Practice Contour Drawing

In my last article I talked about blind contour drawing. I hope some of you did that exercise in order to practice switching from the left side of the brain to the right.

Another great exercise is doing contour drawings.  This time you get to look at your paper as you draw. Yeah!

When you do a contour drawing you draw the outline of the object just like the blind contour. You look at the object you are drawing and then back at your paper. Back and forth your eye moves from the object to the paper. You look closely at the edges of the object. Think of your eye inching along the edge of the object, noticing every little curve, crease, turn, dip, etc.

Since you did a blind contour drawing of your hand, you might want to do a contour drawing of your hand also.  Then you can do a comparison. Which drawing do you like better?

If you want to draw something different, set up a still life of items from the kitchen or use the photographs I have included in this article. The pictures I am including are of daisies I saw in a field this last summer.  You can do a contour drawing of anything. For me, it seems to be easier to draw the contour of something if it is complicated and from nature. Is that the case for you?

Look at the outline of the petals.

Notice the outline of the petals against the green background.

The white petals against the green make it easy to see the outline of the flowers. I am also including some altered photos. I edited the original picture with Adobe Photoshop.

I removed the background to make the outline more apparent. I used a filter on the last photo to give you another view. Use any of the photos to help you do a contour drawing.  You have my permission to save the photographs to your computer and print them out if that helps.

Daisies without background

I removed the background to help you see outline.


outline of daisy

Can you see the outline better here?

Remember as you are drawing:

1. Don’t talk.

2. Don’t pick up your pencil. The drawing will be one continuous line. You can draw back over a line already on the page.

3. You can look at your paper.

4. Have fun!

Let me know how it goes. I want to hear your comments and see your work.

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