Candy Cane Stripe Gesture Lines

Candy Cane Stripe Gesture Lines

Okay I know what your thinking, candy cane stripe gesture lines, really? Yes really. This funny name came about in class one day. I was trying to explain how to draw with flowing gesture line. However there were a few students who were just not getting it.

I could tell they were starting to get a little frustrated. So the first thing that came to my mind was a candy cane stripe. Who knows it might have been right around the Holidays.

You see when we draw the portrait and the figure for that matter we tend to become too timid with our lines. We start drawing, attempting to get the likeness and we draw with short choppy lines. Sometimes drawing with a short choppy line is appropriate. Especially in the initial stages of the drawing.

You want to start integrating a looser more flowing continuous line early in the process. Almost as if your are drawing a ribbon wrapping around the features of the head.


Whether you want to call it a ribbon line or a candy can stripe, it doesn ‘t matter. What matters is that you try to draw in a state of flow keeping your pencil on the paper for two to four second intervals.

There is not one specific place I can point to start using this candy cane stripe gesture line. You’ll know it when you see it. It will be different on every portrait you draw. Perhaps it could start with a flowing stand of hair. It can start with a shadow shape shown in the critique video below.

You want to start drawing with these loose flowing lines early in the process when you are starting to flesh out the portrait. You know I’m a big proponent of using the angles and measurements technique. Adding this loose gesture drawing technique into the mix early adds balance to your process.



I challenge you to actually practice drawing cylinders with a ribbon like stripe wrapping around them. You could also think of drawing a mummy’s head. Wrapping a strand of linen around the structure of a head.

There are many words for me to use when trying to describe how to draw in a loose manner. Drawing with candy cane stripe gesture lines is just fun playful way to help you remember to draw with continuous line that wraps around form.


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