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I'm trying to understand the process of going from initial gesture sketches to a completed drawing. Most of the instruction I've seen talks about the gesture phase and the late detail phase but very little about moving between the two. The best example I've seen so far is in How to Draw the Marvel Way, but that just hand waves a bit with a few paragraphs about adding detail directly to the initial sketch and four pictures going from a sketch to final form.

Most of the other discussion I've seen about gesture drawing speaks to it basically being warm up/capture only and that it should be treated as a throw away piece after the "real" drawing is well underway. I realize that workflows are unique to each person but it seems like there should be general guidelines on efficient workflows for the middle stages.

I'm currently working with pencil/paper, but I can see myself going digital, as I imagine the workflows being much easier when you can layer your drawing out and stage it that way.

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Hi there and welcome to GD - nice question, I might get back to you with some good hints, but most of all: never ever give up paper and pencil. –  Benteh Jun 16 at 17:16
You may be over-thinking things. From gesture, you simply tighten up and refine repeatedly until you get solid forms, then add details. –  Scott Jun 16 at 17:33
Maybe, although the initial sketching phase still creates a lot of noise that will need to be removed. Erasing does a fair amount of damage to the paper, so eventually the drawing will need to be put on the final paper for whatever detail treatment I intend. I guess a light box maybe the best solution to the way I see things working, but I'm not sure. –  tsgrasser Jun 16 at 17:59
'digital layers' pre-digital was called 'tracing paper'. :) I'd suggest that. –  DA01 Jun 16 at 18:48

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