53 The Shape of a Gesture

Often in the Gesture Class, I suggest the artists first sketch in the “abstract” of the pose. Basically, that would be the essence of the gesture — without the details. Another way to approach the gesture is to look for its shape. Not the outline, but the shape of what’s taking place inside. Every pose or drawing of a pose does have an outline, but what is really happening is the tension and muscular activity within, and that determines the shape. When more than one figure is on stage, they collectively form a gestural shape. One exciting and ever changing gestural shape is a fiock of birds. It might be stretching things to call them gestural, but if the poses of humans and animals can be called gestures, surely birds ...

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