Let The Music Begin!

Some pages from my A5 sketchpads & loose leaves. Drawn from life. ‘Sur la vif.’

When the music stops, the drawing stops.
‘Dans le temps d’une chanson’

flamneco dancer gesture drawing

‘Flamenco, Bergerac’ Pen & Watercolour. Gesture Drawing. 40 x 40 cm. Available as a reproduction.


What is Gesture Drawing?

From Wikipedia:

‘A gesture drawing is work of art defined by rapid execution. Typical situations involve an artist drawing a series of poses taken by a model in a short amount of time, often as little as 30 seconds, or as long as 2 minutes. Gesture drawing is often performed as a warm-up for a life drawing session.

In less typical cases the artist may be observing people or animals going about normal activities with no special effort to pause for the artist. For example, drawing from people on the street, performers, athletes, or drawing animals at the zoo.
More generally, a gesture drawing may be any drawing which attempts to capture action or movement

The rapidity of execution suggests an aesthetic which is most concerned with the essence of the pose, and an economy of means in its representation, rather than a careful study of modeling of light on the form.
For some artists, a gesture drawing is the first step in preparing a more sustained work. Other artists, who seek to capture brief moments of time in a direct manner, consider the gesture drawing to be the end product.’


‘Contre Nous… La Tyrannie’ A5. Sanguine.

Kimon Nicolaides, ‘The Natural Way to Draw’ (1941) :

‘You should draw, not what the thing looks like, not even what it is, but what it is doing.
It is only the action, the gesture, that you are trying to respond to here, not the details of the structure. You must discover – and feel – that the gesture is dynamic, moving, not static. Gesture has no precise edges no exact shape, no jellied form. The forms are in the act of changing. Gesture is movement in space.The drawing starts with the impulse, not the position.
It is necessary participate in what the model is doing, to identify yourself with it. Without a sympathetic emotional reaction in the artist there can be no real, no penetrating understanding.’

china moses - gesture darwing of a musician dancer

‘singin & dancin’ A5. Pencil & watercolour

Martha Graham :

‘There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.’

'Dance for Jalal-ad-Din Rumi'

‘Dance – for Jalal au-Din Rumi’
Three Oil Paintings
© Adam Cope



Dance, when you’re broken open.

Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of the fighting.

Dance in your blood.

Dance when you’re perfectly free.