Gesture is movement Gesture drawing is quick drawing capturing the movement within the subject. The subject itself might not be moving, but our eyes are in perpetual motion as they scan its visual makeup. Long, subtle curves cause our eyes to move more slowly, short abrupt curves, faster. We zip right along straight lines and leap from segment to segment when a line changes direction.
When we record these visual movements with a quick, linear drawing--as if doodling--we express the shape's gesture. Our spectators recognize the subject by what it's parts are doing rather than by how it is described. It is so simple, yet many artists find it challenging.
But for Larry Roebal, it's mere "doodling."
|Larry Roebal's "doodle" for April 15, 2011|
Three hundred years ago, there was another "doodler" doing very much the same kind of thing. You might have heard his name: Rembrandt.
|From the sketchbooks of Rembrandt van Rijn 1606-1669|
|From the sketchbooks of Michangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)|
Call it doodling, call it gesture drawing--its label is insignificant. What is significant is its power to capture and express visually the heart and soul of the subject in the handwriting of the artist.