Gesture drawing is an important skill for animators - it helps us learn how to capture a pose, and to master the art of visual storytelling. After all, planning your animation with quick thumbnail sketches that tell a story is still one of the core skills of the 3D animator - it's why we still need to know how to draw - at least just a little bit. Here at Bucks we're recommending this series of videos by Proko, all hosted for free at his YouTube channel. There are lots of great videos but the particular playlist we're interested in is titled "Figure Drawing - How to Draw People". You can find it here.
The Proko videos explain how we can loosen up our drawing style, finding the line of action in a pose, making it more dynamic and supple. So, for all our students life drawing classes, this series of videos is a great preparation for the class.
Other useful online resources include free life drawing classes online at Pixelovely, where you can learn to draw from life without even leaving your living room.
Recently a prospective student came me with some excellent gesture drawings. "Where did you go to life drawing classes?" I asked. "Oh, online", he replied. His drawings were so good - I hadn't realised he hadn't actually been in front of a real model. But nowadays you don't actually need to attend a life drawing class to draw from life (though of course it does help). In fact, there are many sites online where you can draw figures from life - without ever leaving home.
Animation is a blend of creative and technical skills, and a good animator needs both to survive. It is true that digital animators don't need to draw with the same degree of skill as they did in the days of hand-drawn animation, but good draughtsmanship still helps a great deal, not just for design work but for storyboards, thumbnails, visual development and all the other related areas that a good animator often gets called upon to do.
We strongly recommend that our animators participate in life drawing classes. For those who cannot attend live life drawing classes, for whatever reason, Pixelovely offers a radical - and completely free - online solution