Contour drawing emphasizes the tracing of the outline of a person or object. Students should not be concerned with recording details, but should utilize their eyes as if they were actually moving their fingers along the subject they are drawing.
Gesture drawing is the attempt to capture movement in its rhythms and fluidity. Students will try to draw the essence of a movement by drawing quick lines. The exercise can be done using a single figure and with a series of figures in motion.
The drawings can be done with either charcoal or pencil and the size of the paper should vary according to the medium which is used. They should be done in a single color. -
For the contour drawings, students should sketch people, objects, and cityscapes. The activity should take place both inside and outside and can progress from timed quick sketches to a whole class exercise.
Students can attend a dance or gym class to observe movement of people, or they can be their own models. The motion of cars moving, objects rolling or being dropped, or being scattered by the wind are examples of other movement that can be observed. The motion of machines or vibrating objects present another possibility.
Both exercises may be varied by limiting the drawing to be executed with a single line without removing the pencil from the paper.
In discussion and review, the two types of drawings may be compared for their qualities of expression and representation.