Abstract Figure Painting

Create an abstract figure painting beginning with a series of gesture drawings. You and your tablemates will take turns modeling for each other. Use all the time allotted for each drawing, the times will vary. Use your whole canvas space, overlap the figures creating new shapes.

Materials:                     Paint, 18 x 24 Drawing Paper, drawing board


1.  Practice several gesture drawings of different objects (hands, shoes, stuff in your pocket, etc.)

Remember the following for your gesture drawings

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 a little as 30 seconds, or as long as 2 minutes. The primary purpose of gesture drawing is to facilitate the study of the human figure in motion.

2.  Using your classmates as models practice drawing several drawings with the gesture technique

3.  On a large piece of paper draw a large scale multiple figure drawing with the gesture technique

4.  Overlap the figures creating new shapes.

5.  Choose a color palette: Split Complimentary, Opposites, Warm and cool, primary, analogous, monochromatic etc….

6.  Balance each section with color.


o   CONCENTRATE ON DRAWING REALLY FAST. DO NOT DRAW DEATAILS, YOU’RE ONLY CAPTURING THE VOLUME OR THE FIGURE…It doesn’t matter what the end result is, this is about helping you learn to trust your eyes.

o   You must be able to see the figures! It will eventually be camouflaged into the background



-The quick observation and personality translation of the subject is communicated

Design, Layout, and Composition

-Visual and psychological weight, visual balance, emphasized areas, and tension are achieved with the considered use of line, shape, and especially color

-You gave a sense of placement by considering your color placement.

Methods, Tools and Techniques

-Your line quality is sketched quickly throughout the painting-

 -Your quick observation results in the form being recorded—the basic shape, size, form, etc.

Personal Investment

-You took your time, sincerely taking a risk and learning from the process you didn’t just rush through it without thinking about what you were trying to learn