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Gesture in Art

Updated: May 21, 2022

Gesture is a very popular artistic exercise. It's a perfect technique for an artist to capture a quick and simple drawing of a subject. Most artists experience gesture drawing in figure drawing classes or sessions. Although it is very popular to use this technique as a warm up drawing, gesture can be used beyond this. This technique is wonderful to use while painting as well!

A still life in Priscilla and Tiffany's Art Studio with a gesture drawing pinned on the wall behind.

The strokes an artist makes are very loose. Although they may look messy at times, they are very intentional to capture the form of the subject. If the artist is drawing an object, the artist's strokes capture its contour or tone. If the artist is drawing a person, the strokes they use capture the energy of their model's movement or pose. Many gesture drawings you see will be practices to capturing a series of different poses.

A close up of an artist drawing in a sketchbook.

The 15 minutes of sketching at the beginning of our art classes are a perfect opportunity to practice working with the gesture technique. To develop and hone skills in sketching, drawing, and painting, we offer classes for children and teens. Our studio is a safe space that will give your little artist the opportunity to grow!

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