Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: September 2012

  continous line drawing

Every year, I teach a beginning drawing class and am reminded about how important it is to learn to “see” and to begin to feel the curve and shape of a form. My favorite way to draw is like the above picture of a father and daughter. I begin with one line and pretend I am drawing across and around their form, making choices, all the time, as to what bumps my pencil up or down or makes it curve and circle. It took me a long time to learn that every image I create may not be perfectly proportionate but that it would have some truth of the reality of the subject I chose to see. I think that is the real joy of being able to draw and anyone can draw, you know……..

My students begin by drawing blind line drawings of hands and faces and objects.

blind line of hand

blind line of face

They are instructed to feel the form and to pretend as though the pencil is touching the surface of the object they are drawing. They are instructed to include cross countours and move their pencils in arcs where the form bulges out and would change the form of their line.  All of this is done while studying the form and not looking at the paper. This allows us to turn off that left brain that wants to tell us how ugly our drawing is and allows our right brain to “see” more intimately and encourage our hand to discover the true shape of things.

Next we draw continuous line drawings while studying an object, in the same manner but we are allowed to look back and forth from object to the paper.

continous line of the hand

continous line of a bottle.

We note where we moved into a form and crossed over it and included indications of cross contours in the forms we created like wrinkles around the joints of the fingers and highlights in a clear glass bottle.

We, then, begin breaking our lines and draw, in contour line, the ghost of an object or objects without values of light, midtone and darks.

contour line self portrait

contour line of hands

Note that the green hand is an image of my right hand. I drew it with my non-dominant hand (left).  I have found I can draw as well with my left hand. It just takes me LONGER.

Next, we studied the negative space surrounding something and learned we could come up with the image, itself. ….and we could always use negative space to bring our positive object into a more proportionate drawing.

negative space of a slide

negative space child on a swing

Now on to value and perspective  Yay!