#31: Blind Contour Toy

Blind Contour drawing helps match speed of looking with speed of drawing, and therefore helps develop hand and eye co-ordination.

Tips for improving a blind-contour drawing

  • If you’re tempted to look at your hand, put a piece of card or a paper plate on the end of your pen to shield your view
  • Imagine your pen is guiding your eye recording the contours and changes in surface, texture, or value.
  • Trace your eye along the contours of the subject
  • Keep your hand and eye moving at the same speed
  • The key is to slow down. 

Gather Materials:

  • an artist’s journal, unlined notebook, or piece of paper
  • a pen (a pencil is fine but no erasing allowed)
  • a toy
  • a timer

Today’s Exercise

  • Sit comfortably with the toy set up so that you have a good view of it
  • set the timer for 4 minutes – do as much as you can of the toy until the timer goes off
  • This is a blind contour exercise so look only at the toy, no looking at your paper.
  • Draw one consistent line, never lifting your pen from the page. Don’t look at your drawing until you are finished.
blind contour drawing of stuffed dog

Reflections on the Exercise

  • I find it really hard to keep my eye moving slowly along the contours. It jumps around! I keep telling myself to slow down and move my eye and pen at the same speed but it isn’t happening!
  • I found this to be frustrating. Possibly because my eyes were tired at the end of a long day. Sure I’ll tell myself that.

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