Gesture Sketch for Eve

Newberry, Eve and gesture sketch
Newberry, Eve and gesture sketch

Here is a pencil sketch and finished figure of Eve. This was the first sketch of the pose, the drawing is about 3 inches high, the finished work is almost life size. The sketch took 3 minutes to draw. There are a lot of things similar between the sketch and the finished work. The shadows on the butt are very close; some of the accents of the contour lines, such as the left thigh, left armpit, and right shoulder. The division between the light and shadow areas on the target. One big difference I see, is the pose in the sketch has more shift in weight where the final Eve is more held in check. The latter went better with my concept that the scene between Adam and Eve was their very first time in each other’s presence. A bit like when you see dogs meet for the first time, they are weary and on guard.

Gesture sketches are deceptive, they seem so easy, have a lot of energy, and seem to have all the info. The truth is more like a two-line poem vs. a novel.


I did not have a classical education nor any teachers that taught me to draw. I tried to find them, but in the 1970s it was nearly to find anyone who knew how, and their were no good books, and the internet did not exist. The way I learned to draw was at the Free Academy in The Hague, Holland. There were no teachers, hence no instruction. But they had figure models nine-hours a day 7 days a week. I attended there full time for 2 years. Each day I would set myself a few goals, like how to make nuanced outlines. Wednesdays was 5-minute poses day, if I recall I drew about 85 drawings, done with Conte charcoal and newsprint. There was no time to think, just draw as fast and intensely as I could. Exhilarating! Around 11 pm in my studio would tape all 85 drawings on the wall and study them. Defining which drawings or parts of drawings that worked, and which did not. For instance I might have made the heads too big. Then the next day I would make a point to make the head a little smaller. For 2 years this was an amazing time — I burned every speck of energy developing my innate talent.

Michael Newberry, Idyllwild 1/18/2021

Comments, questions, compliments?
Given the censorship with social media, I am going old school

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