Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blind Contour - Palms

Another way to "confound" that dominant part of your brain that wants to rush everything, is to draw something of such minute detail, and obscured value as the wrinkles in the palm of your hand. Better yet - draw them without looking at your paper, AT ALL - this is called "Blind Contour Drawing." 
Turn your body so you can't see even the table your paper is on (tape your paper down so it doesn't move, because your other hand won't be able to hold it down).  Relax the hand you don't draw with and hold it still, as you look into it. As if there were a caliper linking your eyeball with your drawing hand (which is resting on the un-see-able paper, with sharpened pencil ready) follow the tiny lines that lace through your palm and around your knuckles, recording these tiny lines with your pencil, like a geiger-counter recording the movements of your eye.  Don't bother with an overall outline - the objective is to record all those little lines, not draw a picture of your hand.  Make yourself do this, uninterrupted, for 5 minutes. Even babies have more than enough lines in their palm to draw in that amount of time. 

If you didn't know what these drawings were, you might not be able to tell, but the lines here still show intense concentration and focus. They even depict form. Knowing the lines of your hand so well, you'll recognize them and realize the accuracy you were able to achieve! This is reward in itself, for the disciplined focus you endured, and will likely stimulate interest in more contour drawing - After a few of these, try drawing a simple inanimate object, like a binder clip. You;ll be surprised by how realistic and 3D your simple line drawing can be with the practice of this technique in your drawing tool kit.  NOW you know what we mean when we say "learning to draw id first learning to see..."

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