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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Note #7 - Limitations of Pure Control Drawing

Okay short recap ---  pure contour drawing is drawing the outline or visible edges of an object ignoring details like shadows, color or highlights. In drawing, select a point of view and keep it. In contour drawing, you will also find that some edges (like when they flatten out) are best not drawn but implied or suggested with broken lines or line weights. In so implying lines, we are reminded of our signatory or calligraphic line to use. 

Pure contour drawing has its limitations. A simple object with edges drawn will offer no information about its three-dimensional form. Only the context of the drawing gives clues about the form. For example, a circle can be a ball, a hole, or a flat disk. Catch my drift? That’s why it can be easy to misinterpret shapes, that’s why we look at some shapes as odd or badly drawn. In this illustration, the fingers look mis-shapen because lack of info gives the viewer insufficient clues as to the degree of foreshortening (Foreshortening is a drawing term which means an instance when an object appears compressed when seen from a particular viewpoint, and the effect of perspective causes distortion).

Adding detail gives the viewer more information about the form. Varied lineweight - lighter lines - or implied lines, where a line breaks off and resumes - makes it clear that these are not sharply defined contours, but surface details or softer edges. In this example, these types of line have been used to describe creases in the hand, and to suggest the planes formed by the bent fingers.


With some knowledge of contour drawing, we shall do some drawing exercises our whiteboard, I hope you can follow and spend sometime drawing these J Remember, pick a point of view and hold it until the drawing is complete. You will notice that along the way, the relative sizes, shapes and directions of the lines are noted and copied, a bit at a time. Take your time, the first pars of the drawing establishes the scale for the whole drawing !!! If you made the mistake of running the drawing off the board, just finish it or start afresh.

 Okay, choose a small object, whatever you have handy. Pieces of fruit, and natural objects such as plants or leaves, are the easiest. A small kitchen or office object. (it’s the mouse for me, remember to use the white paint for doing the line weights). At the onset, it is good to make your drawing the same size as the object. Place very small objects close to your monitor, bigger things a little further away. Just pick a point on an edge of the object and continue along with your eyes, letting your hand copy the shape on the whiteboard. If there is a strong line, such as a fold or crease across the object, draw that too. Sometimes it helps to squint your eyes so you can see the 'silhouette' of the object. This is the basic shape you are trying to capture. Try to make implied lines and line weights ..

Think of these drawings as a warm-up exercise - there is no right or wrong. At this stage, all you want to do is practice getting your hand and eye to do the same thing, judging the size and shape of the edges you can see. Don’t even sweat if the shapes are not perfect.
If you feel you are ready to be critical, place your drawing close to the object, and consider whether the shapes you can see match those you have drawn. Are the proportions right? Have you included all the details, or did you skip the tricky bits?

We shall go further on the next notes and start drawing … remember to say something nice to someone today and God bless !!!