The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Focusing on Your Subject – Blind Contour Drawing

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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Describe your experience with contour drawing. Once again, share it if you’d like to. Do you think it helped you stay focused on your subject?
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    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      BlancaManzanilla
      My bird of paradise flower came out the best even though my points didn't meet for any of them... Dragon fruit (cactus not fruit) on a dead tree. Dragon fruit on dead tree
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      mcoravsky
      Wow. This was extremely difficult. My first attempts bore little resemblance to the pictures. Successive attempts showed some improvement. I found it almost impossible to not look at the paper. I was not able to maintain proportions and come back the starting point. I found little in first attempt that I could say was close to what I intended.  By the 4th sketch, I was better able to at least end up with a decent representation. I could tell what it was.  This will take lots of practice. When I am sketching in nature, I usually will take a photo and then sketch from that.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Wildvoices
      Although the visual results were humbling, I felt the exercise has helped me see the entire object and think about what I want to include in a drawing in advance of putting pencil to paper. Although the drawings started well, I soon lost a sense of proportion on the page as I tried to move my hand away from the start. I had to be absolutely focused as my mind's eye tried to transfer visual input into hand movement.
    • Kristen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kristen.drechsler
      Blind contour drawing is something I've never been comfortable with. All things considered I think my drawings turned out pretty well. I tried to focus on the subject and plan where I wanted to start based on where it seemed the best connecting point would be. My attention was on the shape of the subject and the scale it should be on my paper space. It was interesting focusing on connecting the motion of my hand to the visual input from what I was seeing. The process did make me feel more focused and connected to my subject.20201111_153150
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ainwena
      imageThis was fun, and after the first one I had to tell myself to slow down.  By the third one I was coaching myself to really pay attention to the outside lines.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      cduffy
      I had problems connecting the beginning and the end of the drawing. It is hard not to focus on doing it 'right' but I do think it helps you focus on the subject. My best attempt was the Bird of Paradise. IMG_7382
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      alishabirdie
      This was a neat exercise - yes it did help me focus on the subject, and only on the outline and contours.  I was surprised that I was able to capture the general form :) image0(5)
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      amykarst
      This exercise really made me laugh, and I had to concentrate because I wanted to look back at my drawing to see "where" I was on the page. Most difficult, finishing the drawing at the same spot I began.Photo on 10-28-20 at 6.27 PM
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jenneve58
      Had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs looking at the ‘finished’ drawing. Took my time, lots of focus and intent.imageimage
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      May-A-A
      Contour drawing helps in looking closely to object. I found it easy it is an 2D object. Especially if it is flat. Yet, rounded and curved object was a bit challenging to draw from image. As for taking it to the outdoors, the first trial with my pot of cactus was not a success-erased it. I attached the second trial which depicted the contour line of the cactus in pot. The below are the drawings for the images in the course. 12   My trial drawing the cactus in pot. 3
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      MartaOli
      Focusing_on_your_subject_Marta_13.10.2020 This was a fun exercise! I was surprised by the results (it made me feel close to a 5 year old child drawing :) It helped me stay focused on my subject, yet I had to resist the temptation to look down at the paper. I tried this a few times, to see which was the best starting point. The hardest subject to draw seemed to be the springbok. I got the feeling that, overall, this exercise improves with drawing and drawing...!
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjessop
      It was difficult to avoid the temptation to look down at the paper.  But once again it forced me to slow down and focus, which is the point of this class, for me.  I also experimented with drawing counter-clockwise/dominant hand, clockwise/dominant, and clockwise/non-dominant.  It didn't seem to matter much for this exercise, but slowing my eye focus was key.  I was kind of relieved when I got to the feet of the springbok and saw they overlapped and I didn't have to go all the way up and down the legs!  IMG_3165
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kimmie06
      8FA1487E-6A4F-4C35-9B88-397543B94833I love this lighthearted exercise.  Yet it is also fascinating to trust my senses to guide my hand and see that some things are scaled properly. That was a complete surprise!
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      willarj
      It was good for focusing. I was hard to do with lines that were near each other, like the legs on the spring bok. Parts of my drawings were OK but others were not recognizable.
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      benjaminboies
      Interesting exercise, very different from anything I've tried before. I was so worried to forget where I was that I might not have focused enough. Not sure. But it was fun! IMG_7920IMG_7921IMG_7922
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      EllenHarrington
      That certainly was a test and amusing for sure.  Not posting my attempts.  I did fairly well on the Bird of Paradise I think because its lines were straighter.  the other three were well, lets not discuss.  Can definitely see where this skill would be usefull in the field.  Great exercise and I am going to keep trying!
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      EatingOnTwoWheels
      Oh my, this was great fun, because I had no expectations of the drawing being any good! It was so HARD to not reflexively look at the paper, but I did it, even when I wondered if my pencil lead had run out. And yes, it certainly helped me focus on the contour of the subject.  So far I have found NOT-blind contour drawing (vs. "short and sketchy") easier. I'm not sure why. It somehow keeps me on track or forces me to look more at the subject? I was surprised that I kept the "parallel" lines in the newt's tail, narrowest flower petals, bird tail, and springbox's legs "together."  And on a few drawings, I nearly ended up where I started! Hilarious and fun! Now to find something out in the yard to try.... Blind Contour Drawing 2 Bird of Paradise and SpringbokBlind Contour Drawing 1 Newt and Sunbird?
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      rimuridge
      I was so proud of not looking down.... then at the end, when I did look down, I almost cried with laughter. A fun and interesting experience!IMG_20200906_081851IMG_20200906_081905
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      LinElin
      unnamedThis is definitely harder than I remember it being when I tried it years ago. At that time it was just a warm up exercise. I can see that it will be a great tool for quick sketching and that is motivation for practice. This was my third try at the newt.
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      lumifox
      My drawings were barely  recognizable. The seemed to want to be something squashed more than to be a newt, flower, and a sunbird. image
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      charliewest52
      Yes it helped.
    • dgolson
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      dgolson
      The plants were definitely more difficult for me than the animals. It did help me stay focused though and not get lost in focusing on a specific detail too soon.
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      SylviaA
      This was scary, and I admit I cheated by looking up now and then...I really could not just let my pencil roam over the page. But I'm going to keep practicing blind contour dwg, because I think it'll help allay my fear of not being able to draw well. It really did help me focus on the subject though. And I had fun going back in to correct some of the shapes afterwards, and note what the colors were. Great challenge. If anybody reads this, can you tell me how to post my drawings/sketches. Do I take a photo with my Iphone camera? And then do what to "insert image"? Sorry to be such a luddite. Sylvia (sylsbach@yahoo.com)
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        LinElin
        I totally get the luddite thing, me too. I have figured out how to do it, however there is probably a better, quicker way but this works for me. Take a picture of the page with your Iphone Send it to yourself at your email When I open that email I save the image to desktop when I want to insert the image in this chat box, click on the insert image at top left, a box will show up says something like image here, click on that and your photos from desktop will show up click and drag the photo you want to the box. Once it is in the screen you can adjust size and position of the photo Hope this helps
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      It was hard! I made several attempts, it was hard to keep the proportions right.IMG_2784
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      Blind Contour Drawing.
      • Adella
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        adellamarie
        This is supposed to be a Jade Plant Lol.  I think some of the leaves look okay.  This exercise was challenging, but fun.  The other drawings are too bad to post.
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      dennymeyer
      Too bad to share. This so hard for me. Horrible spatial perception at the best of times. But jolly good fun.
      • Peggy
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        charliewest52
        I had the same experience.
      • Paula
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        EatingOnTwoWheels

        @Peggy Super hard, but I LOVED the freedom I felt in the expectation that it really isn't meant to come out looking right!

    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      KimMeyer
      An amusing exercise :-) My squiggles look more like road kill. I certainly need to sharpen these skills: a sense of time - how long it takes to cover distance with the pencil - and spatial perception - where is the start of this thing again?!
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      patofvta
      Contour Drawing by itself is not my favorite, however after I completed the exercise, I used the contour to complete the subjects and I was surprised at how well I was recording the blank space.  This helps a lot with getting the prospective as it really looks and capturing some very good detail.  I hope the focus on my subject will result with being able to capture the bird's movement faster.  If I can get the outline I should be able to fill in the detail.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      Not sure that I get the point of this. My drawings were not uninteresting, but were rather odd. Yes, they forced me to be focused on the subject. But again, why do this? If there were positives in what I drew, they escaped me. Weird.
    • Ginny Prytherch
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bigredbear
      I have done this before, and I enjoy the meditative aspect of focusing on the subject, and the life in the drawing. Scale, beginning and ending, making parallel lines parallel, etc. all difficulties of the process were mine as well. This exercise does make my regular drawings more real, and gives a way to draw moving animals and be relaxed about it.  I have been drawing from phone pics, so this helps with relaxation, and establishing the intent as something other than a photo perfect picture.  My more "perfect" drawings are great, but take a lot of time, and have put me behind in my hopes for daily journaling.   This helps me get back on track. I have loved following the fabulous gifts of spring through all the flowers and birds in my journal.  It is a perfect antidote to Covid, sheltering at a distance or at home blues. On to moving creatures!!
    • Claudia
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Claudiahosso
      It was an interesting exercise. I was surprised that even if  they are awkward, the drawings seem more alive and the movement is expressed. IMG_4236
    • اليازية
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      Alyazia
      2020-06-18_blindcontour Found it an interesting exercise. With too images I missed to connect the shapes; Bird of Paradise Flower and the Green-tailed Sunbird. While with the Newt I had a mind gap -I just wasn't sure where was I- and the sketch ended up with a bubble booming out of it! I was shocked because I completely missed with the Springbok (check #1) I thought it was easy and I doodled it with one line but it turned out to be a complete failure - couldn't accept that and so I re-sketched it with the blind contour technique and I think I did well :) I didn't know how this would help me - However, it affected my mind while working on the next exercise. Also, this morning, I noticed my sight memorising and looking at the shape of the birds instead of the details. (usually I look at the details before the overall bird. So, I guess this will help and develop my sketching skills. )
    • MavBrooks
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mbkirsch
      Contour drawing helped me focus, but made it harder for me to draw 98B03F7E-4EE2-4070-B2E7-5FCCA97A27E7
    • Les
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Lesbrandt
      Blind contour miles ...... someone said you have to put in brush miles, or pencil miles ..... do it and keep doing it .... we will all get better. IMG_0678
    • Les
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Lesbrandt
      Contour drawing requires absolute concentration. I try to go a specific distance to match a spot on what I am copying ..... doesn't always work, because I lose focus on how far I move my pencil. Becoming more proficient would allow me to get a more accurate sketch of creatures that are only still for moments.  Definitely helps me to stay focused   IMG_0677
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      mariacordell
      I first tried my hand at blind contour drawing in a painting class I took a few years ago. It was fun to try again. Here are my samples, which hopefully are recognizable. :) As others have done, I found it interesting to mark the start and end points after the fact, and to call out spots that looked reasonably close (though those notes aren't all visible in the photos). Controur Drawing 2020-05-31 MAC
    • Dorothy D
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      DAnna_Dorothy
      IMG_7421 Contour drawing has always been this meditative process for me but it still looks the same as when I was doing it in junior high!  I finally went for the pot of geraniums in the middle sketch,but who can tell. It does teach one to slow down,observe and draw what you see not what you think you see.
    • Melanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      mandalabird
      IMG_8543 fun!  I've been away since February 19, and it feels good to be back!
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      CPagel49
      Yes it really helped me to stay focus.  I did the exercise a couple of times and found that as I focused more and slowed down I got better.  My own subject turned out the best, but I did it last.  I was impressed that my huge gaffes were with lines that were supposed to be more or less parallel. Without the visual feedback getting those right was difficult and threw off the rest of the drawing.  I really appreciated doing this as it showed how focus can help direct my hand without the visual.  Thank you.
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      ruthdrawsgonzalez
      contour drawing springbok nature journal
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      ruthdrawsgonzalez
      contour drawing bird of paradise nature journal
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      ruthdrawsgonzalez
      contour drawing sunbird nature journal
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      ruthdrawsgonzalez
      contour drawing newt nature journal Contour drawings make me laugh when I look at them! I do think they will help my observation skills especially if I did more of them or did them before every drawing just for fun.
    • Leonora
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      noniebird
      C5AB57C4-A8DC-4271-92F7-923B28B8CF7653043DE0-71C6-49BD-8AD8-0416ED349829
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      This exercise was very interesting, since even when I can look down at my drawing, I always seem to need to work harder at scale and symmetry. I was more focused on detail with this drawing than I would have otherwise been. I will need to practice more at being patient and not rushing ...
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Nature sketching blind contour drawing 2020Great exercise, I seemed to consistently have a problem connecting the top form of the subject with the last part of my drawing. I start big and end with a smaller drawing - my brain can't seem to conceptualize and make the connection of 'how big' is my actual drawing. Very challenging!
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Great exercise, I seemed to consistently have a problem connecting the top form of the subject with the last part of my drawing. I start big and end with a smaller drawing - my brain can't seem to conceptualize and make the connection of 'how big' is my actual drawing. Very challenging!
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      A8F0CB34-2E62-44AA-8437-CDE7CAFAC68B69A42756-E107-4281-B109-455FBFBD84FD Wow! I felt a bit intimidated by doing this exercise but I definitely see the need to focus on the subject & have the eye & hand connection/coordination. After doing the first one, I felt a bit more at ease, but by the time I got to the third one, it was a bit more complicated because I got distracted with the background. The fourth one was hard too, especially with the legs because I was thinking that I needed them fairly close on the page as I was trying to focus where my eye was on the subject. I will be doing this exercise a bit more during my journaling practice. It was kind of fun after seeing my results. Thanks Liz for sharing this exercise.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jirwinromo
      That was fun! I'll have to see if the grandkids want to try it some time. My problem on the Newt and Springbok was getting back to the starting place. The proportions weren't too bad. Not sharing though!
      • Colleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 43
        CBMac7
        Hi Jane. I was thinking about that same thing afterwards, of doing this exercise with the grandkids too.
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      ScottA010
      It was fun with some laughs, I enjoyed the contour drawing. I also agree that it was challenging along with realizing that I have done short segments while drawling before, but not with a long period of time. I did notice that I even probably did some of it to fast; I would speed up then try to slow down and focus. my lines went off the paper on a subject I picked out (daffodils) in a glass of water to draw which forced me to look at the paper to get back on track.
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      This was fun and a challenge, I have tried two animals, at the beginning I was having a similar shape, then I struggle to draw the legs of the animals. By drawing them I had lost my focus
    • Mariana
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      marianabotero
      IMG_0283IMG_0284 It helped me stay focused on my subject but it also revealed my hand by itself has no sense of proportion, balance, beauty or function-following form :))
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      cantienne
      I probably went too fast--my hand wants to finish lines--but this was instructive and I did find that I was able to catch strong descriptive contours.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      ajsibb
      Like Heather, my return lines drawing right to left were short when drawing from the photos. It was different drawing live; there, I ended a couple inches below rather than to the right. My drawings very consistent. Consistently looking nothing like the object, as well, but they had essentially the same good and poor points and finished in the same place relative the the start. Fun!
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lizberg
      This was a challenge but overall I learned a lot. I learned mostly that no matter how weird the final outcome turns out, we can always find little successes. I'm going to take this lesson with me in the rest of my sketching. It gives me freedom to just draw and make mistakes but end with always looking for the details that were a success. I surprised myself with the small contours that I got right even if the overall drawing looked strange. A good life lesson too I think.
    • Giuliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      giulianacpferrari
      It was almost fun! I discovered if I fail at nature drawing I could at least draw some really abstract pictures! Jokes aside, I think its a great exercise to help focus attentively on a subject, since your eyes need to do a serious job of tracing the edges of the subject
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jane Converse
      Getting proportion right was really difficult. It was hard to keep my eyes and my pencil in the same place and moving at the same speed. I did each of the examples 3 times (well 4 for the bird) and in 3 out of the 4 I liked my 3rd try the best. With the bird of paradise, I am OK with both my first and third tries. With the sunbird I liked my branch on the third and fourth times. The springbok is just hopeless. I'll be trying that a few more times. I'm looking forward to going outside tomorrow (it's dark now). If the weather doesn't cooperate, I have taken some pictures and I have some houseplants inside. It has been a long time since I drew or painted, but I am enjoying this course.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      I remember doing blind contour drawing in a class I took many years ago. I agree with others that it’s so challenging NOT to look! Maybe if I gave myself more space on a single page for each, these might not have been so ‘off’! Interesting and fun observation exercise. 6E31939B-942E-4D60-9B28-8A2336A30743
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Peckalot
      It sure was a challenge  with the multiple subjects,  good for going,IMG_0357
    • Charlie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cjvenuto
      This was difficult and my drawings certainly had a modern art component. I was most successful with the bird and least with the salamander.
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      IMG_9822IMG_9823 I think that the most important part is the experience, not the result.  You have to stay focused to move your eyes and hand at the same time, and sometimes its difficult.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jbarrows52
      Well I tried to focus on the subject so what happened was that my perception of where my hand/pencil was on the paper was so off!! LOL my springbok turned out looking like maybe a buffalo with a trunk!!!  It was also hard not to look at the paper...will do a bit more practice with this one outside.
    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      mvasquezgrinnell
      I'm not sure it helped me stay focused on the subject. I found myself thinking a ton about the lines. I was watching my subjects intently but I could immediately tell that it wasn't really going anywhere. My bird of paradise flower wasn't so bad, but mostly I'm not sure I found this helpful for my journaling in general, but was an interesting exploration of hand-eye coordination without looking down at your hands.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Cacomantis
      Not my best work! My newts were more like seals. I started drawing from the left top of the picture and found that my lines left to right weren't  quite  so bad but following from right to left along the lower edge were  not good.  Then I tried covering the left eye - result quite bad, but when I covered the right eye the results were surprisingly reasonable. I am right handed. I've learnt something about how my eyesight affects my co-ordination, so will practice taking this into account also.
    • Suzy
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      slyttle
      Whoa! I thought I was doing okay, until I looked down! I noticed that the activity was different when using the photos versus an object right in front of you. The photos already blur the depth and you can focus on the lines. In person I did a snake plant. I had to adjust my eyes to follow just the outline, changing field of depth. At one point I had to keep on eye closed to stay focused on the line. I feel my best test was the newt. I like my feet, the eye spot, the curve of the trail and connecting the back leg. Blind Contouring
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jenny
      IMG-4817 - Version 2 Picasso! :)
    • Avery
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      boxturtlestudio
      I always feel awkward doing these exercises. But it does make you look closely.20200402_14014120200402_140120
    • Leah
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      imchickadee
      It was really difficult to not look down. For the whole entire time that I was blind contour drawing, I had the urge to look down and see what I was drawing looked like, but I ended up stopping myself from doing so, which I'm really glad about. I really liked this challenge, and like others, the end result was quite... interesting. I was very satisfied with the green-tailed sunbird, because I actually got the lines to meet, but I ended up making the head look like a square, which looked really funny, since the actual bird has more of a rounded and not a rectangular head. Overall, I thought this helped me focus on what I was drawing, but it was pretty difficult, and I hope to improve!
    • sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      sherlee00
      Yes, it helps you focus on the subject but this is a rather difficult exercise for me.  Need lots more practice!image
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      I will refrain from putting my four images up. Too embarrassing, but I will suggest that it is a very hard activity, especially not peeking at all. I can see the merits of doing it. Perhaps doing it a few times will be beneficial overall.  I will try that.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Gumdrop
      I circled some of the parts I liked ! Tried a bit more detail in the last one .9610C2D8-5875-4B5B-9057-D730785C7E7FCC1E62E8-746D-4D02-9432-392166857426
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      This was a funny exercise!  Coming  back to the starting  point was the biggest  challenge. The larger the size of the drawing, the  more difficult it becomes ..Contour exercise KDContour exercise KD large   I had also very different results when I made the contour drawing clockwise or counter clockwise..
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Juancho73
      Total disaster!!!! Hahahaha
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Juancho73
      photo_editor_ds_1585163785302photo_editor_ds_1585163756548
    • Wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      wave24
      Stayed focused YES.....the drawings NOT so good.
    • Mudito
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Mudito
      imageBoy, I really stink at this!  Stopped putting the images in my journal as I have done several tries at each.  Got a little better but not much.  But I do agree that this is a fine exercise to establish that eye hand coordination.  Will continue to do this regularly.  Found the plant to be the easiest, all others pretty hopeless.  The first line is OK but coming around the form is not.
