Day 43: Blind Contour Pug

 Today’s project was to learn something new, to ask a friend to help you do something using a technique or skill they’re good at.

My friend Toby’s 365 project involved many amazing blind contour drawings, so I asked him for some instruction.  Here’s what he said, “if you’re doing eloise, it will be easiest if you can catch her in one place for a while, like sleeping. set your pen on the paper, then look at what you’re going to draw. a line contour means you don’t pick up your pen the whole time, and a blind contour means you don’t look at the paper. break eloise down into lines – the particular curve of the top of her head, the angles of the ears, a wrinkle or fold of skin you might not have paid attention to before that seems like it wants to connect the side of her face with her nose. it’s a really sloppy process, and a lot of my early ones were indecipherable jumbles of intersecting lines. when i finish, i darken the lines i want to stand out and fill in details, like hair and eyebrows or shadows. if you google image search for blind contour, you can see a range of examples. for most of my blind contours this year, i’ve used a very thin pen to do the original drawing (self-portraits, so looking in the mirror), and then used a thicker pen to do the darkening of lines and filling in, and then sometimes watercolors or colored pencils to further decorate. i figure as long as the original drawing is blind and one continuous line, whatever i do to it afterwards is my artistic prerogative. the more relaxed you can keep your hand while you draw, the less likely you are to have a big outline with extremely tight, small details within. once you get a rhythm, you’ll find you also get different results depending on where you start. for example, my self-portraits that i started with both eyes were very different than ones where i did one eye, then went to the ear and over the head and got to the other eye much later. good luck!”

Getting Eloise to stay still is not generally a problem, since she sleeps most of the day.  Yet, she moved almost every time I took out the pen today. Maybe it was in anticipation of my poor ability to render her likeness.

Per Toby’s suggestion, I added some details to one of the better ones. The last one is the result.


About puglife

Eloise the pug, starred in my 2012 project "365 Days of Pugs". Halley the pug, a recent addition, will no likely be featured her when she can stay still long enough to have her picture taken.
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