Friday, January 14, 2011

Blind Contour Drawing, Anyone?

At the ATC session on Thu, Moses introduced us to Blind Contour drawing. I'm not an arts student, and have not heard of this before, so I read up a little bit on it. This is a method of drawing popularized in part by Kimon Nicolaïdes in his book The Natural Way to Draw(1941). Apparently, Blind Contour drawing is a favourite with drawing teachers to develop hand-eye communication, and it's an effective training aid. Contour drawing is essentially outline drawing. Blind contour drawing means drawing the outline of the subject without looking at the paper. The end result is not important, rather what is crucial is to observe the subject carefully. The student, fixing their eyes on the outline of the model or object, draws the contour very slowly in a steady, continuous line without lifting the pencil or looking at the paper. The student may look at the paper to place an internal feature, but once they begin to draw it, they do not glance down.

Sound easy? Perhaps. But it sure took some courage and a lot of persuasion before my little girl dared to draw anything! It sure breaks away from convention, and the result, an abstract drawing:)

The theme for the month was Chinese New Year. I found an used piece of transparent wrapping paper in my stash, cut it up into ATC size and backed with a painted card. Next I traced and cut the boy from cardstock and painted him with water-colours, added a brad through all the layers, and his head, body and legs could move. Here are my cards - "Fun with Fire Crackers"!
Traded 2 of them for these - Rita's stamped card, and Sekina Yeoh's origami bunny.

I was jumping with joy when Cathy Vigor's mail came in finally after a month - it contained the last piece for my Zodiac collection, and also the last piece for my Leaf collection. Cathy actually did a replacement for her first piece of leaf that never came after a long 3 months. Here are the 12 Leaf ATCs ...

... the left one of the last row is Cathy's and the right one is my tatted leaf.

And the Zodiac ATCs in the order of the signs. Awesome set, right! Cathy did the Virgo piece, and I did the Pisces piece.

And an "U" is for Union Jack ATC from Sharon Scothern (UK). The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. I love the lacy effect!

And here are my "U" cards. It's not U for Butterfly, but Ulysses Butterfly. What's that? The Ulysses butterfly, also known as the Blue Mountain Butterfly, or the Blue Mountain Swallowtail is a large swallowtail butterfly, endemic to Australasia, and used as an emblem for Queensland tourism. I designed this little critter and tatted them with Size 40 Olympus threads. I think they didn't turn out too bad.


Trillian As said...

So nice, to see all these ATCs in one post.

Suztats said...

More lovely ATC's! Wow!
I've tried the blind contour drawing, and it sure gives interesting results. Have a great weekend.

Debbi Baker said...

The ATCs all look great together Ellen - thanks for posting both collections!!

Valerie said...

love the lunar new year atcs. would u like to swap one with me? i made some but cldn't go to thu's session. :(

your collection of fabric atcs r really cool. hope i'll get to those some time.

Sumire Craft - すみれ手芸 said...

Lovely cards you have made.

Momo said...

It was great reading the extra info about blind contour drawing. :-) Thanks!

Singtatter said...

Hi Ann, I see you have also posted the whole collection on your blog. You did it so well with all the names beside the respective cards. How did you do that?

Singtatter said...

Thanks, Susan! I see you are quite an artist, using many techniques in your paintings. Love the way you use colours in your painting experiments.

Hi Debbi, thanks for swapping! Yep, the ATCs look just great all together. Looking forward to more swaps :)

Hello Valerie, hope you are better now. I have traded 2 of the 3 CNY cards, and keeping the 3rd one for myself. I'll see if I can make more from the wrapper.

Angeline, thanks for also dropping by! I'm sure if you paint on ATCs, they will surely be very lovely.

Thanks Moses for doing all the homework and introducing all these techniques and concepts to us!

Ridgewoman said...

Your contour drawing really brought back memories of sitting in beginning drawing classes with my teacher, Sara ~ at college. It is more difficult than it sounds; but, a lot of fun and the first ‘experiments’ can be really bizzare! Hip bone connected to the head bone...LOL A bit like Picasso line drawings.
How is your tatting coming? Are you working with that, also?

xx Bev