Practicing Contour Drawing - Try yourself!


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I have drawn from images for a quite a while so I decided I needed to draw more from life and nature to improve my drawing skills. This will add more depth to my pieces, improve the proportions and bring my drawings to life. I will share some of the drawing exercises I have done with you.

Learning to draw is a matter of learning to see correctly. You use more than the sense of sight when drawing you need to learn to observe using all your senses. The more senses you manage to use the better your drawing will be. One of the important senses is touch, being able to touch the object you are drawing will help transfer the realness into your drawing. One of the reasons drawing from life is important.

This exercise is called contour drawing and the aim is to combine the sense of touch with the sense of sight. Using a piece of paper, sharp pencil and an object or model you intend to draw begin with imagining your pencil touching the edge of the object. You will follow that object with your eyes while moving your pencil on the paper simultaneously. You are not allowed to look at your paper unless your line has finished and you need to start from a new point. Imagine you are touching the edge of your model.

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This exercise should be done slowly and carefully. The less rushed the better, aim for 15 to 20 minutes per drawing. Draw anything, such as your hand, foot, fruit, flower, stone, tree, shoe or yourself in the mirror. Contour has a three dimensional quality - it indicates the thickness, length and width of the form it surrounds, it is not the same as an outline.

Have a go at this exercise it was my first time so it didn't turn out great but I learnt from it! The images show my hand contour, then a glass I drew over it and my glasses. It may not look accurate but the idea of the exercise is to link what you see with what you touch.
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Hope you found this exercise interesting!

Ian,

Thanks for checking out my work!

Check out more art from @ntopaz, @artzone, @art-venture, @stef1 & @sweettais!

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