I was enticed to a life drawing class recently by a leaflet that read “Erotic Line”. In the class taught by Derek Batty , we learned about the Blind Contour method of line drawing associated with Egon Schiele and August Rodin. The idea is to use line to “convey sensuous emotion”.
The class had two young models, one male, one female. The idea was to draw them using the Blind Contour technique in pen and ink. I must say I found it difficult to draw in ink, there is no room for error and it can be very unforgiving. But it really doesn’t matter, a life drawing class is all about looking, observing and experiencing what you see. It doesn’t matter if what you end up with is something less than perfect. We also used water and bleach to create a wash or create an effect with the ink. It was fun to play with the materials. (See my efforts in the image above).
The Blind Contour method is as follows:
- Look at one point on a contour line of the model.
- Place your pen on the paper.
- As you move your eye, you move your pen.
- Don’t look at the paper. Look when you come to the end of the line.
- Don’t restart the drawing.
- Make the next line fit with what you’ve just drawn.