Saturday, November 24, 2012

Continual Line Contour


I love to draw and especially with a pen! I know the idea of not being able to make corrections with an eraser is tough and for some people down right frightening! After many years of teaching watercolor I became aware that the biggest obstacle people face is drawing...not painting. I found a way of drawing that is fun, fast and best of all improves drawing (and observation) skills the quickest. It is called "Continual Line Contour" drawing. What this means is once I put the pen on the paper your don’t lift it up until your done. There will be a certain amount of distortion to the drawing but I consider this part of the charm.
The red dots show where I began & finished



I start by drawing a single object in 3 minutes and work up to an arrangement of 3 objects in 10 minutes. I like to start the drawing at the top and work my way down on the left side, and back up on the right side. It is important to leave open edges. This simply means I don't finish a line. Keeping open edges allows the eye to move in and through the drawing freely.

Here’s an example. In this sketch you will notice a dot where I begin and finish. Once I put the pen on the paper I don't lift the pen until it is finished. The image becomes a little distorted but I think that is part of its charm.

Once you become comfortable with using a pen and drawing simple objects move on to more complicated subjects such as people or architecture. When I use this technique for a complicated subject matter allow myself to pick up the pen now and again BUT I still keep the pen on the paper for as along as possible before lift it! 

As many of you know I have a love for pens of EVERY kind (waterproof, soluble, fountain pens, markers). An all around great artist pen is the Pitt, by Faber-Castell.
 Give it a try sometime. You might find a whole new way of seeing and drawing.  
Happy Sketching!
Brenda

19 comments:

  1. Hey, Brenda! This is great. You have such a way of inspiring others to try stuff! Question: what kind of pen do you use that will not make a fat dot when you stop with pen on paper to think or observe?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Karen, I edited the blog post to include an artist grade pen. Please take another look. Happy Sketching!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember when you drew the interior! :-) Thank you for the tips and pen recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherry, We sure had a wonderful time at the Penny House!

      Delete
  4. Great post, Brenda...must give this a try. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. What fountain pen would you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I don't have a favorite...I love them all!

      Delete
  6. Hi Brenda, Wonderful post; your drawing is inspiring. I agree with your statement about drawing being a big obstacle. I can see how useful your continual line contour drawing can be. You have drawn wonderful shapes that are suitable for painting! Excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh Brenda...thanks for the good reminder. As you might remember I am a recipient of the 75 day drawing Challenge "Artistic License" which I dutifully did with much delight. But the discipline it takes to remember to draw is hard! I have taken two drawing classes since then to remind myself of the goals and get myself drawing more regularly. In my last class which I blogged about recently, the drawing teacher came around and quietly dropped his business card on my table and whispered "you have talent...come and see me." Wasn't that a nice compliment???? In between drawing, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media I do Zentangles. They are totally addictive but they do keep your hand on the pen! Check me out at http://ginnystiles.blogspot.com and scroll down for some tangle info if you have not tried them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginny, Drawing can slip from us if we don't keep practicing. I agree it's nice to receive praise from instructors we admire. I saw your blog and the Zentangles. First I've heard of this...very interesting! Looks like a lot of fun and you do it well.
      Happy Sketching!

      Delete
  8. Hi Brenda,

    I have just bought your DVD from Cheap Joe's and I did the first exercise with you... the olive oil bottles with the continual line contour drawing. I love it! I will try to apply your technique now in everything that I do. You have showed me so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love to hear comments like that...Thamk you!

      Delete
  9. Brenda,

    Good one. That sentence of yours "Keeping open edges allows the eye to move in and through the drawing freely" says to me "interlocking lights and even darks" in a clearer way! To me, so important to composition/design.

    I like Pitt pens too, especially the brush point and the "S" point.

    (I am praying for Daniel, Heidi, Joshua and Nevaeh.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! You got my message.

      Thank you for your continued prayers, I surely appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

      Delete
  10. Just one question, Brenda. Do you draw the interior contours at the same time as the outline? Or do you complete the outline and then go back for the interior lines. I've tried doing the interior lines at the same time as the outline, but it can be tricky getting back to the outer edge!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pat, Once you become comfortable with using a pen and drawing simple objects move on to more complicated subjects such as people, architecture... When I use this technique for a complicated subject matter allow myself to pick up the pen now and again BUT I still keep the pen on the paper for as along as possible before lift it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Got it! I experimented by trying to duplicate your demo...that worked pretty well. And I just got your DVD from Cheap Joe's and it answered any remaining questions. Thanks so much, Brenda. You continue to be my inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, It does work! Thank you for the positive response on my DVD!

      Delete