DON'T PEEK -
Blind Contour Drawing
PROJECT 13 | 03.01.21
GRADE LEVELS: 1 - 6
DURATION: 30 min. - 1 Hour
MATERIALS: Paper, drawing utensil (pencil, pen, crayon, marker, etc.)
CLICK ICON TO DOWNLOAD PROJECT GUIDE PDF
Video Editing by Jorge Davies, Graphics by Melissa Sabol
A blind contour is one continuous line made by very slowly drawing the edges and details of an object or person without looking at the paper. This project asks you to draw what you see in front of you, instead of what your brain remembers seeing. This is a great way to get your mind, hands, and eyes to work together. Your image might end up looking goofy and pieces may be out of place, but that’s a good thing!
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
Challenges you to see the world with new eyes by using a different process of looking
Exercises the intuitive, nonverbal, and visual right side of our brain
Requires careful observation and attention to details
Trains the eye, mind, and hand to work together
Focuses on process instead of end product
Encourages you to have fun and enjoy making mistakes
Calming and meditative
Pen or pencil
DO NOT peek at your paper. Only look at the object you are drawing.
DO NOT pick up your pencil or pen from the paper.
DO NOT erase.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
Tape the paper down so it doesn’t move.
Decide what to draw. Will it be another person? An object? Yourself? (You can use a mirror if you want to draw yourself.
Sit directly across from whatever you choose to draw.
Look at your paper and think about how much space you want to use. Will you make it big or small? Try to use the whole paper
Decide where to start your drawing on the paper.
Put your pencil down at the starting point and begin to draw slowly without picking up your pencil from the paper.
Make sure you draw all the details. If drawing a person, include their eyelashes, freckles, and wrinkles too.
Don’t look away from the object you are drawing, or you may lose your place on the paper.
TIPS & TRICKS
Turn your object upside down. It will help you notice more details.
Backtrack over parts of your line drawing so you don’t pick up your pencil.
To improve hand-eye coordination, imagine that the pen is touching the edge of the object, not the paper.
Use your pointer finger on the hand you don’t write with to trace the edges of your object while your pencil is moving the same way.
If you’re moving too fast, close one eye.
To help you slow down, pretend your pencil is a snail inching its around the edges of the object.
To prevent peeking, poke your pencil through a piece of paper, hold a paper with your non-writing hand over the paper you are drawing on, turn your body to the side, or draw on a clipboard or notebook under the table.
CREATE 3 Blind Contour Drawings
Make a portrait...of yourself (by using a mirror), a family member, or a friend.
Pick any object that best reflects you...a toy, an animal, or piece of clothing.
Choose something outside...a tree, your home, a car, or the landscape.
Create an account - Share your art - Be inspired
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of blind contour drawings, try it in different ways:
Blind contour scavenger hunt Pick different objects from around the house (a plant, an animal, clothing, furniture, dish, anything!).
Blind Contour still life Gather three objects, place them in the middle of the table any way you want, and make a blind contour. Color it in when you are done.
Blind Contour Landscape Step outside and draw a landscape or a single image of a tree, house, or mountain.
Double flip blind contour portrait Draw a blind contour of another person or yourself, then flip the paper upside down and draw another portrait of the same person.
Layered blind contour drawing Layer multiple blind contour drawings of the same subject on top of each other by using multiple colors.
Blind contour triptych Draw three portraits side-by-side in different colors.
ARTISTS TO KNOW
Bourgeois was a French-American artist who often used symbols, such as spirals, spiders, and cages, to symbolize the challenges and triumphs women often face in their lives. This blind contour of drawing of a spider was a positive symbol of her mom, someone who was clever and protective.
Ishulutaq was a self-taught Inuit artist from Canada. She grew up traveling and hunting with her family. She took up art to pass down traditions and memories of traditional Inuit life to future generations. Ishulutaq was also invested in educating the community about the effects of climate change, which became a common subject in her work.
Klee was a Swiss artist who employed many different art forms, but most famously painting. He even developed his own painting technique, which involved starting with an abstract mark (a dot, line, square, etc.), and allowing it to grow, just as a living thing grows. While not a blind contour drawing, the painting above is a great representation of an artist using one continuous line to create an image.
Observational Drawing Drawing what you see.
Sketch A quick drawing of your ideas. A sketch can be used to explore a subject or plan an art project.