How can I make my life drawings look less stiff? Amelie Powell, Australia
Answer Belinda replies
Capturing movement in a static poses starts from the first few lines you decide to make and the confidence with which you make them. I find the core elements of a gesture are the angles of the spine, shoulders and pelvis. I like to start with a line that flows from the head and spine, all the way down to the ground. I then use simple lines for the angle of the shoulders and pelvis.
To complete my gestural sketch I add the arms and legs, making sure to anchor the feet to give the figure a sense of place. Whenever I’m unsure of the next stroke, I’ll look at the model to check my proportions and angles. The most important thing about life drawing is to always look at the model and not start noodling away too long on your own.
In this 30-minute pose I try to capture the gesture of the pose by using long sweeping lines and simplifying the volume of the figure. I leave smaller details like the eyes to the end and focus on capturing movement in the gesture and volume in the form.