Friday, December 7, 2007

Drawing Your Hand- Contour

Drawing Your Hand
8.5" x 11"
If you are having trouble drawing your hand, and even if you aren't, this is something that you might try. This will help your focus and your observation.
This is called a Contour drawing.
1. Place your paper on the table in front of you. You can use masking tape on the edges to prevent moving it around.
2. Shake your hand, or relax it, and drop it loosely near your paper-not on top of it. Be sure that you are in a comfortable position so that you can keep your hand still while you finish your drawing.
3. Pick a spot to begin. I started just above my wrist on the top side of my arm.
4. Place your pencil on this spot, then draw a continuous line , slowly, carefully, examining the outline of your hand.
Do Not Trace!
5. As you draw, imagine that your pencil is touching the outside edge only of your subject. That is, your hand. Move your pencil in one continuous line, and try not to lift your pencil.
6. Look at, and draw, every little lump, bump, curve, and dent that you see and continue all around one side of your hand, and end on the opposite side.
7. Do not draw any interior lines.
8. Do not add any textures or shading. This type of drawing only deals with the outside edges.
9. If your pencil or paper slips, you can reposition your pencil. Otherwise, just try to keep going all the way around.
10. If you feel confident, you can try this with a pen or marker.
In my drawing above, you may see a double line in places. I did go over mine again as the pencil was very light. I didn't think it would show up in the scan, so I darkened my line.
Also, my hand was folded over a little so that my thumb is in the interior, so it is not shown.
I used just an ordinary #2 pencil for this drawing, and 20 # copy paper. You may want to use a little better paper, if this is something that you would like to save.
I tried scanning this several times as there are some little dots on the paper that do not show up when I look at the paper. I cleaned the paper with an eraser, and cleaned my scanner glass, but they keep showing on my scans. So, just ignore the little dots. They aren't there for any purpose, but won't seem to go away.
Contour drawings can be used to draw many things. They can be the basis for working with design, or for futher, or more realistic studies. While they show outline and placement, they do not show things like form, texture, light and shadow. They can also be a quick way to put down placement and size of some part of a picture.
They really do make you look at whatever you are drawing.
I hope that you will try this out, as practice. You can try your hand in many different positions.
I firmly believe that everyone can draw. Even those with disabilities can draw although they sometimes have to improvise methods that will work for them.
Too often I hear people, even young people, say, "I can't draw." And, they make themselves belive this. But, what they actually mean is that their drawing is not what they want it to be. Or, they are not able to draw or paint realistically. They cannot see that their own style is of value. Or, even more commonly, they don't understand that it takes practice and study to get where they feel that they should be with their art. It's like anything else whether that is playing a musical instrument, writing, playing a sport, cooking, sewing, gardening, or driving. You have to be willing to learn, and practice, in order to improve or to gain that skill.
We all start out to draw the same ways. It is part of our development. Stick figures, circle eyes, lollipop trees. Some people just give up while others work on their observation skills, and seek to improve through practice and study.
I know that from drawing, I have become much more observant than I would have been if I had not drawn throughout most of my life. But, I didn't start out drawing any better than anyone else. I just stayed with it, was curious, and tried to improve. I'm still trying to learn and improve. We all change, too, as we grow older and change.
Now, I know that you too can draw, so I hope that you will try recording your hand, for my challenge. You can send me, as a jpeg file, your drawings of your hand, both realistic and contour, to include in a slide show.
Even if you think you can't draw, give it a try and see what you can do. This will give you, not only some practice in observation, and drawing, but also something that you can keep. A piece of art work that will show what your hand looks like today. I hope that you will take pride in what you do.
Try to do this by next Wednesday, for my challenge. Hope you have some fun with this, and even surprise yourself!
Happy Drawing!
Let me know if you see something that you are interested in. And thanks for sharing with others. If you haven't joined my group, or subscribed to my blog, I hope that you will consider that. There is a subscription box in the sidebar, and you can click on my group to go there and join that way.

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