blind contour self-portraits 2.24.2022

I’ve started a series of self portraits using the blind contour method of drawing. Blind contour drawing is a technique that some suggest improves hand-eye coordination and hones observation skills. But I use it for the results I get. It’s my favorite drawing method.

In blind contour drawing, the artist looks only at the subject while drawing – not at the paper – and once the drawing utensil is put to paper, it’s not supposed to be picked up. I break the blind contour drawing rules a little. I do look at the paper occasionally, but never when my pencil is moving. I pick up the pencil occasionally, look at the paper, re-situate the pencil, then look only at my face again as I proceed with the drawing.

This is drawn with a black felt-tip pen, then the lines are painted over with a wet paint brush.

I divide the 9×12 inch, 98 pound drawing paper into four even rectangles. Then I sit in front of a mirror and, using a hard pencil, (with hard lead that draws a very light line,) I draw myself in each box. I draw over the pencil lines with marker or ink. Sometimes I use waterproof ink and other times non-waterproof ink. Sometimes I use black ink and other times I use colored ink.

These lines are drawn with non-waterproof ink and a dip pen, then watercolor paint is added.
This is just part of my pen nib collection, and I tested each nib so I could remember the kind of lines they made.

I’m drawing more than my face in other pieces I’m working on, but think I’ll continue this series I call “Four Rachels” for awhile, because I’m really liking the results.

Waterproof ink and watercolor. I’m slowly adding more and more color to each consecutive drawing.

I’m also testing out this technique with other peoples faces, but drawn from photographs instead of real life. Seeing the lines on someone’s face in a photograph is a lot harder than seeing the lines on a live face, and the pieces based on photos aren’t as good, in my opinion. But I haven’t given up on that idea yet and will continue both methods for now.


4 thoughts on “blind contour self-portraits 2.24.2022

  1. What a wonderful sharingyou mention. Much love and gratitude. I will try it myself loving the hand eye conditiong… coyote


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