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ajgwinters
      My 2nd try on the newt was surprisingly not-too-weird. Not gonna share that springbok, tho. 20005E14-C555-4969-AD2A-D0DE064647DF
    • Chantal
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      rococorose
      I expected the sunbird to be the easiest and springbok to be the hardest, but my sunbird came out the worst and springbok the best. Look at that blob bird! I think I did a good job on the springbok's hoofs 20200320_153701 20200320_153651
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kheiss
      28141491-F9FE-4BFE-910D-1C933055977B
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      David Santos
      I feel that this blind contour made me focus and slow down the drawing speed very much. Blind contour in a single line produced some unrealistic drawings. But without looking at the draw that much, quick glimpses, I think I was able to produce some good images. Even the main darks and lights in the draw was quite easy to do. Starting with contour blind and them make a few corrections to the draw almost without looking creates reasonable drawings. I add a picture I made in blind contour of some animals, that were "cooperative" a caterpillar, a damselfly and a Mallard duck.90020710_530348901193680_8966628864813957120_n
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Pamfooh2
      Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 1.04.19 PM
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Pamfooh2
      I need to slow down; take my time; not rush and keep my eye on the subject.  I will keep practicing this exercise.  It also matters whether I start from the left or from the right.  I am right handed but I do better starting from the left.  I took a botanical art course and I love nature; I am outside in the woods every day; I love to garden so I have lots of subjects to draw and take notes about.  Break up of winter with snow on the ground to April and no snow with the same subject.  Green shoots coming up out of the ground.  Birds at my feeder.  I will never be an artist and the more I draw, the better I will get. I am journaling every day.
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tonilp
      Springbok blind contour drawing
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      trudy10024
      I did all four and as a few other people said, I preferred looking at the image.  I could have tried the looking and not picking up my pencil as someone suggested.  They came out so light because in the blind contour I was drawing with a light touch I guess.  I am only uploading two of them although I loved all the images.  springbok contournewt contour
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      whipporwheel
      I did the contour drawing not looking at my hand or the paper at all, and predictably, they were pretty far from the real thing.  I think I need to do this every day to get it right.  No fair erasing...
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tonilp
      Still unable to upload images. I get a message to check format and size. My images are jpeg and less than 10MB as required. Still not loading.
      • Patricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        whipporwheel
        Me, too.  It's very frustrating.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jafodal
      This was challenging.   I was able to capture a good likeness of the newt but there were major distortions for the other three.  Even as I was defining proportions in my head, I was not making the appropriate decisions.  I think that having the discussions in my head as I devote more time to observing the organism while looking at my drawing will all be essential for success.
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Bee Kay
      IMG_9882 Here's the Eastern Red-spotted Newt with contour and glanced at sketches.  I see this species of newt every spring at our camp in Upstate New York.  They are like fairy creatures, so tiny and cute.
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Bee Kay
      IMG_9880IMG_9879IMG_9881 I found the contour drawing project fun to do.  Years ago I taught elementary school age children drawing at a friend's art studio and we always started with blind contour sketching.  Another nature journaling artist seen on John Muir Laws art videos on YouTube said she started every drawing session with a blind contour sketch of her hand.  My newt and springbuck blind contour sketches are pretty off but the bird and flower aren't too bad.  I also included a sketch of each photo with glancing at each picture. I really enjoyed this project.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      clairehaas
      IMG_1911 This was a very good exercise to improve hand/eye coordination!  Whew!  I was constantly erasing and adjusting to make the proportions better.
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juan Jo
      Yeah I think that help to focus image1
    • Curt & Jeanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      heuersthree
      I don't really see the point of blind contour. I think you can just do contour, not raising your pencil, but glancing down at your drawing occasionally to keep yourself centered and still strengthen your eye hand connection. Here is my newt blind and with glances. I like not raising the pencil and even just continuing into the interior of the subject.     IMG_2567IMG_2568
    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Pikagirl
      IMG_7144 Blind contours of the red newt and green-tailed sunbird.  Still feeling rusty with the contour, but had a great time at the New England Aquarium the other night trying to capture my favorite lobster at an event using microns and watercolor.  I just can't seem to capture the blue one though. :(   Lobster
    • Tanis
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      tanislynn
      contour drawinghorse and plant After doing the course photos I decided that plants were easier to capture than animals.That did not prove true when I tried doing the horse and dieffenbachia. Both were difficult to contour draw. I tried using one finger as a guide to where I started but still had a hard time closing the gap. Legs were especially hard as the lines kept crossing over though the shape of them was there. Some of the points and curves of the plant and the mane of the horse captured the feel of what was being drawn. I think this will be an important part of what we are doing when trying to capture motion.
    • Crystal
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Crystalbco
      5D882B97-935E-4ABA-BCBC-02E7806688C8 I did all the contours on top of each other in different colors, so it makes a very strange picture.
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      HeidiTas
      I felt that each animal was decapitated when I tried blind contour drawing, I can't get one end of the drawing near where I started.  Means I should perhaps focus on proportions better.  After i tried some trees outside and this was more successful.  They still look like abstract, but the essence of the tree is there.Blind Contour Drawing
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      suzukiawd13
      20200203_145026
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jalexaphotography
      Ha! This assignment made me laugh. You have to have a sense of humor about your work and this assignment definitely helped loosen up. Besides the humor, it definitely helped me stay focused on my subject. It was hard to resist the temptation to peek at the page, though.
