How to Draw at Kariton: Gesture Drawing Workshop


Gesture Drawing. I would have never thought I’d find myself in a drawing class, not to mention in this digital mindset and era. Like Randy Cruz says in his opening speech, drawing is a skill and and an art form that’s invaluable. One can nuke out an image or a video, or design a whole multimedia art piece using everything from digital SLRs to 1080p recording equipment with software editing suites, and the works. But even to plan that all out, and have the ideas on paper, before it gets into production, everything, from the idea to the final product doesn’t start anywhere if not for the basics. And drawing is one of the most basic forms of artistic expression that translates and transcends all forms of media, artistry, and thought.

Daks TomasThe class was facilitated by Daks Tomas, who was a plethora of experience and drawing techniques. He made the basics even more basic, which simplified the whole drawing process. His terms and explanations for items to look out for such as lines of action, shaping, and silhouetting made it easy for even the most basic of drawers, like myself, to pick up and understand.

This wasn’t your normal art class, though. It was a collaborative workshop where artists shared techniques with other artists and other would be artists. It was open to everyone who wanted to know how to draw and to those that already knew how to draw. It was a culture of sharing, where experiences embraced everyone, and everyone embraced the experience. Not only were the visual artists sharing their art and techniques, but the models themselves used in this gesture drawing series, were sharing their art as well. 

Althea Balmes

To start off with, there were two kendo practitioners performing moves and freezing at certain action spots or kill zones, allowing everyone in the room to capture their lines of action and motion. The class had Randy posing for some action boxing scenes, as well as Charise Marquez, one of the members of the Kariton Collective, performing yoga postures. Yours truly was invited to perform some Wushu forms for the drawing circle.

It was a unique experience, and with the large attendance, it was at first a bit intimidating and overwhelming to sit and draw along so many artists and people, let alone stand up and pose for them. However, with the way the class was run, it was more of a collaborative group session where everyone shared and helped out. Daks even supplied a drawing pad to pass around for those that were too shy to even bring their own materials. The models themselves were amazing to watch. Althea Balmes, another member of the Kariton Collective, and her friend performing kendo techniques were captivating to watch, making myself and a few others almost forget that we were suppose to be drawing. Charise doing Yoga

Overall, the experience was amazing, and the techniques I took from the class were invaluable in themselves. Now its practice practice. Daks was a great facilitator, and with his help, I actually love drawing now! Before this blog, I had the tv on freeze framing action shots, gesture drawing the lines of action. His tutoring definitely put my drawing skills to another notch, and with more practice, hopefully another level. I’m definitely going to attend his next volume on Saturday the 28th on anatomy. Check out the website for the details!

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