Sunday, 12 May 2013

Drawing Blind Contoures

Whoa, another post? Oh yessss, read on ;)

I had to catch up for our draw along so it was blind contour drawing time. It's really interesting how this goes. My first giraffe contour had quite a resemblance to the original photo and then some of the next ones too but it looks like my brain can't concentrate for a very long time doing this. And this manifests in shorter or longer lines which make the end result really funny :)  I just couldn't pull off the whole giraffe but could do reasonably well with only the head. Maybe I would improve over time but it was really quite different from the first lesson when I was drawing cats where I could see the improvement from one cat to another.

Here is my first batch of drawings; top right was the first page I did (and some are rotated):

Then I decided to do some other animals and I couldn't believe how hard it was to draw a really simple bird outline. This is really an interesting exercise. It looks to me as if I captured the things I thought were the most obvious or interesting. Like if the communication between my brain and hand went along these lines: "Line going slightly to left, slow down a bit, going up now, oh my does this eye look gorgeously big, nevermind this now, adjust the line please, it's supposed to go slightly more to the right and o nooo, this is a wrong angle, it's going to fall off the paper you ....". Some features "pulled" me away - they deconcentrated me - so I had to work really hard on following the outline if I wanted to draw something resembling the photos.

But I do love the results. I think these would look great on a T-shirt and I think I'll do one. Just don't know what to choose. Flower? Animal? Suggestions are warmly welcomed :)

This is my final drawing:

It was done with 3 outlines above one another and you can see the fourth one on the top left side (I'm not sure it was meant to be done this way but that's how I went about it). I colored everything with water soluble pencils and then almost chickened out for using water over them (it's because the results are usually not what I want them to be). But I did use water and after everything dried out went over with some ordinary colored pencils for a few touch-ups. I think I should just stop using the water ones or at least for the time until I figure out how to use them properly.

And if you are wondering about the paper I'm using - it's from a cereal box because I decided to somehow recycle them and because I plan to bind them all in a book once I have all the lessons finished. It should look pretty awsome - having everything in one fat book :)


Katrin said...

The Panda ones look really cute! :3

It's so much fun to see other people's results! I think your final giraffe turned out really awesome! And I love the idea of using cereal box cardboard! That's a brilliant idea!

I only did some giraffes yet, I think I need anther day to try other animals as well.^^

nini said...

I like pandas too, and the little owl that looks so pissed off :D Isn't it cool that even if they are merely blind contours you can still see what's portrayed.

I can't wait to see your drawings. I hope you'll publish them soon :)

Cindy D. said...

Very cool! Hilarious how some of them look like giraffes or the other animals, and some... not so much. I really like the colored one! As for which on a t-shirt, so hard to say, but owls seem quite popular these days. :)

nini said...

Hilarious indeed, so so funny to see what came to life on paper once you take a look at it :D

Thank you so much for your input about the T-shirt. Yes, owls have been trendy for quite some time now.... hmmm.... I should just go for it and not think about it too much ;) One owl coming up soon!

Esther Lankhaar said...

:-) I think the left bear-head would be very nice on a t-shirt!

Yvonne said...

I totally love the angry-looking owl for a t-shirt :D I'll order one if you get them made :D True, you see owls everywhere these days, but I kind of see why - probably proving I'm a trend-follower, not a watcher ;)

I really love your blind contours, and I'm going to do some more when I get time, of other things, trying to cheat less ;) I think your brain just listens better than mine, and that's a good thing! I'm in overdrive at the moment, and I can't seem to tell myself to let go a little - I guess some meditation/yoga is in order ;) (note to self: find time!)

Love the watercolour pencil coloured one - totally appreciate the hesitance and that you went for it, anyway. I argue with my watercolour pencils too, but I DO chicken out, more than I don't ;) I love that you did the blind contour a couple of times and then chose a 'path' - the extra lines give the drawing movement!

Re-using the cardboard - cool idea! Did you prepare them with gesso or something, or draw on them like that?

& I really think lingering over the interesting parts, giving them more attention than the rest, are part of the fun - it tells you a lot about how YOU see the thing you draw, and that makes the drawing yours! I don't think there are very specific rules when it comes to blind contours - or there shouldn't be ;)

nini said...

You do? oooh :) thank you for saying so!

nini said...

One angry-looking owl for Yvonne - noted ;)

Well, looks like I couldn't really read your "in between the lines" meanings over on fb :) You really got me confused in the end, haha.

I can see something is happening with you because you are active again. I never had to calm down, I was on a roll for such a short time but I loved every minute of it. Wish I can catch it again. Soon.

About the cardboard. I gessoed the first one, for the cat, because I knew I'll be gluing onto it and all. But I had to have a huge pile of books on it after I finished because it started to curl up pretty much. This one I just colored and even with the water I put on, it was fine.

I really like your comments Yvonne. Please don't disappear so much ;)

And I totally love what you said about what makes a drawing our own. The things we see, the things that get our attention. With these blind contoures that's pretty obvious. Not so much if you are trying to get things totally right I'd say.

Koosje Koene said...

Having them in one fat, binded book is a great idea! And I love the recycling decision.
These are great, it's so interesting to see and recognize the shapes, and I love how you described your thoughts that went buy as you were drawing... The giraffes are supercool, all of them, and you managed to add quite some character to the one in colour. I love seeing the rest of the lines through it as well.
About that t-shirt: I would choose the bear face, the one top right.

nini said...

Thank you Koosje! I can't wait to have all the pages done for my fat book but I should really get going with them in the first place too :D

Pavinee s said...

I really love your final giraffe, the lines and colors, especially its black charming eye.
Love the idea of cereal box, maybe I should cut out from tissue boxes to draw on too :D

nini said...

Oh yes, those are good too! And thank you Pavinee!

Cindy D. said...

Oh my goodness, is this still your latest post! But I do know how easy it is for time to pass much more quickly than it should. Thank you so much for your recent visit to my blog!

nini said...

O my... I know! So much has been going on and I just can't bring myself to post something about it. Like.... you know... who would be interested. But I will... I want to move on from these contour drawings ;)

And you are welcome. I drop by often, don't always comment though. As it's always about how incredibly good your drawings are - must be kind of boring for you already ;)

Cindy D. said...

Haha! I was just telling someone, every comment is still just as encouraging and rewarding as the first one I ever got. But I do try not to bug people about it (too much). :D

nini said...

hehe, I do understand you, it's always nice to be commended on :)

and I did update my blog - thanks to you as well :)