I know from the work I have seen of other artists in ball point that they are a great medium to use, however techniques have to be improved, when hatching they seem to work better when you lift the pen off the paper towards the end. I get a feeling they are probably better for small pieces rather than large drawings.

Felt Tip Pens

The felt tip pens that I have here are not a normal felt tip but a watercolour pen, I didn’t know they existed, the colours are very vivid and seem to better when used for darker images. Stippling is great with this medium but when hatching they tend to clot on the paper towards the end of the stroke so like the ball points I found that they work better if you lift your pen off the paper towards the end of the stroke. These watercolour pens also blended quite well, I have yet to try out normal felt tip pens but shall be doing so quite soon.

exploring coloured media - Markers and Dip Pens/ Coloured Inks
exploring coloured media – Markers and Dip Pens/ Coloured Inks


I used markers for the Patrick Caulfield Research point but only used them in blocks of colour, I really enjoyed using them just as I did in this exercise. They were brilliant for stipling and hatching and depicted tone very well, I also filled a square with hatching using both the pointed nib and the chisel nip and found it to be very expresive. Again they tend to clot but not as much as the felt tip and I found that that they are probably better for darker drawings.

Nib Pens and Coloured Inks

This is a medium that I am still struggling with I have a good few Ecoline colours to play around with and have been experimenting with different papers but I think my nibs are letting me down, I shall be investing in some quality nibs very shortly. However, i did get some decent results this time. Starting off with a bit of doodling I got used to the feel of the pen on the smooth paper in my A5 drawing book then did some stippling and hatching. I get the feeling that it is best to let the inks dry before using other colours. I found that they were great for stippling on the smooth paper but then on water colour paper not great at all the same went for hatching. This is a medium that I want to see myself using more of as I love pen and ink drawings so it is going to be worthwhile exploring this medium more deeply.