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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Exercise 2.3

Blind Contour Drawing

Well this was an interesting challenge. It isn't the first time hearing of this exercise, but certainly not something I gave much effort in practising before. It didn't stop me going full steam ahead on this one. Just the idea of not really caring about the outcome and have a laugh at your own expense sounds like an exercise I can get behind.

I decided to start with fruit being the simple collection for a still life. In hindsight, I realise the selection probably wasn't the wisest for blind drawing... bananas and apple... well..

Ok so, not the most appealing start.. Tried a few views on this which meant taking a closer look and trying to get the details of the banana end rather than the whole setup. It was uninspiring to say the least, I quickly needed to change the still life for a new set of objects, one for a challenge and one for interest.

After sharpening the pencil, the sharpener seemed like a good object which features a few little details that could be the kind of challenge I wanted. It was certainly more interesting with the intricacy, but not too much to begin with.. and actually I really like the results!

Feeling a bit inspired by this tiny sharpener for my blind drawing, I decided to find another item I thought had enough complex line and shapes that would be equally interesting to draw blind. Using a phone mount stand, I set off with the drawing. What I found interesting about this practise, is the way your eye slowly follows each line, which is time with the motion in your hand as you draw. The result, it feels, is like photocopying the object. I feel as though I end up drawing the object roughly the same measurements as the object itself.

I was enjoying this process a lot. After drawing a few other objects, like a bottle and even the remains of flower that had the petals dropping off, I decided to try the exercise using oil pastels. I wanted to create something a little thicker and substantial rather than limiting oneself to a pencil or fine line.

I just couldn't seem to stop on this exercise! Now that the oil pastels were out, I wanted to try a different approach. This time using colour and actually filling in the shapes rather than just outline. I also tried using the colours of the object for the outline. Which did I find easier? in a way, the colour seemed to have resembled the shape more than the outline, but both were fun!

Another element to this exercise I enjoyed, was making one drawing on a page and then moving on. I didn't feel the need to fill every space of a page like in the early stages. I really loved the simplistic lines in weird wonky ways that didn't connect, and the bright white page contrasting it. It felt graphic, and inspiring for prints.


Although this exercise felt short, I feel I had the most fun. I learned that the objects with a technical look about it, with curves, straight lines and other shapes that you can freely draw without looking at, creates really nice abstract work, almost cubism like. I can imagine drawing things like engines or machinery parts in general could work well with this. I enjoy looking at how disconnected the elements are, and seeing how lines overlap where they shouldn't. I think if lost for ideas, this would be an exercise I'd like to try more of, and in fact may continue this as a warm up in the sketchbook!


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