Struck by Lightning!


Today I learned a crazy technique for blocking in arms in gestures and sketches. I was watching several videos from Sycra on how to practice drawing, how to draw arms, and how to draw in proportion. Well he kept using this crazy way to block in the arms that he refers to as “the Lightning Bolt”. He goes into it more in dept in this video about female proportions (go to 8:12). Anyway, so I busted out a lined notebook that was near me and just started practicing the lightning bolt and I noticed the benefit immediately. You still need to know anatomy to know why it works and what to do with it after you’ve blocked it in, but damn! it sped up my gesture pose rendering so much. 

On Top of that, I started trying to be more painterly and carefree with my gesture rendering thanks to inspiration from Ryan Woodward, who is featured on the  website. I’ve seen that damn video at the bottom of for weeks now, and never bothered to click it. Well, I wish I had sooner, but I am trying to be less about the line and more about the feel  and using the side of the pencil to block quick portions of the pose and then go back in with linework on top. It gives a nice organic feel and definitely appears more painterly and creative than analytic.


Question: Have you done research and found a completely different method than you were taught and decided to try it? What were the results? What is a method that you really want to try but haven’t because you are unsure of how to use the method?

Today’s Warm-Ups and Exercises:

  1. 20 minutes of 60 second gesture poses (
  2. 25 minsutes of 120 second gesture poses (
  3. 1 hour arm study (various sources)
  4. Method study (lightning bolt)

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