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blindapple  Blind continuous line apple

blindhand  Blind continuous line hand

handlinecontour  Continuous line hand (looking)

negspacestool   Negative space of stool

stooldrawing   Negative space study of stool completed drawing

bottleandglass   Value study of clear glass

valuestrips   Value studies

We cut strips and traced the format on our paper and chose values, light medium, and dark to the patterns of value we saw.

cornerofroom   Perspective study of the corner of a room

selfportrait2013   Self portrait

The above drawings illustrate some of the work my beginning drawing class has been working on in the first four weeks. We began with blind line drawings and worked our way through contour line, negative space, value, perspective and are even working at drawing our reverse images in a mirror. All the above drawings are either demos from class or examples I drew to share as examples.

This weekend I worked with my Granddaughter from a book I purchased that I learned about from Sherry here. The book is titled Amazing Crayon Drawing with Lee Hammond by Lee Hammond. I thought the Granddaughter could use these skills at home in her free time. We drew from tutored examples of a palm tree silhouetted against a sunset and a mountain scene. Here are our finished crayon drawings:

palmtree    Granddaughter’s Palm Tree

palmtreegr   Grandma’s Palm Tree

mountains   Granddaughter’s Mountains

mountainsgr   Grandma’s Mountains


  1. The mountains remind me of Roerichs’ work, so beautiful, you have a great companion at home to experiment with your creative time, she is going to be a lovely artist one day!
    Those continuous line sketches are great exercises, thanks for sharing Leslie, I am going to try them!

    • Thank you for such a neat comment, Padmaja. Didn’t think of Roerich. I should show the Granddaughter his work. I like continuous line. It is where I started with art so it is always like going home again when I take time to draw them.

  2. wonderful drawing and painting with your granddaughter, Thank you, with my love, nia

  3. Oh how wonderful! I remember doing all these same types of drawing exercises in my drawing class at the university (I’ve still not even come close to mastering drawing!). I sure had fun working some of Lee’s exercises and hope to do more soon. You and your granddaughter did nice work!!

    • Thank you for the comment and for the tip on that book. It is going to provide endless hours of fun time for the Granddaughter and me. We might learn a thing or two in the process, also.

  4. I like to seeing the line drawings, especially negative drawing. What a wonderful way to spend quality time with your granddaughter – beautiful mountain paintings!

    • Thank you, Mary! Just thought I’d share some of the other artsy things that goes on here besides watercolor.

  5. Love the contour drawings. A lot can be learned from them, whether looking or not! And i LOVE the drawings with your
    granddaughter! what fun! and they all turned out beautifully!

    • Thank you, Wyna. I could sit and do line drawings all day, that’s how important I think they are. I love creating with my Granddaughter. The time passes so quickly while we giggle and work together. 🙂

  6. I like the value studies so much! The continuous line drawings, too. I wasn’t able to do it. Your posts always inspire to me!

    • You are not alone in not being able to push back that analytical left side of the brain in order to scroll through a form blindly, Nuno. You can do them. …and not every one of them comes out looking like something, but the essence is there. Thank you, so much!

  7. Sound drawings Leslie, they all have a solidness and grounding, I feel I can walk around in the room and pick up the stool and put it through the window. At the risk of starting a family row, my favourite is the ‘grandaughter’s mountains’, but you don’t have to tell her!

    • You are so funny about walking around in the room and putting the stool through the window. Ha! Thank you Outside Authority!

  8. I have a number of comments. First, you have inspired me to draw everyday this month. If I was in your class I would have the best time learning from you. Next: Clearly the apple did not fall far from the tree! Granddaughter is quite talented and I bet she gets that from Grandma. Both of your colored drawings with her are terrific. She is an artist!

    I love seeing your drawing work. And I appreciate the inspiration I get when I visit your blog and realize i either want to try something new that you’re doing or, like in this case, follow in your footsteps with drawing, drawing, drawing. Thanks.

    • You know, by your saying that, I, too, need to draw one thing daily. I have fun when I take time to blind draw or do a self portrait, etc. …and I really like the drawingh phase of a painting. That Granddaughter has got the art bug and I know it is not just to impress me. She goes home and creates and creates. My daughter encourages her, also.
      You made my day to say I inspire you through what I share, here, thankyou so much.

  9. I love drawing ….not looking at what I am drawing. I use this technique partially when I sketch my paintings. It is so freeing. It’s hard for the mind to get in the way. My grandaughter was beoming frustrated in the process of rendering an image from my ipad app Bing. I taught her this technique but it made her more tense. She is a very good artist and is also very attached to the outcome. My son commented that this training was too advanced for her. I would have thought that a child’s mind would have adapted quickly. You teach art so I will ask you if showing a 7year old this technique is expecting the impossible. What has your experience been?

