Saturday, February 17, 2007

Drawing Blindly- Yikes!

The mini-challenge for today is to make a blind-contour drawing in your sketch journal.

Yes- take your minds back to your high school art classes.... do you remember this technique? Here's Wikipedia's definition of blind-contour drawing on the site, and it's actually pretty good:
blind contour drawing

Blind contour drawing is a method of drawing popularized by Kimon Nicolaïdes in his book The Natural Way to Draw (1941), which presents itself as an effective training aid or discipline. The student, fixing their eyes on the outline of the model or object, draws the contour very slowly in a steady, continuous line without lifting the pencil or looking at the paper. The student may look at the paper to place an internal feature, but once they begin to draw it, they do not glance down, but follows the same procedure as for the outline. A well-done blind contour drawing frequently has sufficient quality and character to be preserved as a work of art.

The practice is still commonly taught today in both high school and college art courses.


* Nicolaïdes, Kimon (1941). The Natural Way to Draw. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston. ISBN 0-395-08048-.
This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors

I like to use the technique called Modified Blind Contour. For the most part, I do not look at what I am drawing while I am drawing it, but if I need to pick up my pen and move to another area, I momentarily look at my page, only to reposition the pen. I try to only reposition a couple of times in the whole drawing...

The top mixed media piece, "Funky Vermeer," was first done as a modified blind contour drawing, then watercolor was added, and then collage elements and embellishments. Because of the 3-D aspects of the embellishments, adding this type of work to an art journal might be difficult, but it is included to show you the kinds of things you can do with blind-contour pieces.

Blind Contour drawings tend to take on a humorous quality because of the crazy proportions that result. Learn to love this- life is all about having a great time anyway, isn't it?!

Please share your work and/or experiences, and post a comment here. I'd love to hear what you are up to with all of this.

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