Gesture drawing should be a constant source of study for animators, as having strong poses that describe the personality of the character or the action itself is the key to a great performance.
When studying a life subject you can range the amount of time that you spend on each drawing, however you want to be able to describe a pose quickly allowing the motion to flow from your pencil.
Having good gesture drawing skills is also essential for 3d animators, as when it is all completely rendered and shown on the cinema screen you still are left with a 2D image (unless you are watching in 3d).
The principles still apply, and strong poses bring your characters to life.
Carefully observe the pose, but then think of what the motion of the action is and the emotion of the character. Then think how can the limitations of life be enhanced in my pose to better reflect and describe what I want to show the audience.
Feel, as well as see the gesture.
Ryan Woodward, who we have featured previously on this blog, has a book dedicated to gesture and figure drawing which you can find here.
You can also check out our previous blog post on his animation “Thought of You” here
Another book to consider reading is “The Art & Feel of Making it Real: Gesture Drawing for the Animation and Entertainment Industry” by Mark McDonnel, which you can buy here