Choose one video. Gesture is capturing the action. Then watch how I did it. This is the ground.

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Choose one video. Gesture is capturing the action. Then watch how I did it. This is the ground. This is the basic. This is the beginning. In the animation industry we use a term called line of action. That tends to be thought of as being the gesture of a pose. These were illustrators. They were painters. If you look at the books at that time, Andrew Loomis is a good example. He takes and diagrams some of the old masters.

He uses these simple lines to take and show the direction of the figures and how they relate to each other. That has been carried over in the publications and stuff that this is the gesture. Let me demonstrate. Okay, first what we have, this is a very simple figure now. What would normally be considered line of action, this would be thought of as the line of action.

It would be which way is this head turned? How do we feel the torso. Maybe the torso is taking and turning slightly this way. Maybe the pelvis is twisting across coming over into here. So how the different components of the figure take and work with each other. How the head turns. How the shoulder moves. All of those subtle little points that really give us body language. And body language is expression.

We communicate with body language. If I take and do something like that it reads. How we move ahead, how the hand turns. These are all body movements. These are gesture. So if we begin with the idea that a gesture, an action is the equivalent of a story point.

It is the story of your drawing in a way. Step one. Obviously, your eye is moving across the page. It goes all the way back so we can see it in the Greeks, Romans, the Renaissance. Animation is movement. The Renaissance is movement.

The big difference between the Renaissance and the Bauhaus basic design is movement. In the Renaissance what we found is that the artists were telling stories. They had to take and make the eye move to take and communicate the story. But they were also creating an experience at the same time. If you happen to go to Pompeii in Italy there is a room called the House of Mysteries. If you walk into that room, they take and lead you around the rooms so that you literally read the story in sequence, the sequence going how you take and make a transition from one point to the next point to the next point.

This is a really critical element of drawing now. Part of that is now that the confusion in a classroom—I run into this all the time. The first class day I start talking we were doing some warm-up gesture drawings.

I see people moving their hand like crazy. How you move your hand, how fast you move your hand has absolutely nothing to do with capturing a gesture. He draws with this brain. The artist draws with this brain not his hand. So the process of thinking is the process of now analyzing and having something to analyze and communicating it.

This is all a gesture drawing. We understand all the levels of complexity that take and come together. So in taking and doing this, now if I take and do a simple thing like that. This experience is different than that experience. Now, what if I take and I come in and I do— no movement.

There is no movement happening there. We had Medieval art. These were icons. These were symbols for things that people recognized the symbols, the stories were there. But there was not movement. The Renaissance had to do with story.

They were telling a story. As we go into the whole period of the modern art, the whole thing was removing the story and focusing purely on the abstract elements, the tools.

These are the elements today. Straight against curve. Big, small balance. A perfectly balanced picture does not have movement. An integral part of making a moving, feeling the action of something, is drawing the lines in such a way that they actually communicate in themselves movement. So there is a contradiction here. What it is is that you have to integrate the tools.

You have to integrate the tools of drawing so that there is no separation between your feeling and your thoughts. First, there are no rules. There are tools that can be used many, many different ways. If you were taking and studying karate or taking and learning to play the piano. You do repetition, repetition, repetition until you no longer have to think about it. Always go through the drawing the same way. Then as you develop your skills you can take and do all kinds of stuff.

Why do I start with the head. I use an example given by friend Sheldon who is part of the New Masters Academy here. Just pretend like the eyes are like on a string on a mannequin. You pull the string are going to go—very quickly the head is going to go with the eyes. As the head goes the shoulders go. As the shoulders go the waist, the pelvis. So the head is really sort of the governing thing. Not only in terms of just overall body movement but expression.

Expression is a critical part of any action. But first you get the total. Actually, I draw quite slow.

It looks simple, but there is a lot of thought that goes into play. This is sort of a basic mantra. I made it tilt. It may be done very quickly. Also, at this same point here I would be taking and indicating that the head is tilted.

I could maybe even put a dot at the top of the head to help show that. I may even draw an ear and think of where the front is. So every line that I put down is communicating something. There is nothing extraneous.



Drawing , painting , animation Glenn Vilppu is an American fine artist, draftsman, painter and art instructor. Vilppu is internationally known for teaching and training professionals in the animation industry. He has worked as a layout artist on numerous animated feature films and television shows with Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Productions and Warner Bros. Glenn Vilppu was born in in Hancock, Michigan. Though being born in the USA, he spent his childhood in Finland, learning Finnish as his first language.


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