The gesture sketch is an essential part of the preliminary stages of any drawing. It is created with a motor stroke employing a rapid, expressive, and loose line. Its purpose is fourfold; one, to quickly establish the major relationships of the body parts to each other; two, to capture the sense of movement and the weight and mass of the subject; three, to establish the relationship of the figure to the page and to other objects; and four, to establish the scale of the figure.
The gesture should be the very first thing that the artist draws, and should be finished within the first few minutes. It should also be drawn lightly, since the subsequent stages of the drawing will be superimposed over the top of it.
Don't be concerned with details or accuracy. Be careful not to draw "stick" figures, concentrate on edges, or to outline. Use rhythmic, expressive marks to draw through the subject. Your purpose is to establish general and broad relationships that will be subsequently refined and adjusted in the later stages of the drawing.
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