Daily Paper Prompt #64: Contour Drawing

“It had long since come to my attention
that people of accomplishment rarely
sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.”
Leonardo da Vinci


3x5" index cards, ink, gouache

This Daily Paper Prompt originated in the 2014 ICAD group at Facebook where we started doing blind contour drawings of ourselves. So grab a few index cards and a fine-nibbed black pen. Close your eyes and draw a girl, trying not to lift the pen. You can draw your vision of yourself or draw any girl. I love how my drawings turned out - with a bit of depth and playfulness.


Drew a second set of girls while looking in the mirror or while looking at models in advertisements. These were models in Vogue. For this prompt:

1) Draw a face on an index card with your eyes closed {squint if you must, but keep going with that line work}, keeping the pen to the paper, drawing one line, non-stop.
2) Draw a face on an index card while looking at a photograph of a face or your beautiful self in a mirror.  

Here's an example of what blind contour drawings look like, and the value of this technique. Per the Lane Tech site, "We all new the drawings would be silly and incorrectly proportioned, which took the pressure off making a great drawing and allowed students to focus on observing closely and recording like a scientist."

Find an in-depth lesson in blind contour drawing by Bartel Art.

For more insight and ideas about this style of line art, and related journaling ideas... see Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Life and Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists.

Check out the index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts!