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.
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.
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.
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.