Learning the Art of Gesture Drawing

8th grade artists have been on a journey through art history this year in Mrs. LeClair’s art room. One stop along this journey was to learn about the Impressionism art time period. Impressionist artist tended to focus on capturing fleeting moments in time. This resulted in quick application of art materials in order to get all the information down on the paper before the moment passed. 8th graders focused on one artist in particular for this project and that was Edgar Degas. Degas was very well-known for his paintings of young ballet dancers. He was able to give the viewer the sense that the dancers were moving on a flat canvas. Degas often started out his paintings with gesture drawings.

A gesture drawing is an art form of rapid drawing of the figure in motion. Often times these drawings are done in as little as 30 seconds but no more the 2 minuets. The Lyndonville 8th graders tried their hand at this technique through a variety of drawing exercises and a final project. In teams of two, students had to think of activities that involved movement and how they could draw that. Students then posed their partner as if to capture a moment in time within the activity they selected. They then had to draw the gesture using quick sketch like quality to capture the bodies movement and not focus too much on the details.  Once both partners had their drawings completed, they then had to add a background to their figures that went along with the gesture using watercolor paints.

Below are some photos of students posing for the gesture drawing and a few final pieces. We hope you enjoy!

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