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.
The gesture phase is used as a warmup exercise, but it can be a valuable tool for creating a piece of art that has more movement and energy. Once you have your gesture drawing you can use it as a guide to add details on top. Think of it as the skeleton for your figure. From there you define the areas you want to keep and continue adding detail until you have a rough sketch that you are satisfied with. This is easier to do digitally because you can physically separate the layers you are working with, but the trick to doing it with traditional mediums such as pencil is to use a light hand and gentle strokes so you don’t deposit too much graphite on the paper initially. I can post a video for reference if you’d like.