How can I make my life draw­ings look less stiff? Amelie Pow­ell, Aus­tralia

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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.

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