The Figure in Gesture

“There is always a bigger truth undiscovered—unsaid—uncharted until you meet it.” (Kimon Nicolaïdes, The Natural Way to Draw)

Much of my drawing practice has been influenced by Nicolaïdes’ book The Natural Way to Draw. In figure drawing, and indeed in drawing of any subject-matter, and not just the human body, I often start with the gesture—the action performed by the subject—which can also be characterized as the flow of energy we can feel within our own body. A sense of three-dimensional form is incorporated into the initial gesture by using the drawing implement as a sculpting tool, adding mass to where weight is experienced. In “longer” pose (five minutes or more), the drawing may be developed into a contour drawing or a modelled drawing. However the drawing evolves, I always return to the gesture, for that is where life finds its most urgent expression.