      • joyce
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        BlueJz
        Very difficult.  This is one that will need constant practice.
    • Joy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      joyneasley
      It was a fun exercise.  I am experience at drawing, but have never really tried blind contour drawing.  I think I’m going to take my grandchildren out this week and teach them blind contour drawing.  We should get some good laughs.
    • Gail
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Gcoffeywriter
      I did not find this technique helpful.  I do not think it enhanced my observation skills .  I was more concerned about getting the shapes right instead of focusing on the subject.  I also felt very disconnected with where I was on the page and how to connect the lines so the body or plant shape would be whole instead of in separate pieces. I feel that I am able to concentrate on what I am observing in the natural world so did not find this enhanced my connection.   Red EftBird of Paradise
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jcwallock
      IMG-2874I have a hard time drawing period, this exercise was hard because I was all over the place when I didn't look at the page at all.
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      HeartBirds
      The springbok was my favorite. IMG_7882
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      HeartBirds
      This was hard. It seemed to be a matter of trying to match my mind with what I was seeing & it sometimes felt that timing was out of whack between the two. Will add the Springbok with next reply.  Felt the Springbok was better & that the bird of paradise flower was the worst - which is frustrating because one of my best large paintings was a bird of paradise flower. Good thing I didn't have to not look at the canvas LoL! IMG_7880IMG_7879 IMG_7881
    • James
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Jim Fuehrmeyer
      IMG_1301 Yes it is an interesting exercise. I have not gone outside yet to try it.  But I did sense that I was spending more time looking at details on the subject rather than just trying to get the general impression on paper. It will also be interesting to see how this ties in to "sketching" which seems to lend itself to capturing general impressions rather than structural details.
    • Logan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      killakestrel
      In general, I want to try to spend more time looking at the subject than the journal page, so this was a nice exercise to reinforce that habit. What I liked best was finding the angles of the negative space around the various subjects and observing that and trying to make the mark on the page with confidence.
    • LeslieAnne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      lasanford
      9C166559-4FE0-4F10-9074-ECA313CF28FDI do think contour drawing helped me stay completely focused on the subject, but I had no sense of where my hand was on the page or where the beginning of the drawing actually was. Because it is so cold outside, I sketched a birch tree. Again,  I was unsure of where the drawing had actually begun but the overall shape wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.   597FBEF9-B640-4731-B1B9-013AE7DF36B8
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pbieraugel
      Definitely helped me stay focused. My mind drifted even after a short period demonstrating my lack of focus which I need to improve. Good exercise. I learned much especially that I can actually capture some parts without looking at the paper!
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      susangreta
      This was a lot of fun. I didn't go outside because it was freezing out, but did the given examples a couple of times each - not perfect but I liked the way worked - I did add the branch and eye of the bird post-exercise...I also did it in my regular notebook because I thought it would be a waste of paper - but it was not. contour drawings exercise
    • Coral
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Coralcarmen
      After doing these exercises, it was apparent to me that steady and  SLOW  is the key. 0688EF30-1738-4B4D-A09D-52CC029580F0_1_105_c  This morning I took more time to do the blind contour and I think it's a noticeable improvement.  E04970AC-C5B5-42AE-AC2A-307E4C003956_1_105_cFAFA9EC8-6777-473A-A54C-66254B305C8B_1_105_c
    • ColoMtn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      stabolepszy
      blind contourBlind Contour of a Succulent.  I like how focused I felt during the exercise
    • Ida
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      IdaMaria
      IMG_20191227_131332??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????:):):)
    • Ida
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      IdaMaria
      IMG_20191227_131059I had a lot of fun!!
    • Astrid
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      SoleraOsprey
      I must say I produced some very abstract art here :-). But I will keep trying!
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      FourMileCreek2221
      This exercise was more successful than I anticipated.   I found that I make somewhat fatter bodies than the pictures.  Being aware of this is very helpful.
    • Rohit
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Rohitarora
      I thought it was a piece of cake..haha..and the results are pretty funny!Unknown
    • Charlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cglacy
      Very difficult. All my contour drawings looked like amoebas and never really improved.  It did help me stay focused.
    • Jack
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      SANIBEL3900
      Wow!  That was different and quit difficult.   My first two were barely recognizable, the nest two MIGHT you might have been able to ID? Great exercise however and I was able to pick out something that made me say "oh, that looks a little like that part of the original"  Very cool.  Thanks.
    • Ashlynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ashlynn03
      • 15755567337986525071334829912041I really love this technique. It is very fun and is helping me so much. This is actually my best one.
      • Ida
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        IdaMaria
        that is so pretty
    • Craig
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      cmflyer
      Questions: Why does my pencil speed change? Should I move my arm or my hand? Does peripheral vision of the drawing affect the outcome? Does keeping the notebook firmly planted on a tabletop help? Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 1.35.40 PM
    • Madeleine
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      mlenagh
      I'm having trouble believing that some of the posted images I'm seeing here were done blindly.  This was, and I'm really enjoying this exercise! Eye-hand coordination has always been my issue, and I've learned that it improves with practice and training. So this is a very good exercise for me. I also learned this time, as I'm left-handed, to start on the right. And yes, focusing on the subject really helped get the essentials right, even if the drawing turned out awry. Practice makes perfect! journal02
      • Astrid
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        SoleraOsprey
        Not bad at all!
    • Olwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      olwenj
      As part of this section I am practicing sketching using my Sibley field guide in an effort to get shape and color, also objects from around my location outdoors.Chickadeecollection
      • Ida
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        IdaMaria
        those drawings are Beautifull
    • Olwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      olwenj
      I have enjoyed this section. I attempt the blind contour sketch and then attempt an eyes open sketch. I follow this with lots of questions and then research the answer. So far I have done the EasterNewtn red newt and the Green-tailed sunbird. I found it very difficult to get the colors correct on the bird.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Beegirl
      I found this to be so valuable!  My final sketch already was a lot better than my first.  I can see how practicing this would help train my brain to "talk" to my sketching hand in a better way.  I plan on continuing to play with this technique.
    • Jenn
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jfreeda
      This was an interesting exercise.  I found that not looking at all really helped me focus on the small details in contours. However, I found checking in a key points to see if I was close to where I was supposed to be helped me to both focus on the subtle details and complete the image. IMG_2440IMG_2441
    • patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      paakre
      contour drawing
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      NGigliotti
      03A053DA-90E7-4EF2-A5C4-1D303C424CDEI found this interesting. Yes, it did make me focus completely on my subject.  The drawings were not as off- base as I thought they would’ve been. I’m so enjoying this class. It’s such a great opportunity to really learn HOW to nature journal. Liz is such a fabulous instructor. She’s so encouraging!
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      ptfojut
      I can see that these warm up activities can help me get comfortable.  Each session should start with some warm ups.   WIN_20191117_13_03_30_Scan
    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      pattonmd
      IMG_4896 I recognize the value of such exercises, even though it's humiliating to be so off mark! I'm amazed how close many of the rest of you were in your drawings.
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        yabking
        I have done this exercise before in a live drawing class.  The instructor spent half an hour roaming the studio reminding us to absolutely, positively not look at our drawings while we were doing them.  Virtually the entire class needed to be "reminded" of this several times throughout the session.  I'm not making any assumptions about anyone else, but I will speak for myself and say that it I find it virtually impossible to do a blind drawing where the line ends exactly where it is supposed to.  As a reference, I've attached a recent drawing I did of some fish vertebrae I found on the beach and my "newt."Vertabrae and newt
    • Sharla
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      SEkvall
      IMG_4052I liked this exercise.  I remember learning to draw in elementary school using a similar method and I remember using this to draw maps way back in the "old days".  I think I did better on the Bird of Paradise than the animals.  I wonder if this had to do with not having a "picture" in my brain of what this flower looks like.  I know what a bird and a lizard look like and wonder if my brain was able to follow my eye better because I wasn't competing with an image stored in visual memory already.  Hmmm...
    • Christi-June
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      christijune
      Not moving my eyes away from the subject was difficult.  I did find if I was able to glance to the paper a bit I did better but I know thst is not the point. I'm wondering how I can improve. Slow down? Practice?  The newt I drew did not attach correctly in the end and ended up headless. The Bird of Paradise flower was very primitive, the othet two were better but not by much.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      BartelsBirders
      This was an *interesting* exercise. Of my nine blind counter drawings, the Eastern Red-spotted Newt most resembled the photo while the other drawings (four Green-tailed Sunbird, two Bird of Paradise and two Springbok) were each similar to themselves but not so much to their photos. (Consistency between same items, but not to the originals!) On the final drawing (of the second Springbok) I experimented with a different hold for the pencil. Rather than holding like I was writing, with the pencil on an angle, I held it more upright and with a loose grasp. This change had a positive impact, with the looser grasp letting the pencil flow more easily. The body was 'okay' though the head is still funky, to say the least! Overall, a fun exercise, as I took Liz's words to heart and didn't mind the outcome but rather focused on the process. In reflecting, my attention seems stronger, however, when I am able to look at the paper because I can compare the drawing with the object and make both mental and actual changes, thus cementing my concentration. With that said, I have yet to try this outdoors, and perhaps my blind contour drawing concentration will be more intent in the field, just because it *is* in the field and not an exercise done in the comfort of my home. Am curious to see if this proves true!
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Ravon43
      Since it is winter in my area, there are very few plants other above ground. I chose an garden art object to do an contour drawing. Again it was not an easy sketch, but fun to do. IMG_0680IMG_0678
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Ravon43
      Working through this lesson, made me realize that I could use more practice in eye/hand coordination. What was interesting was that after I worked with a pencil and then ink that using both tools my sketches seem to have the same distortions. I could tell that the sketches did resemble the provided photos. IMG_0677
    • Leonard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lsgrabowski
      Bird of Pradise
    • sondra
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      sondralynne
      It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t go outside to complete the assignment because of the snow and cold but did draw from leaves I had. It was easier because I was holding it and could sort of see a little out of the corner of my eye. I need lots more practice with this.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      amy_jay_bee
      I really enjoyed doing this from a photo. I liked starting with the curvy newt. That gave me a sense of rhythm. Doing a contour drawing from an object with foreshortening and a lot of light and shadow was harder, but it’s such a great warmup to really see the shapes. 5D9288CF-A245-4CDF-A3EA-872FE6338E68
    • holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      hollysnuts
      I like Prof. Fuller's suggestions to 'wanna be' field journalists and I will certainly find them useful. I will try to share more of the work I did PRE CORNELL & Fuller and hope she & others will give me the constructive criticism [which will be welcomed],but if I can get some my before and after work in the portfolio I'd appreciate an 'atta girl' if you all think its deserved.
