Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Don’t Look Now!

Well, don’t look at your paper; do look intently at your subject and draw it. 

Tuesday Tips and Tricks

Blind-Contour Drawing 

Too Much Espresso

 A blind-contour drawing is essentially drawing the outline of your subject without looking at your paper. I’m using the term contour rather loosely. It’s really a combination of contour and continuous-line drawing. Doing blind contour exercises can have real benefits for your sketching technique.


  • Choose your subject and decide where you are going to start. 
  • Put your pencil, pen or marker on the paper at your starting point and begin.
  • Do not look at your paper until you are finished! I know it’s hard but don’t cheat.
  • Believe your pen is touching the edge of your subject and begin to move along the form with your eye on your subject and your pen on the paper. Imagine your pen feeling the line, the curves, each nook and cranny.
  • Draw without lifting your pen off the paper.



  • Think in terms of line, shape, direction, sharp, rounded, etc. rather than objects.
  • Draw at a consistent pace.
  • When you reach a point where two lines intersect or two forms meet you don’t have to stay on the outer edge but keep your pen on the paper.

When you’re back where you started take a look at your drawing. You’ll probably see some distortions, way off proportions but some areas may be remarkably accurate. You may also see an energy and sensitivity and an expressive line that aren’t present in other drawings. Whatever you see there are real benefits to blind contour exercises.

One Hanger,Three Times


  • Improves your eye-hand coordination.
  • Encourages you to draw what you see, not what you know.
  • It helps you understand your subject.
  • You become more involved in the process rather than product.
  • Continuous-line, blind-contour drawings are a great way to warm up for a drawing session. 
  • For urban sketchers it’s good experience for when we’re drawing in the dark, in our pockets or under the table!
  • It’s fun.
If you enjoy our Tuesday Tips & Tricks you'll love our July sketching seminar! Check it out on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and our 2015 Seminar Blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment