Saturday, October 12, 2013

Contour Line Practice

In my classroom, we began the school year with a unit on contour line drawing. My students struggle with the idea that everyone can learn to draw and complain for days while we draw cans and shoes. Of course any of them who are honestly trying and taking each day as further practice are awe struck by the fact that they are seeing improvement in their drawings. They also complain about me making them use pen. Relax, draw, stress less about mistakes and be confident in your line, I repeat in my room like a mantra to the young teenagers that are now positive that I am some sort of art monster sent to torture them with shoes and a uniball pen.
Through the days I also tried to draw with them at their tables as much as possible, sometimes just to calm my mind and other times to talk them through tough spots in their own work. As a result, I made this lovely line drawing of my husband's oldest pair of combat boots.  It feels to me like a portrait and is my favorite of the many shoes I drew those first two weeks of school.
I highly recommend a week or two of focused contour line drawing with only a pen and simple subjects like pop cans or shoes. It is like boot camp and after a bout of it with my students I always feel like my skills feel less rusty and more ready to draw anything I may feel the need to tackle.

1 comment:

  1. Spooky....I had my 14 year olds/year 8 art students draw very similar workboots in continuous line after a month of quite intensive 'drawing on the right side of the brain' lessons. They also whinged continuously whilst drawing continuously. Voices as linear device I told them! But after we got into some Still Life and I showed them Vanitas (they love skulls) they were keen to use the method to plan a mixed media work.