Monday, July 18, 2005

Exercise: Blind Contour Drawing

Place your pencil on the paper. Focus your eyes on a point on the model, any point that lies on a contour line. As you do this, feel as if the tip of your pencil is touching not the paper, but the point on the model. Make sure you convince yourself of this. Make sure you feel it. Then, and only then, start to move your eye slowly along the contour line. At the same time, your pencil should travel, equally slowly, on the paper, following the same motion as the eye. As you feel your way over the lines of the model, the pencil should draw the contour on the paper. Move your eyes slowly on the model’s contour line, move your hand slowly on the paper, following the same motion, BELIEVING that your hand is touching the model. NEVER look at the paper. You are NOT drawing on the paper, you are drawing on the model. Believe that it is the model’s skin you are feeling and not the paper, pressing against your pencil. When a contour ends behind another one you are allowed to look at the paper, just to place the tip where the new contour begins. Then repeat the process. Do this until you are too tired to go on. There is no such thing as a real ending anyway.

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