Day #036 – Gesture Drawings

I read a full chapter of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain today. It was the chapter on childhood drawing and it was extremely interesting. I never considered before the logical progression most humans typically follow as they learn to draw. It’s very much like language except at some point, usually around adolescence, many humans abruptly decide they ‘can’t’ draw and stop entirely. I never considered that drawing really is a almost universal amongst children. I can’t think of a child who doesn’t enjoy drawing or colouring and yet it’s only a small minority of adults who do. Drawing is a language we should, perhaps, all speak as fluently as we do the language we grew up with but for some reason many of us stopped. The chapter has some theories on why this might be but I won’t go into that too much now except to say it’s fascinating to think about. Go get the book if you’re interested, it’s a must have!

At the end of the chapter Edwards summarized the signs you have shifted into “R-Mode” (the mode we must are in when we’re seeing things as they are rather than in our heads attaching labels and meanings to everything):

  • You lose sense of time. 
  • You stop paying attention to spoken word and if somebody talks to you it is very hard to even comprehend what they are saying without coming out of the trance you’re in.
  • Whatever you are doing seems immensely interesting. You feel ‘at one’ with the activity.
  • You feel energized but calm.
  • Your thinking is not in words but images.
  • On leaving R-Mode you do not feel tired but refreshed

It strikes me from my limited experience with this sensation that being immersed in drawing is pretty much identical to meditation. I have actually been meditating 20 minutes daily for several months but I have to say that I have had much longer periods of getting away from my thoughts while drawing than I have sitting in silence.

For today’s entry I did a 30 minute session of quick “Gesture Drawings.” This has been suggested to me in several places now as extremely useful in improving skills. The idea is that you do a series of quick drawings of various gestures, typically figure drawings. You would normally take around 30-60 seconds per image and do quite a few in one session. On these I spent 1 minute each and I did not correct anything (there is no time!) but rather just keep moving forward to the next picture. If you would like to try this out then I recommend a great website called Pose Maniacs which will cycle through images at a speed you set. Super convenient!

[Larger Version]

60 second gesture drawings

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