Pure Contour Drawing | "Learn to Draw" Lesson
from the Learn to Draw Index

Let's draw you hand. For this project we will apply what we just learned about positive and negative space. In drawing your hand you will not only be looking at shapes of your hand, but at the shapes of the negative space around you hand. To add a little more of a challenge - let's do it without looking!


Before You Draw
1) If you are right handed you will draw your left hand. If you are left handed you will draw your right hand.

2) Set aside 20 minutes for this drawing project.

3) Place a piece of paper on the table and tape it down. Position yourself so that you cannot see your paper as you draw. This will help you to focus your attention entirely on what you see, and away from your drawing. If you peek, you may be tempted to draw your hand the way you think it should be rather than how it really is. The goal is to draw what you see - not what you know.

Draw very slowly. Observe every curve. Because we have two eyes we can see things in 3D. If you want to, try covering one eye. It will flatten the image and may make it easier to draw.

After You Draw
Look at your drawing. You might think, "This doesn't look anything like my hand." Try not to be bummed. This drawing lesson was not about getting it right. It was about seeing it right. More than ever before you may have sensed a loss of time as you deeply immersed yourself in your drawing. You may have even felt frustrated by that fact that you could not name the parts of your hand as your were drawing. Perfect!

These are steps on the way to being a great artist. We're not there yet. It's almost time to put everything together. Hang on.

Let's try another lesson: Lesson 9: Draw a Face

For Teachers
The logical left brain wants to take over. It wants to name what it sees and draw it as the left brain remembers it. The goal of this lesson and previous lessons is to ease the left brain out of the task and allow the right brain to take over. It's really the best side for drawing. The left brain may not be happy at first though in the end it will admire a job well done.

While working on this pure contour drawing project students may indicate that they experienced their strongest right brain shift yet.

Lessons in this "Learn to Draw" series are based on ideas from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.






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