    • I think like you do, Gretchen. I am working with my 7 year old Granddaughter, also. I have no problem explaining this concept to her. I don’t say left brain and right brain, etc, but I tell her the most true form of drawing is when we can take our pencil point and lay it on the surface of the thing, object or space we are trying to draw. I talk about the roundness of things and the straightness of things. When we drew clouds together, we talked about how they were fluffy and did things with the pressure of our colored pencils, etc. When we draw buildings we talk about their strength. When we draw animals and people, we talk about which way the bend of their legs go and I show her how to see an angle. If someone can feel the form of their pet with their hand and hold and feel the surface of an apple, the roughness of tree bark and the hard straight surface of the side of a building, then they can use their pencil to touch those surfaces. What a 7 year old has acquired is that critical mind, by this time, that passes judgement on the finished product. Until the age of 6, I never heard my Granddaughter say, “Your drawing or painting is better than mine.” and “Grandma, it doesn’t look like my dog.” She’s passing judgement, so in enters a new dynamic. I sit with her and point out what lines are super real and have movement and all the things that capture my attention in her drawing that tells Grandma about her dog. I explain that this is all part of creating this growing thing. I also get art magazines and books out and we pour through paintings and drawings. She already knows Van Gogh and what his paintings look like and Picasso. She recognizes the super realists that create images like a photo and beyond. She is developing a vocabulary about art and understanding that it is a growing and learning thing. I’m lucky because I get her every other weekend, so she gets these ideas in little bits of time. Example: She likes my mountains better than hers, so we had a short discussion about them. It went something like this. “My mountains are messy, Grandma. Grandma said, “Oh no, you made marks like crosshatching and worked your crayon in different directions on the surface of them. You gave your mountains energy and strength. You raised them up by the marks you made. Those things are very much like a mountain.” She said,”Oh!” I said, I did my mountains by coloring with my marks all the same direction and I made them still and quiet. ” She said, “Oh, yeah. Which is better?” I said they are both better. Together they tell us a lot about the mountains and the artist that created the art.” She said, “I like that.” When her Mother came to pick her up, she ran for her crayon paintings to show her. She did not get mine and with a big grin shared what she had done. That is when I know it sunk in. The worst thing, we as teachers can do is buy into that critical negativity of our fellow artists. That is my opinion, Gretchen, and your question is an awesome one. Yes, I believe a 7 year old can contour draw. I believe a 7 year old can be and artist. …and I believe a 7 year old can be critical and judgemental about what he or she creates. Contour line is never perfect but there is always truth in it. Thank you for the opportunity to address this here! 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your response. I don’t teach children so I don’t know intellectually about their periods of development. This was an intuitive thing that I felt about the blind drawing and I was second guessing myself. My granddaughter lives very far away so this was a fleeting art experience with her. I am so glad that you are able to spend a lot of quality time with your granddaughter.

      • I don’t know much about periods of development either. I think you did a wonderful thing with her, wanting to share what you do because of her interest. It is a shame when our children are held back from something as simple as feeling their way through a line drawing because an adult says the concept is too advanced? You are dear because you cared enough to share, and hey, you were a Mom, you know. Deep down you know.

  10. Thanks for sharing, Leslie. 🙂 Love these drawings.

  11. Love how blind contour work reveals the honest observation and coordination between eye and hand.

    • Me too, Al. Until a person tries this, they don’t understand the beauty of the line in form. I also think it takes a less critical mind, yes? …one willing to be honest. Thank you.

  12. Amazing sketching, Leslie. And you granddaughter seems to more and more talented. I had to look carefully to see which mountain was hers. She certainly is not afraid of her materials.

    • That Granddaughter certainly enjoys creating and likes working with more forms of media than I. Thank you, Ruth! 🙂

  13. Good morning, Leslie. You are an excellent teacher. Noted your response about seven year olds. 🙂

  14. Leslie, may I suggest that you make a POST of your reply discussion art with your granddaughter? Seriously, I think you should. 🙂

    • Thank you for both the above comments, Eva. What I really appreciate is Gretchen’s question. ..but thankyou for your comment about it. I hope it helps others to do as Gretchen did and share what they love doing with their grandchildren.

  15. PS. I’ve ‘used’ your wonderful Wolf Paws watercolor for a Wolf post and put a link to your blog “home” page. If you’d rather the link went directly to your post for it, let me know and I’ll change it out. 🙂

  16. I love doing blind contour drawings and drawing with a granddaughter is so much fun. She’s an artist in bloom. Real talent there.

    • Thank you so much, Linda. I will show my Granddaughter your comment when she comes to visit next. Blind contour is fun. I am in total agreement with you there.

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