If viral news is getting to you, take a break from work, school or washing everything in sight. Try blind contour drawing! I guarantee that you’ll create something strange and probably funny. Here’s my sketch.
I’m right handed. I drew with my right hand but made the entire sketch without looking at my paper. You can do it, too. All you need is something to draw, a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. I used a pen.
Step one: Place the tip of your pen at a spot on the inside of your paper. Then look at what you want to draw – the subject.
Step two: Focus your eyes on a point at the edge of your subject. Now move your gaze ever so slowly along that edge. Move your pen at the same time, noting every dip and variation that you see before you. Look only at your subject. Do NOT look at your drawing.
Step three: Follow the contours, moving in and out, all the way around your subject. You may draw both inside and outside edges to make a complex network of lines. Remember, go slowly. Keep your pen on the paper, and do not look at your drawing!
Step four: When you have finished, look at your paper. What do you think? I love the surprise of seeing what I’ve drawn.
As you do more drawing, you might change your process. Allow yourself to look at your paper now and then. Focus on the contours of your subject, but from time to time check the location of your pen. If you need to, lift your pen and move it.
When talk of viruses or social isolation gets you down, have some fun. Contour drawing is easy. It’s guaranteed to be silly, and you can share the results online!
This approach to drawing was made popular by Betty Edwards in her book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Copyright Liz Macklin 2020