Contour Drawing - A Fun and Easy Way to Make a Professional Looking Piece of Art
By: George McKim
Making a beautiful, simple and expressive drawing can be easy and fun. All you need is a piece of art paper and either a conte crayon or charcoal pencil. How simple is that?
Drawing the human figure, or parts of the human figure, is the ideal subject for contour drawing because there are so many and such a great variety of contours on the human body. So get an art friend, relative or random model to sit for your contour drawing session. Set up your drawing paper on a table or an easel. Plan out your basic composition in your mind before youbegin. You could focus on drawing just the hand, or maybe just the face or perhaps your would like to draw the entire figure.
The most important aspect of contour drawing is training your hand movement to follow your eye movement. The key is to pretend that your eye is the pencil that you are moving along the contour of the body. As you slowly move your eye along the contours, match the movement of your eyes with the movement of the pencil on the paper. But, wait a minute, how can you see what you're doing on the paper when your eyes are on the body? That, my friends, is the fun part of contour drawing; you can't see what you're drawing! It's sort of like drawing blindfolded; how can you make sure you are drawing it correctly. You can't, but that's the cool part of contour drawing; the unexpected, exaggerations in scale and proportions that result are very interesting and make the overall composition exciting.
There are several ways to approach the contour drawing process, as far as time is concerned. You can draw the subject for about 15 to 30 seconds, stop and see what the drawing looks like, then continue on for another 15 or 30 seconds and so on until you finish of , if you are brave, you can do the entire drawing without looking at your drawing. One final tip, if you want your lines to have some variety (a good idea) then vary the pressure on your pencil so that your lines will get darker and thicker in some areas and lighter and thinner in other areas. Thick, dark lines create the illusion of the line moving forward in space and lighter thinner lines move back in space. When you come up with a cool looking drawing, matte it and frame your new masterpiece and hang it on the wall, or sell it!
About the Author:
George McKim wrote for MyArtFriends.com, a website that is not online at this time.
Continuous Line Contour Drawing Lesson
For other articles and videos on this topic, please follow the links below:
Charcoal for drawing is one of the best mediums to hone and refine your artistic skills. This article suggests some useful tips to help make it even more enjoyable.
When you hold a piece of charcoal between your fingers you are doing exactly the same as the mysterious people, or even person, who created the works of art in Chauvet's cave, southern France.
When you see the level of detail that can be achieved in a charcoal art drawing, it is no big surprise to feel the pull and desire to try and create something of your own.
Sketching is a lot of fun, while drawings can be demanding. Yet, both can benefit from the deep blacks produced by charcoal.
Charcoal drawing has come a long way from its primitive beginnings and is a layered and elegant way to express yourself.
With the "torch" in one hand and the burnt stick in the other, you walk into the cave. As you do, you drag the burnt stick over a rock.
The charcoal pencil is one of the most versatile and sophisticated tools in a portrait artist's repertoire. Add it to yours.
Drawing charcoal is available in three different grades. But the medium version is a good overall alternative for your kit.
You can get a lot of shading variation with charcoal. You can almost get a paint-like quality if you work the charcoal real good.
Every artist attempts to draw the figure at some point in their life, be it in a class at school or in their spare time.
Reverse drawing is unique to the charcoal medium. It is similar to the process of woodcuts or block prints where you carve out highlights for
Charcoal comes in a variety of forms, from raw sticks to compressed charcoal, from powder to pencils.
Charcoal has to be older than humanity. No wonder it was one of the first art tools. Keep a few charcoal pencils in your pencil pouch for quick sketching.
I was just thinking about the book, The Zen of Drawing, where it discusses countour drawing as a zen experience. An excellent comparison.