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.
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.
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).
My nine year old drew a toy musket, a cuddly spider, and my face – all those noodle lines being my scruffy hair.
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.
My 13 year old drew the wooden manikin (brown), my face (red), the Pop zombie (blue), and a model catamaran (orange).
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.