Welcome to our first session. This week we are going to dive into observational drawing - but with a twist! The twist is that you will not be looking at your drawing as you make it! Sounds strange maybe; but this is a great way to train your observational skills.
When drawing what we see feels difficult to do, it is often because we are thinking about other things. This means we are forgetting to attend to what is in front of our eyes; yet we are carrying on drawing - drawing without seeing in effect! The other things that we are thinking about are commonly questions about how the drawing is going, how accurate it is or what others may think of our drawing. Ironically, these musings about the drawing itself take our attention away from the most important thing that will help us make satisfying drawings - the objects being drawn.
To draw more effectively we need to switch the balance of our attention away from the drawing and onto the subject. In blind drawing we practice keeping our attention on what we look at so that we may properly ‘see’ what's there in front of our eyes. When we return later to ‘normal’ drawing where we look at both the drawing and at the subject, we should find that it is a little easier to see shapes and forms of things as they appear to us and translate that into an image. The more you practice blind drawing the more it will help ‘normal’ drawing. It’s not something to do just once - it takes regular practice.
“A drawing of a tree shows not a tree but a tree being looked at”
What you will learn:
• Experience drawing without concern for the outcome (the drawing itself).
• To approach drawing with an experimental attitude.
• Switch your focus to be entirely concerned with the observed object and not the drawing. •
• Pencil, paper, any other linear drawing material you have, objects to draw.
• Find a subject to draw, it can be anything at all. Find a singular object with an appealing and well defined shape e.g. a vase, a plant, a toy, a cup or jug, a few pieces of fruit, your other hand etc. You will probably find some objects more inviting as a subject then others, so go with your instinct.
• Watch the video tutorial below. Then, using a writing pen, pencil or fine marker draw your object without looking at your drawing for the whole time you are drawing. Focus on the edges of the forms (shapes) that make up the object. The lines you draw follow the edges of the forms you see; these drawn lines are called contour lines. Draw as slowly as you can so that you feel that your hand movement is in time with your eye as it slowly moves along the contours of the object. Draw for as long as it takes to move your eye around the whole object and all the main forms that make it up. Don’t worry about small details, just look at the bigger forms/shapes. You will probably draw for about 2-5 minutes on each drawing. To resist the urge to look at you’re drawing while making it, you can cover your drawing hand with a piece of A5 paper pierced through the middle with your pencil (see picture below). Make at least 6 blind contour drawings of different objects.
Dan McDermott Blind Drawing Tutorial
You Tube Blind Drawing Tutorial