Sunday, June 4, 2017

Continual Line Contour



I've been using "continual line contour" drawing for so long I've forgotten when I learned how. I can tell you it has changed the way I see, draw and paint. I've learned more about observing edges, measuring, overlapping and page placement than any other approach. 
   
In my workshops (sketching, illustrated journal or plein air workshop) I start by demonstrating and teaching this technique. At first students might feel hesitant. But by the end of the workshop I have won them over.  

I keep a collection of props on hand and I ask students to bring props to the workshop too. The more variety the better: jars, kettles, paint tubes, brushes, mugs, wooden and metal tools, artificial flowers, vegetables. 
During the workshop I use a timer so the drawings don't become too involved or precious.  It’s funny how the mind acts when you use a timer…absolute and complete focus! We start by drawing: 1 object in 3 minutes, 2 objects in 6 minutes, 3 objects in 10 minutes. All drawing is done from life (no photos). Once we get comfortable with drawing we begin painting.

Here's a workshop demo:

During the drawing keep your pen on the paper as long as possible. Yes, I said PEN! This exercise will teach you to slow down, look longer and be more certain of shapes, size and edges. There will be a certain amount of distortion to the drawing but I consider this part of the charm.  Continual Line Contour is a good exercise no matter how long you've been drawing. 

Here's a short video I made showing, "Continual Line Contour". I usually work from life but in the video I use a photo so my view would be the same as the viewers. If the video doesn't play click on the link: https://youtu.be/eIVjtb5yQ9Q


"Art like life, is knowing where to draw the line".  Happy Sketching!
Brenda




8 comments:

  1. Your contour drawing video was so helpful to me! This really helped me to see how you do a contour drawing. I think the hardest thing for me has been realizing that anything I draw doesn't have to look exactly like the photo or scene. Thank you for sharing.

    Angel W

    Angel W

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  2. Great video! Thank you for sharing it. I'm going to try this technique myself since I really like your artwork and style. (Perhaps some of your artistic genius will wear off on me??? ) Anyway, I was wondering if you could let us all know what pen you were using in your video. I'm sure you've tried a lot of pens over the years and have winnowed them down to the best one for contour drawing. Thank you.

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  3. Brilliant! Thank you for sharing your art with us.

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    1. Cristina, My pleasure 😊 Thank you for saying so. ~Brenda

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  4. Hi Brenda,
    Thank you for all your wonderful and easily accessible information. I do have one question. I have a Lamy Fountain Pen I just purchased (not used yet) but for the purpose of using it with my watercolor paints. I don't want anything that will bleed or run, so it has to be permanent ink. Is the Noodler's brand in the Lexington Grey a permanent ink? Thank you,
    Dione in Florida

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    1. Dione, Sorry...I don't know. Have you checked the Noodler's website? I'd start there or at www.gouletpens.com
      Brenda

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  5. "Drawing is simply a line going for a walk." Paul Klee, artist

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    1. Joan, Thank you! I've always love that quote and now I know who said it 😊

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