To draw the human figure convincingly, you must be aware of the gesture, or the movement, or position of the body. This gesture gives movement and direction to your drawing, which makes it appear more lifelike. Observing the gesture carefully helps you to understand the placement of the spine, which serves as the center of movement for the whole body. You can also think of this in the opposite way: Observe the placement of the spine, and you will understand the gesture.
This quick sketch concisely conveys the gesture of the pose. The dynamism of the body lies in a forward movement caused by the inward arch of the spine. Notice how the artist is trying to find the correct line to describe the arch of the back. Do not be afraid to draw many lines in order to record the information precisely. The thick line representing the curve of the stomach as it extends outward reiterates the arch in the back. The curve of the stomach is accentuated, not only by the lovely use of line to describe its shape, but also by the positioning of the front leg, which completes the direction of that curve to the ground. The back leg supports the weight of the body, and the small, dark line at the back of the model's right thigh gives solidity to this supporting leg. The artist has shaded the right side of the body to show a pattern of shadow. This gives more weight to this side of the model's body, whereas depicting the light on the left side of her body emphasizes the flowing quality of the curve.
When you come across a pose that inspires you, observe it well, but try to feel the pose as well as see it. The appreciation this artist had for the pose is evident in the use of line and limited shading. This drawing depicts a gesture, not a model.
The gesture in this pose lies in the tilt of the head to the left, and the extension of the neck back and sideways. This seemingly small movement gives this pose dynamism. The swift and concise line drawn on the left of the model's neck shows and emphasizes the direction of movement. That direction is carried through the pose and is emphasized by that same quality of line in the drawing at the waist, the outer side of the left arm, and the outer side of the left thigh. The stretch in the neck is portrayed by the shadow underneath the jaw, which is angled in line with the direction of the head and serves to emphasize that tilt of the head.
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