The goal is to capture an impression of the model (or landscape or still life), and learn something in the process. Brief time limits require an intuitive approach, with no opportunity to go back and rework. The results are loose and fresh. If you're a beginner or want to break out of a rut, gestures will accelerate your progress. They are great training for brushwork, paint mixing, and color harmonies. Decent drawing skills are helpful.
Methods and Materials:
- If you try this in your own studio, paint for 20 minutes, take a 5 minute break to assess, then continue for 20 more minutes. Pick a focus like color, value, temperature, or brushwork.
- To make cheap canvas board for gesture painting, take a larger purchased canvas board and cut it to size with a razor. Score 3 times on each side, then gently break at the cut line. Some students paint on small pieces of canvas taped to board. Easy to store, if you want to keep your work.
|Sabrina with cool light|
|Sabrina, with Jeff's improvements|
|Male model with strong side light|
|Male model, with Jeff's improvements|
|Zara with strong side light|
|Zara, with Jeff's improvements|
Jeff recorded an instructional dvd on gesture portrait painting through Liliedahl Video. I have this dvd and recommend it. It would be a good substitute, if you don't have access to a live gesture class. Watch the YouTube preview at the link above, to learn more.