Unit: Contour Drawing– High School Art I (May also be used for 8th grade) Total Sessions: 1
A contour line is a line that defines the outside edge of an object. The word, "contour," is from the French word meaning "outline." A contour can also define the outside edges of components within an object. For example, a contour line can define the outside outline of a person as well as the outline of the person's eye, mouth, and nose. Sometimes contour lines are made to illustrate depth and height as on a map. This is called cartography and has nothing to do with this art lesson.
A blind contour drawing is drawn without looking except when first placing the pencil on the drawing paper. The artist focuses solely on looking at the outside edge of the model or still life and moves the pencil across the paper as if tracing around the object. It is normal for blind contour drawings to have the proportion wrong on parts of the object and for the lines not to line up. The importance lies in how much detail the artist can see while only looking at the subject.
First write words that you overhear others say, lyrics in songs, or random words in a notebook. Poems are fine too.
On a 9x12 (22.9 x 30.5 cm) white piece of paper., draw a large contour drawing of an object that fills up most the page. It is OK to have some contour lines inside the object but only to define components of your object. The subject you choose could relate to the words in the notebook. For example, a written poem about butterflies would have contour lines of butterflies in the picture.
Lightly write the words you wrote in your notebook with a pencil and fill up a 9x12 (22.9 x 30.5 cm) white piece of paper. Your words can go different directions, especially inside the contour lines of your object.
Once students are happy with their light sketches they can use fine point colored markers to go over the contour lines and words.
An alternative is to draw blind contours of the subject on your paper and then add the words.