Monday, March 9, 2009

A Wonderful Drawing Exercise

This is a photo of the blind contour drawings I demoed in this past weekend's workshop. This photo shows two different angles of a wooden Cardinal carving. Blind contour is an excellent exercise which improves hand - eye coordination and really helps you to SEE. The idea is to refrain from looking down at your paper while you slowly draw your subject, caressing the object with your eyes. If you loose your way, you can look down and reposition your pencil if need be, but while drawing, you must not look at your paper, concentrating only on following the contours of the shape. The results will not be completely accurate, but often makes for some interesting studies.


  1. Wow!! Amazing... my blind contours would have ended up looking like a side of fries.

  2. Hey Sheila - The more you do it, the more they'll start to look like your subject. Give it a try and remember to go real slow!

  3. I agree with Sheila--I'd have a tough time with this!

    Sandy, the cradled panels do not have canvas on them--they're just wood, so you have to gesso them. They are quite a bit cheaper and work really well if you like an absorbent feel. If you want the surface to be a bit more slick, you can put a layer of liquin down before you paint. You can also use amber shellac on the wood instead of gesso. I haven't tried that yet but a friend has and they're a beautiful, transparent yellow-ochre tone.
    Good luck with the drawing workshop!

  4. I always enjoyed blind contour in college and love the way they look --- the weirder the better! It's good that you remind other artists to do it. --- D


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