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.