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Contour Line Drawing

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Christine Gerace

on 30 November 2017

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Transcript of Contour Line Drawing

What does Contour Drawing Mean?
Contour Line
-the line that represents the
of an object, not necessarily just the


Contour drawing, is an artistic technique where you draw only the edges or outlines of the objects you see. There is
no advanced shading
Contour lines
Drawing with Lines
Types of contour drawings:
Modified Contour:
A modified contour drawing is an
outer contour
drawing with the
of lines within the object. It makes the object look more
Blind Contour:
An exercise in which you concentrate on the
outer contours
of an object you are drawing and avoid looking at your paper and picking up your pen.
Outline contour
The line around the outer edge of an object that shows the
overall shape
of the object that you are viewing from a
particular spot
, such as a silhouette.

Be prepared for a quiz on the material given!
Blind Contour line drawing
Draw an object using observation without looking at your paper while drawing the object.
There are many types of Contour drawings but we will be focusing on only 3.

What kind of contour is it?
Homework Piece:

DUE in 2 weeks!

Create a blind contour self portrait drawing on nice paper with india ink and bamboo brushes that you will borrow from the classroom. Bring your finished contour portrait into class in 2 week for critique.

You will be graded on the careful observations that you make to produce a likeness, not an exact rendering.
Alexander Calder

Egon Schiele

Famous Artists:
Pablo Picasso

Contemporary Artists:
Ian Sklarsky:

“ The first thing that I do is sit down and set the paper in front of me. I study the picture or subject and look for a pattern in flow; where the pen should start and finish...” - Sklarsky
Why Are We Doing This?
When I ask students at the beginning of the year what they want to learn in art, they almost all say they
want to learn how to draw
But when given the chance- like the early finishers- few show much effort.
Open up your sketchbooks and use your pencil to
make a pure contour drawing of a classroom object

The rules
1. Once your pencil hits the page,
don't lift it
. You're making one continuous line. Eyes focus from object to paper without head movement.
You should still spend 90% of your time looking at the object you are drawing!

2. Your eyes and drawing hand move at the same speed - slooooowwwwly.

If you finish your pure contour drawing quickly, you can
incorporate different line qualities
like we talked about last class.

You have
5 minutes
3/3 What is a line?
"A line is a dot that went for a walk."
-Paul Klee.
Raphaëlle de Groot
Exercise 1
Exercise 2
Pure contour line drawing
Pin your drawing to the board when you finish.
Use the same object as the one used for the pure contour line drawing.
1. DO NOT take your pencil off the paper until you are finished.
You have 5 minutes!
At the end of the class...

"We are in a world of monitoring, control, performance, of affirmation, . There is much to gain from the fact of being destabilized, of not understanding."
Many artists made contour line drawings on paper, but Calder was the first to use wire to create three-dimensional line "drawings"
A recap
- Doing observation and contour drawings improves your eyes to hand communication and coordination
- Many artists use contour drawing as an exercise to warm up before a drawing session
Understanding the contour of the object is essential to drawing- breaking an object into basic shapes and forms.

Blind Contour Drawings
You will draw a blind contour drawing of the face of your partner.
You should maintain
eye contact
Your hands will be covered by paper to remove any temptation to look down.
Try not to pick up your
You will have five minutes to draw. Take your time! If you finish early try to draw your partners hand on the back of the page.
Gesture drawings are quick sketches that are based on a quick observation of the object you are drawing. Break down your object into a number of simple shapes and lines that make up the structure of your object.
This form of drawing encourages faster drawing but good observation. You must be able to quickly see the basic structure of the object.

Steps to Successful Gesture Drawing…
1. FOCUS--- constantly. Estimate proportions, contours, movement, and contrasts quickly. Determine contours first, then interior shapes and shadows.
2. DRAW LIGHTLY---then get darker as you correct your mistakes and finalize your work
3. DRAW QUICKLY--- Keep the pencil/pen in constant circular and linear motion. Catch the form, not the details.

4. CONSTANT MOVEMENT---Quick, light drawing
5. TIMED DRAWINGS---1-2 minutes. It's a challenge, but only in the beginning.
6. NO ERASING. Gesture drawing's purpose is to develop visual skills which will effect expertise. Erasing breaks focus and wastes time.

You will have five minutes to do a gesture drawing of the object on your table.

Start with a quick contour drawing of the object.

2) Add to the drawing by quickly shading (hatching, cross hatching, scribble, etc) to finish your gesture drawing.

Gesture Drawings
Don’t forget…
When it comes to learning how to draw
Practice makes
Bring in clip art or a drawing of an
object you want to teach others
how to draw. You can print it
or draw it out on paper. You
will have to draw a step by step
blueprint and then teach it to others.

Step one:
You begin by making a contour drawing of the image you have chosen.

Step two:
Take a sharpie marker and trace over your drawing in one line, not picking up your marker. Start on one side of the drawing and weave your way to the other side.

