The Dancers

Yesterday I went along to a friend’s dance class to sit and watch the proceedings and sketch a few gestures as they flit by…. It was fun!

I wasn’t entirely true to the process that I had set out to follow – a light touch with relatively few swift strokes – since I found that often when that worked, I was tempted to do a bit more finish work than I should, sometimes way too much… but hey, it was fun and I got something out of it, certainly getting some nice gestures here and there.

This is a very different process of drawing from some of the other things I’ve described here before… It is closer to the sort of drawing I do of people on public transport (catching glimpses and building a sense of the person, not a full, careful portrait since you can’t stare), but not entirely since of course you don’t have the luxury of stillness… Instead you try to internalize some of the shapes you see, and try to see them again on other dancers, or later on the same dancer… interesting.

As a side note, I’m certainly way better at this than I was in early 2010 in Madrid when I went with a friend to their class at a famous flamenco school and tried to capture some dancers there. I had a great time… but all I got that made any sense to look at was a nice drawing of a pair of shoes… It is certainly exciting to watch one’s own progress…

Fun stuff.


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4 Responses to The Dancers

  1. Mary Cole says:

    It has indeed been rather good watching your progress. Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

  2. Ele Munjeli says:

    These are interesting, but not effective gesture sketches. Time yourself or something to do 10 sketches a minute or so… 5 second sketches are not unreasonable for gesture. It’s demanding to capture weight in that context: you have to have good technique (start from the loadbearing foot, hand or part).

    Faster, Clifford!

  3. Clifford says:

    Ele, I’m not looking for a tutor. Yes, I’m familiar with “genuine gesture sketches”. I do those too. I already remarked in the post that these are not that, as I embellished the opening strokes and turned them into more solid drawings. That was my choice. These were quite effective for what I wanted to accomplish in the session as it went along, in fact, and I had a great time doing them, learning a lot.


  4. Daniel says:

    Drawing sure can be fun,right..
    Loved your drawings.