Blind Contour Drawing

Blind contour drawing was something I started doing when attending Life Drawing classes back in Argyll.  It was always a really great warm up exercise as it sharpens my observational skills, makes me really think about the connection between shapes and angles.  It was also occasionally helpful in loosening up my mark making a bit.  Usually I deployed it for quick gestural drawings but, being fairly speedy at drawing, I also used to do blind contour studies of longer poses from time to time if I had adequate time left in a pose.

My kids always liked to look at my life drawings each week and they would chuckle at the blind contour drawings.  It seemed, therefore, like a good idea to get them to try blind contour drawing for themselves.  As I had hoped, they had a blast doing it and there was much mirth as we shared our drawings with each other.  Hopefully they also learned something about observing things closely when drawing.

Blind Contour 1

The activity began with a quick demonstration by me, since it is easier to teach blind contour through “monkey-see-monkey-do” methodology than through words.  I, therefore, did very speedy drawings (no more than a minute each) of each of my sons.  They loved seeing what I had made of their faces.

Blind Contour 2 LRDP

My seven year old drew my face (in the red at top left), a wooden art manikin (in orange), and a Pop vinyl zombie figure (in black).

Blind Contour 3 AR

My nine year old drew a toy musket, a cuddly spider, and my face – all those noodle lines being my scruffy hair.

Blind Contour 4 ET

Blind Contour 5 ET

My 10 year old drew BB8 (in black), the Pop vinyl zombie (in blue), and the toy musket (in orange).  We all had a really hooting chuckle at the musket.  It looks like the offspring of some sort of phallic eel and Nemo the clown fish.

Blind Contour 6 OA

My 13 year old drew  the wooden manikin (brown), my face (red), the Pop zombie (blue), and a model catamaran (orange).

Blind Contour 7 AB

If you have never done blind contour drawing before, I heartily recommend it. It is so much fun and the results are often very amusing.







14 thoughts on “Blind Contour Drawing

    • Don’t be intimidated by it, Amy. The objective isn’t about what appears on the paper after all but is instead about focusing the eye on the detail of the subject, the shapes and angles.

    • No, you keep your eyes on what you are studying, the subject of your drawing, and you cover your paper and your drawing hand with another piece of paper. If you see the first photo in my blog post,you will see that one of my sons is using a brown paper bag so he cannot see his page and another is using a page of his art journal to cover the page he is working on.

      • yes we will 🙂 I was following the methods in Betty Edwarsd book, drawing from the right side of the brain with him a while ago.. you know when you draw something while looking at it upside down 🙂 i was amazed how well it worked for him! we also did a lot of self portraits. I love watching my son’s self portraits as years go by! I thing the blind contour drawing will be next!

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