Recognizing at what rate you can draw while sustaining accuracy is very important especially when what your drawing is difficult.

I have a tendency to rush through gestures and try and get the whole figure done within 2 minutes. But I’m beginning to recognize that at my current skill level I need much more time than that. So, rather than rushing through the figure, creating bad habits of inaccuracy and not getting anything right I’m going to make an effort to slow down.

I can capture the gesture while moving slowly and I will have better chances at a more accurate drawing. The purpose of these gesture drawings are to capture the rhythm of the figure, reinforce it with structure and do it all accurately. But, I also need to create an accurate foundation within a short amount of time.

But what is a short amount of time? Should I expect to always begin a long term drawing or painting with a 2 minute perfect gesture? In my opinion taking 10 or 20 minutes capturing the rhythm and structure of the human form accurately is an acceptable amount of time especially when I expect to spend hours on the rest of the drawing.

But the shorter gestures really play a crucial role in forcing us to see the broad expanse of the figure quickly and generalizing the complexities of the human body into simple shapes. Maybe the 2 minute setup leads into a 10/20 minute refinement which then establishes an accurate foundation full of rhythm and gesture. This may be the best way to work it…

Fundamentals: Slowing Down
Fundamentals: Slowing Down
Fundamentals: Slowing Down
Fundamentals: Slowing Down
Fundamentals: Slowing Down


  • Session: 1917
  • Work: 1393
  • Width: 18"
  • Height: 24"
  • Medium: Charcoal
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 2
  • Creative Time:



2 Responses

  1. It may sound tedious, but if you want to get your short gestures with accuracy and down to 2-3 minutes, I would start at 15-20 minutes and let yourself be accurate, then slowly over sessions, decrease the time spent by 1 minute, or even 30 seconds. It may take a month, maybe two, but with consistent practice, I bet you will be doing 2 minute accurate gestures with ease.

    Oh, and don’t forget to reinforce your efforts…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."