Wire Sculpture
You need to decide what thickness you need your wire to be by viewing class examples. For some projects you will need to braid your wire.

Contour Line -What is the line that represents the edges of an object, not necessarily just the silhouette?
Outline contour -The line around the outer edge of a figure or an object that shows the overall shape of the person or object that you are viewing from a particular spot, such as a silhouette.
Blind contour drawing- An exercise in which you concentrate on the outer contours of an object you are drawing and avoid looking at your paper.

Let's review!!
Shape – An enclosed space having only
two dimensions
ex. circle, square, ...
Geometric Shapes – Shapes that appear

Organic Shapes- Shapes "found in nature" that can also be described as
free form

Form – An element of art that is

The four basic forms are: sphere, cone, cylinder, and cube.

Draw the image below in the open box. The image should match exactly in size and shape.
You may create guidelines to help you draw. The drawing is worth 10 points.

Element of Art: Line
After time is called-In your group answer...
1) Whose drawing is most successful? Why?
2) What did that person do differently?
3) Why does it look more realistic?
Types of Line:

zig zag

Drawing exercise
1. Fold your paper in half. - hamburger style

2. Without lifting your pencil, draw the onion in front of you. You may retrace lines, but you cannot lift your pencil and you cannot erase. Fill the entire space.
Continuous Contour Line Drawing
Drawing the shape and detail
of an object without lifting
your pencil and without erasing.
What was the most difficult part of this exercise?
Does the object look like it has three dimensional form in your drawing? Why or why not?
What kind of line did you use inside the onion?
Andy Warhol: Five views of an onion
Describe the lines Warhol used to draw his objects
How does he achieve volume without much use of shading?
Warhol did not use an eraser; he would just start a new drawing. Why do you think he did this?
Two Types of Seeing and Knowing :
Left Brain Usage: verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words

Right Brain Usage: nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures, and colors.

Most activities require usage of only one side,
Drawing requires both

Learning to Draw:
means learning how to make a mental shift from left to right brain.

How Can we learn to consciously access our right and left brain when drawing?

Technique: Blind Contour Drawing!!!
many people draw what they THINK they see and not what they REALLY see (symbols of trees, hearts, etc. rather than observational drawing.)
Increases eye – hand coordination while capturing an intricate outline of an object
Trains artists to draw from observation, not memory
Blind Contour Drawing is a way to improve observational drawing skills. It is tough and intimidating at first, but FUN!

Our world is so driven to perfection that we often stop what we are doing simply because we know we cannot be perfect at it.
Failing is just another term for perfecting an action.
Objectives: You will identify and understand the difference between drawing with

contour lines

You will create multiple drawings using contour lines.

You will review some

of art & how to use them.
You will learn to think about style in your artwork & the work of others. You will


Which is which?
Contour lines are made in one fluid motion.

"Sketchy" lines are not appropriate here.

Line width is also important in showing mass and weight in an object. Thicker lines often show mass or weight.
1. What is the definition of contour lines?
2. What is the difference between a contour line and a blind contour line?
3. What does the varying thickness of lines in a contour line drawing suggest? (show)

Be prepared for a test Thursday on the material given!
Cross Contour:
Follows the "
of the form. You would draw lines that would follow along the
Cross contour line is used in map making to show
A continuous mark made by a
moving point
Directions of Line:
Be prepared for a test Thursday!!
Cross contour lines-
wrap around the form
, showing three dimensional space, perspective, and sometimes shading.
Good Choice!
But you only need this!!
You have to make your own steps!
This is good too maybe with a few extra details!
Rounded objects should have
Cross contour
Outline contour
Modified contour
This is what some will look like
Great idea for a quiz??
Not picking up your pen!
Is a silhouette a form?
Reminder- You have a test tomorrow on the
information in yesterday's prezi!
Your worksheets are due tomorrow!

What are the four types of contour line drawings we learned about yesterday?
Take out your clip art homework if you have it.

You will create a step by step blueprint of how to draw your image. A blueprint that will teach others how to draw your selected image.

You will be teaching this to others at some point.

We also use blueprints in our upcoming ceramics unit so it is early practice!!!
This needs a few more steps. You must create at least 8 steps.
What do you think is a fun way to ask someone to prom through art?
3/5 "Who's more foolish; the fool, or the fool who follows him?"
- Obi-Wan Kenobi

If you get into trouble for your behavior in the classroom and you say its because someone else started it, who is more foolish??
Gesture Drawing
Create a quick gesture drawing of an object provided for you. You have 3 minutes for the drawing.
When you finish use a black marker to outline the drawing in one line. YOU MAY NOT PICK UP YOUR MARKER. You have to trace your gesture drawing with one continuous line.
If you practiced something that only had 6 steps what could you add to the drawing to
create 2 more steps?
Steps cannot be too similar just to add steps!!!
There are still 8 steps without that one! So yay!
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