Friday, January 20, 2012

Walking With Ants At The Creative Arts Center

In each of the Drawing Fundamentals classes I focus on one element of drawing. In this second class, it's Contour Line drawing. This, the most common type of drawing, focuses on the outline of an object. So when drawing an apple, you end up with basically a wobbly circle. When drawing a lemon, you end up with basically a wobbly circle. When drawing a pear, you end up with basically a lopsided wobbly circle.

This generalization of course fits right into the brain's massive backlog of symbols, which in turn means that instead of really looking at THE apple, your brain simply projects the symbol of an apple, basically a wobbly circle.

Think about an apple, one with a bite taken out of it...

Does it look juicy and delicious, or more like the logo of the computer you might be reading this blog on? Which one is clearer to see in your minds eye? For this class we are derailing those backlogged symbols by taking the ant's eye view of the world.

Exercise #1- Blind Contour- Place your paper so you cannot see it while you are drawing. Look at your left hand (your right if you are left handed). Now imagine you are watching an ant crawling slowly along the contours, cracks and creases of your hand. Your pencil is the mechanical recorder of that ant's travels. When the ant goes up, your pencil draws a line upward. When that ant traverse your life line, your pencil continues to record that trail. Do not cheat by looking at your drawing!

Ants are very slow, the recorded path pictured above took 30 minutes. Try it out. Repeat twice. How did that make you feel? Did you sense a shift in your perception? Was it hard to draw so slow? Did you look at your drawing before the time was up?

Other drawing adventures followed, filling our night with undulating, descriptive lines. Next week we'll be looking at the spaces that are not there. Negative Space.

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