Capturing the gesture of whatever you are drawing will automatically put more life and spontaneity into your work. Gesture is not just limited to drawings of the figure. Look for the elements that define your composition: where are the darkest darks and how do they lie within the composition? Map those in with bold strokes first. In this case, the strong perspective is created by the dramatic flow of traffic coming toward you and the vertical sweep of the buildings and scaffolding. Put those in quickly (this is about a 5 minute sketch) and confidently with the side of the charcoal or pastel–if you pay attention to the values the perspective will be implied as you work through the medium and lighter values as well. Learn to really see what is going on rather than trying to rely on what you know about the rules of perspective. Of course you can always use those rules to check the accuracy of your drawing after it’s done, but be careful not to sacrifice the freshness by over correcting or over detailing.
Expressive Drawing – Class Notes 8/13/09