The gesture drawing is vital to my figurative work. I attend life drawing sessions regularly and focus on the 1 and 2 minute poses. I spend half of the short time simply looking at the model. I’m finding a way into the pose or connecting with the model. There’s always something there. In a few seconds I can then capture what’s most important about the form in space - maybe the energy, a curve, collapsing into oneself.
In longer poses, I take more time to look without making any initial mark. I have to find a sort of inner zen moment where I’m open to anything and not concerned with an outcome or particular difficulty. It’s partly study, but also partly simply being there with the model in the pose.
I then start with the same gesture - making fairly broad and quick gesture marks to capture what I’ve found. If I find that I’m struggling for more than a few minutes, I won’t end up with a good result.