You can rework the schematic lines you drew in the previous learning events for visual
accuracy. These schematic lines are the right length, direction, and angle. Add line weight and
line quality (the small variations in the thickness and direction of a line). This is done by seeing
abstractly, and practicing.
Now go into contour exercises.
The first is positive/negative space, the second is
a. Positive space is that taken by the object you wish to draw. Negative space is the area
surrounding the object. The study of positive and negative space will enable you to better see the
shape you are drawing. For this exercise, use drawing 3 (app A-6). On tracing paper, trace the
image and draw a subject rectangle around the subject in the illustration. Concentrate on the
negative space. Now shade in the area of negative space that touches the object. This completes
a negative space drawing. Notice how the object appears even though you did not draw the
object itself (fig 2-17). Add appropriate contours as needed. Without contours to further define
the subject, you only have a silhouette.
b. Use blind/modified contour drawings to concentrate on the details along the edges of
a form. Contour drawings will help improve eye-hand coordination. Make a blind contour
drawing by looking at the subject only, and not the drawing until you are finished. An
(1) For a blind contour drawing, pose the nondrawing hand, palm up, in a semiflexed
but relaxed position (fig 2-18). Start at any point along the edge of the hand. Do this as if you
were drawing the hand with your eyes. Simultaneously, draw the contours that your eyes are
following. Make sure the drawing surface is not within the field of vision. This drawing should
be done slowly; spend at least seven minutes on it. Remember, don't look at the drawing surface
until the "blind" contour drawing is completed.
(2) A modified contour drawing follows basically the same approach as blind contour
drawing. The difference is - a modified contour drawing allows you to glance at the drawing's
progress every 15 seconds or so.
c. You shouldn't be concerned if the drawings don't look exactly like your hand.
Correct proportion is not necessary in contour drawing. Its goal is to help develop eye-hand
coordination and make you more aware of the subtleties of contour. Practice and repetition will
be the most help with attaining accuracy.