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The Ultimate Guide to Gesture Drawing: Ryan Woodward's PDF Download

How to Master Gesture Drawing with Ryan Woodward's PDF Guide

Gesture drawing is a skill that every artist should practice regularly. It helps you capture the essence and movement of the human figure in a few strokes, without getting bogged down by details and proportions. Gesture drawing can also improve your creativity, design, and animation abilities.

ryan woodward gesture drawing download pdf

But how do you learn gesture drawing? There are many books and courses out there that teach you the basics of drawing the human form, but few that focus on the expressive and artistic aspects of gesture drawing. One of the best resources that I have found is Ryan Woodward's PDF guide, which you can download for free from his website.

Who is Ryan Woodward?

Ryan Woodward is a professional animator, illustrator, and comic book artist who has worked on films such as The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Spider-Man 2, and Where the Wild Things Are. He is also the creator of the acclaimed animated short film Thought of You, which showcases his amazing gesture drawing skills.

Ryan Woodward has a passion for drawing the human figure in motion, and he has developed his own personal and creative approach to gesture drawing. He shares his insights and techniques in his PDF guide, which is not an academic figure-drawing book, but rather a collection of his experiments and explorations with gesture drawing.

What does the PDF guide cover?

The PDF guide consists of 228 pages of Ryan Woodward's gesture drawings, accompanied by his comments and tips. He covers topics such as:

  • The importance of gesture drawing and how it can improve your art.

  • The tools and materials he uses for gesture drawing, such as Conté crayon, newsprint paper, and kneaded eraser.

  • The different types of gesture drawing exercises he does, such as quick poses, long poses, blind contour, negative space, exaggeration, simplification, abstraction, and stylization.

  • The principles and elements of gesture drawing, such as line quality, shape, rhythm, flow, balance, weight, force, tension, and emotion.

  • The challenges and pitfalls of gesture drawing, such as accuracy versus expression, anatomy versus design, and realism versus abstraction.

  • The applications and benefits of gesture drawing for animation, illustration, and comic book art.

The PDF guide is not a step-by-step tutorial or a comprehensive course on figure drawing. It is more like a glimpse into Ryan Woodward's personal sketchbook and his creative process. It is meant to inspire you to try new things and experiment with your own style of gesture drawing.

How to use the PDF guide?

The best way to use the PDF guide is to download it from Ryan Woodward's website and print it out. You can also view it on your computer or tablet screen, but I find that having a physical copy is more convenient and motivating.

Then, you can follow along with Ryan Woodward's exercises and try to replicate his drawings. You can also use his drawings as references and inspiration for your own gesture drawings. You can use any medium you like, but I recommend using Conté crayon or charcoal on newsprint paper for a more expressive and dynamic result.

The most important thing is to practice gesture drawing regularly and consistently. You can use online pose generators or photo references for your practice sessions. You can also attend live figure drawing classes or workshops if you have the opportunity. The more you practice gesture drawing, the more you will improve your observation skills,

What are the benefits of gesture drawing?

Gesture drawing has many benefits for artists of all levels and disciplines. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Gesture drawing improves your observation skills and helps you see the big picture of the human figure, rather than focusing on the details. You learn to capture the essence and movement of the figure in a few lines, without getting distracted by anatomy or proportions.

  • Gesture drawing enhances your creativity and helps you develop your own style and voice. You learn to experiment with different shapes, lines, rhythms, and expressions, and to find your own way of interpreting and stylizing the human figure.

  • Gesture drawing boosts your confidence and speed as an artist. You learn to draw faster and more fluidly, without being afraid of making mistakes or being too precious about your drawings. You also learn to trust your intuition and your artistic vision.

  • Gesture drawing prepares you for animation, illustration, and comic book art. You learn to create dynamic and expressive poses that convey emotion, action, and story. You also learn to draw the human figure in different angles, perspectives, and contexts.

What are some tips for gesture drawing?

Gesture drawing can be challenging at first, but with practice and patience, you can master it. Here are some tips that can help you improve your gesture drawing skills:

  • Warm up before you start gesture drawing. Do some quick sketches of simple shapes or objects to loosen up your hand and eye coordination. You can also do some stretches or exercises to relax your body and mind.

  • Use a timer for your gesture drawing sessions. Set a time limit for each pose, ranging from 10 seconds to 10 minutes, depending on your level and goal. This will help you focus on the essential elements of the figure and avoid overthinking or overworking your drawings.

  • Draw from life whenever possible. Use online pose generators or photo references as a supplement, but try to attend live figure drawing classes or workshops if you can. Drawing from life will help you develop a better sense of proportion, perspective, and anatomy.

  • Don't erase or correct your gesture drawings. Gesture drawing is not about accuracy or perfection, but about expression and exploration. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them. You can always refine or redraw your gesture drawings later if you want.

  • Have fun with gesture drawing. Gesture drawing is a great way to unleash your creativity and enjoy the process of drawing. Don't be afraid to try new things and experiment with different techniques. Gesture drawing is not a test or a chore, but a playground for your artistic imagination.

How to download Ryan Woodward's PDF guide?

Ryan Woodward's PDF guide is available for free on his website. You can download it by following these steps:

  • Go to

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link that says "Download Gesture Drawing Vol 3 by Ryan Woodward".

  • A new tab will open with a Google Drive page. Click on the download icon at the top right corner of the page.

  • A pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm your download. Click on "Download anyway".

  • The PDF file will start downloading to your computer or device. You can open it with any PDF reader or viewer.

You can also watch Ryan Woodward's video tutorials on gesture drawing on his website or his YouTube channel. He demonstrates his process and technique for gesture drawing using Conté crayon and newsprint paper.


Gesture drawing is a fun and rewarding skill that can improve your art and creativity. Ryan Woodward's PDF guide is one of the best resources that I have found for learning gesture drawing. It is full of inspiring and informative gesture drawings, tips, and exercises that can help you master gesture drawing. You can download it for free from his website and start practicing gesture drawing today.

What are some examples of gesture drawing by Ryan Woodward?

Ryan Woodward's PDF guide is full of stunning and inspiring gesture drawings that showcase his style and technique. Here are some examples of his gesture drawings, along with his comments and tips:

A gesture drawing of a woman sitting on a chair with her legs crossed and her arms behind her head. Ryan Woodward comments: This is a 5 minute pose. I like to start with a simple line that defines the flow of the pose. Then I add some basic shapes to indicate the head, torso, and limbs. I use Conté crayon on newsprint paper, which gives me a nice range of values and textures. I try to vary the pressure and direction of my strokes to create interest and contrast.

A gesture drawing of a man standing with his arms crossed and his head tilted. Ryan Woodward comments: This is a 2 minute pose. I like to use negative space to help me find the proportions and angles of the figure. Negative space is the space around and between the fi


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