I recently attended an Urban Sketchers workshop here in Perth!!!
Yes, it’s true things do happen in Perth! 🙂
Thanks to Evelyn Bach, who ran the workshop, did so for free and not any stage promoted herself at all. I’ve attended many ‘free’ workshops over the years and often there’s a great deal of self promotion throughout the course or a ton of it at the very end. So I was very grateful to Evelyn, that she ran the workshop purely because she enjoys urban sketching and wanted to share her passion.
A warm up or loosening up exercise we did was to draw the person in front of us without looking at the paper and without lifting our pen. So at all times our pen is in constant contact with the paper. Following the outline first (the contour) of the person’s head, face, and hair.
As you can see I didn’t do too badly, although each of my drawings has only one eye!
Well, what can I say that’s my style 🙂
Actually, no, I didn’t quite know what to do when it came to doing the other eye without lifting the pen and without it looking oddly. Mind you the entire drawing looked odd so I don’t know what I was concerned about.
Ok I cheated
…but just a little , only once or twice did I look at my paper, but very quickly. Not like the others who drew me. They just made an obvious decision to just look at the sheet of paper! So for them it was more contour drawing rather than blind contouring.
For Complicated Scenes
The first time I came across contour and blind contour drawing was in a book I bought by Cathy Johnson. I was going through her drawing for beginners exercises. I have to admit the first time I did it I wasn’t too sure about it but it did warm me up and I was less inhibited to draw. It was just a matter of practice, as with all things.
I still do this exercise from time to time and my drawings are getting better and better. I often use contour drawing when a scene or something I am looking at is or appears complicated to draw and I have no idea where to begin. I start with a contour then fill in the internal lines once the contour is complete. It’s not often accurate and sometimes I get wonky heads but it gives me a good start point. This is a handy technique to master.
Have you ever tried blind contouring? Do you like it?