Since  Monday when I arrived back home from being away, I’ve been in a frenzy of activity at the drafting table.   I suppose there’s nothing like time and distance away from what you love to motivate you.  In my case, the time off has also given me some fresh perspective on my work.  One thing figurative artists are always after is dynamic movement.  With that in mind, I went in search of some good “gestural drawing” how-to videos online.  I was delighted to find this one, and highly recommend the other videos in the series.  Not only are Stan Prokopenko‘s videos clear, helpful and extremely well produced, but they’re also entertaining!

As a result, this week I’ve been warming up each day with a series of quick gestural drawings and I plan to continue to start my drawing sessions this way in the future.  Drawing in this manner is incredibly freeing and fun, and I’m already beginning to look at figures differently.  Today, in fact, as I walked the 4o blocks to the art store (I was multi-tasking getting in my workout) I studied each person I passed and imagined them being reduced to a gestural line drawing kinda like this…

gestural drawing

Of course, my finished illustrations are usually more fleshed out, but since I seem to be on a quest for simplifying my work, I also researched fashion illustration videos and found this fabulous (though not as professionally produced) free-hand fashion illustration demo:

Using the information in the video above, I worked on a new illustration.  Here’s what my step-by-step process looked like:

Step 1 –

Step 1

(Gestural line and blocks of color for skin and dress have been mapped out in marker.)

Step 2 – 

Step 2

(Green dress feathers and facial features are added.)

Step 3 – 

Step 3

(Tones in dress have been darkened and lines for hair are added.)

Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up in my work that I forgot to take a picture of some of the next steps  – outlining the figure and adding the final highlights.  Here, however, is the finished illustration!

Red headed beauty for blog

Like what you see?  Then come back for more tomorrow!


  1. ma says:

    you are gonna be famous pretty soon…..(will you still recognize me when you are famous?….

    • Joana says:

      Apparently, you’re the only one who believes in me;-) Thank, God, too, since I still need your love and APPROVAL!

      XOX – J

      On Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 5:07 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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