...is the marvelous simplicity and elegance of line design. Successful contour drawing is characterized by perception and control and demands the experience of visual and graphic practice to achieve competence.
WHAT IT IS......
Contour means "outline", and presents exterior edges of objects. A plain contour has a clean, connected line, no shading and emphasizes an open "shell" of the subject. More complex contours can imply shading values through interior outlines (top right), may have line textures or be contrasted with mixed media. Pencil drawing, ball point pen and black markers are good practice tools.
As always, this means practice (of course!) and in a similar method as explained in GESTURE DRAWING. However, where gesture drawing is fast, contour is slow and more deliberate. Like gesture drawing, practices are 1 and 2 minute timed sketches for single objects and up to 3 minutes for more complex and overlapping images.
Visual training is the purpose and accuracy the goal. No erasing is allowed. Collect ordinary objects and practice with one at a time, as in Gesture drawing.
Begin with a focal point on the object and continue concentration as if the eyes were drawing the image. The pencil/pen, once placed on the paper stays there moving in a slow line development until the entire contour is completed. Eyes focus from object to paper without head movement.
Take your time! Allow 1-2 minutes for each drawing. You'll be surprised how long that is! With several practices of each item, move on to overlapping 2 and 3 together with up to 3 minute drawings depending upon the complexity of the shapes.
CONTOUR APPLICATIONS: INTRODUCTORY LEVEL
Click on images for larger views
After many practices and group arrangements, it was time for beginning students to complete a finished assignment. The required objectives were to: (1) create a contour drawing of 4 or more objects, (2) illustrate overlapping and size variety, (3) form arrangement must extend over/under 2 or more sides and (4) include line styles as an option.
Each of these emphasizes one or more forms of line style. Can you identifty some of them? Also, two examples are by non-art experienced students. Can you spot which ones?
|Contour drawing can be augmented by shadow lines, texture, and is an excellent means of basic study for "sequential drawing". It often becomes a first stage of a progressive work in other media. Please visit some examples of Advanced Applications at Contour 2.|
E-MAIL FOUNDATIONS DRAWING PAINTING WORD ART 3D GRAPHICS MIXED MEDIA HOME SITE PLAN CHOICES