Friday, May 09, 2008

Blind Contour

It is almost bedtime and I'm so tired. I was up early today with a long list of jobs to get done. I got through almost all of them and now I just want to sleep. I have Rose Street tomorrow and I'm packing a few art books to take along for Bridget. We spent a bit of time chatting about drawing and so I've got Betty Edwards Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain and the Dan Eldon book to show her.

The Betty Edwards book is one I have had for ages, I think Mum got it for me in high school. I would always look at the before and after pictures of people who did the course and be amazed by the improvements. I found its true value when I started teaching art to high school students and although almost all the kids in the room would look at me funny when I told them they had to spend the first 15 minutes NOT looking at the paper one would always put their hand up and answer blind contour when I asked them if they knew what it was called. They started to understand when I told them that the eye is connected to the hand via the brain and to trust that relationships but when they saw the actual improvements in the drawings they knew I wasn't talking crazy art teacher talk.

When I got to the museum to draw the birds I sat down and start drawing a really detailed drawing. I got a few minutes in and realised I wasn't doing what I should be and there were about 150 kids who, if they saw me, would say Miss Blaaaaaaaaandford, you shouldn't be looking at your paper. The mess of lines above is my blind contour.


Emmarose said...

Yeah, I feel this. After so many years not drawing. I have felt that I need to do really detailed, intense drawings. Ending in dissapointment. Whereas, to get the mojo going, I have to lay back and just let the pencil do the work. Stop 'thinking' quite so much. I love Bridget's concept of drawing left handed for loose lines.

Helen | Pepperina Press said...

I owned Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain when I was in high school! Although we didn't have it in class, I just used it at home. The other exercises in drawing with your left hand and drawing from upside-down images really helped me too. I'm a believer. It should be forced upon everyone who says, "But I can't draw."

Ok, not forced. But you know.