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Gesture Importance

  • Software:Photoshop CS6  ·
  • Difficulty:Intermediate

"When people see a beautiful character drawing, they may think – Man, that’s so cool, I want to make that! But you can’t start at the end. This tutorial takes you to the beginning, laying a solid groundwork and making sure you get your character’s gesture right." 


Did you know that the gestural stage of your drawing is of critical importance to the final outcome? This early step can make a real difference between ending up with a static drawing versus a believable character that feels alive and appeals to the viewer.  How can you achieve this? In this short tutorial, John Thacker takes you through some practical thoughts on the gestural stage of a character drawing, breaking down the process into five basic parts:

  1. Line of action
  2. Balance line
  3. Rhythm
  4. Skeletal structure
  5. Internal flow

John discusses how to understand and use the flowing nature of the figure to your advantage, adding interest and dynamics to the character’s movement and guiding the viewer’s eyes around the image. John also covers the fascinating concept of asymmetry called “contrapposto”, a timeless artistic method used to create tension and interest within the figure.

  • What is it all about and how can you use it to make a character more engaging to the eye?
  • What is the C-S-I rule for gesture creation?
  • And what about animals – do the same rules apply?