Tag Archives: gesture

A Show of Hands: Communicate

I learned the sign language alphabet in college, and I was fascinated by the concept of communicating solely through the use of one’s hands.  Most people can communicate to some degree through gestures, but it’s possible to have an entire conversation using sign language.  While some people are more than happy to express their feelings by flipping up their middle fingers, I stick to friendlier gestures when I’m trying to communicate.

“Communicate”–Graphite, Watercolor, and Pen


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A Show of Hands: Come Here

When I was a teacher, I found it very easy to get my message across without saying a single word.  If I saw a student doing something inappropriate, I would beckon to him with the wiggle of my finger.  He already knew there was trouble before he ever reached my desk.  That simple gesture, coupled with my raised eyebrows said it all.  The offending student would usually hang his head, apologize, and shuffle back to his seat.  Sometimes, a gesture is worth a thousand words.

“Come Here”–Pencil and Watercolor


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What are you looking at?

Yesterday, I was loitering in the lobby of Valencia’s art building.  Armed with my sketchbook and pen, I was prepared to participate in– and record– one of my favorite pastimes—People Watching.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than having a roomful of unsuspecting subjects to sketch.  The problem arises when one of those subjects realizes he’s being watched.  We do the “Glance Dance”.  He gives the “What are you looking at?” stare, and I respond with the “I’m looking past you—not at you” glance.  His next move is usually the overly-suspicious “Yeah, I knew that” look, followed by my “Time to choose another subject” glimpse as I scan the room for my next victim.  It’s an awkward dance, but it must be performed.  I realize I could ask permission, but then I would end up with a stiff, self-conscious model who will inevitably want to see the finished drawing.  I want to capture the casual, natural model who is at least somewhat oblivious to the fact that he is my subject, and won’t ask to see my quick, gestural sketch.    So the next time you get that creepy “Someone’s watching me” vibe from a girl with a sketchbook, don’t bother with the ‘Glance Dance’—just sit back, relax, and try to act natural.  It’s all in the name of art.


“Gossip”–pen–from my sketchbook


“Exhausted”–pen–from my sketchbook




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