    • Lucia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      wolflu
      Contour drawing was almost like becoming one with the object. It created interesting curves if not complete pictures.
    • Frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      2616Etna
      I had computer resistance to loading my drawings, so I will just talk about them.  Difficult.  The good things that I did:  I got all the elements in terms of the right # of lobes on Columbine leaves.  However, the beginning points, which were meant to be in the same place as the ending points, never met.  My sense of proportion seems to change  the closer I get to the ending point.  Next time I will succeed at downloading my drawings.
    • Gayle
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      GPerrine
      This was fun as I had no expectations of the outcomes; no pressure. It helped me stay focused on my subject, but I was also trying to remember my placement on the page (muscle memory), which was distracting from the subject.       IMG_0663IMG_0664IMG_0668
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      KATrue
      This was tough!  I didn't succeed in connecting the start and end points in any of the drawings, and I was very challenged in my attempts to capture the width of the objects. But I recognize one or two elements in each drawing, and I see small improvements from one sketch to the next, so I am encouraged to keep practicing.IMG_0763
    • Constance
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      constancekel
      JPEG image-3687AFB92605-1I was surprised that I got better as I tried drawing more subjects. Did I concentrate better or did I learn to judge where my hand was on the paper? Interesting! In all of my sketches, I finish lower on the paper than where I started; I never finished higher on the page. I wonder why?  Someone else commented ( and I agree)  that this would be a good warm-up activity before sketching.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      LindaMizzell
      I must say that it was not easy and it made me stay focused. Also, I caught myself almost drifting to see my progress, but I restrained myself. Haha IMG_1334IMG_1335
    • Seth
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      sfb28806
      Blind contour_4139 It was great to not worry about the product (vraisemblance) and to focus on the thing itself.  I can see how this would connect hand-eye-brain-heart coordination.  I also enjoyed the invitation to look for positives.  Where did I actually slow down enough to record a line well?
      • Ida
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        IdaMaria
        wow, that looks like mine!!!😂
    • Christy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ChristyMorrow
      This wasn't easy.  The best thing about this exercise - again is to help me become more observant.
    • Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Shirley1951
      DSCN5201
    • Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Shirley1951
      DSCN5200
    • Mary Jo
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mp2162
      IMG_6198 2 This was an interesting exercise and I enjoyed reading and seeing others posts.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Erin Eliza
      Countour drawing - This is very fun(ny).  In each attempt, I started with big motions, but ended with small lines - so the starting and end points were never very close to each other though several elements weren't too bad.  I enjoyed looking for any "this was decent" elements.  By the third example, I started intentionally trying to help my arm recalibrate to visual cue (ie., keep going, not big enough, not long enough yet) - that was helping.   I am actually quite proud of my tree-barn-silo that followed the initial exercises.  Interesting challenge. ContourSketch-Recalibrate
    • Lucia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      wolflu
      I felt very relaxed with the contour drawing. Several times I found myself drifting off. It is pleasing to stay focused on the outline rather than fleshing out all the separate parts. I'll upload my photos on the phone.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pegs-birder
      42BF3AE7-B46A-4D25-B96B-4FA763FB84E8599A0FB7-6CF9-4E7C-8937-5D6A53D5BA5BI never can get back to where I started in blind contour drawings but I do find them helpful in focusing on the subject.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BirderCheryl
      After a busy 9 or 10 days, I'm finally back to class! I had left off trying to do the blind contours, which were squiggly lines at best. Tried again and at least got a little better. I'm not brave enough to share mine! I remember doing this in a junior high art class and it is valuable, so I'll try again as times goes on!
    • Kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      IthacaKev
      img20191027_11090458
      • Elisabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        kinge2
        Kevin, I love your comic!  Hilarious
      • Laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 15
        BartelsBirders
        Kevin, I see a career as a cartoonist in your future! Cheers, Laurie
      • Sharla
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        SEkvall
        Funny!! :)
      • S
        Participant
        Chirps: 32
        twistybear
        Great humour!
    • Doris
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      peacefuldb
      Well that was interesting.  The drawings in no way resembled the majority of the pictures.  The salamander was close.  It did help me focus on the exact area to be drawn instead of the overall. Will have to keep practicing this technique.
      • holly
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        hollysnuts
        It was certainly an exercise to aid an older person to 'loosen up' and to remember first the size of my sketch pad . Everything I tried to draw rode off the edge of my pad, but Fuller's reminder to not be too hard on myself and just have fun made me giggle at my work in the end and determine to try to be a better student with any sparks to ones imagination she offers her students.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Jessica_Ballard
      That was an interesting assignment, I tried to focus on the details of the animals and plants, but I had a hard time reconnecting the lines in the end. In the end of each of my drawings, I had a concept of what it could be, but if I gave it to someone, I doubt they would know what I drew. Overall, it allowed me to understand the structure of the subjects since each of them had different curves and shapes.
    • gretchen
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      geebider3
      That was a great exercise in not getting caught up in what your drawing looks like, sometimes I get so stressed about the drawing I forget to enjoy the observation. None of my blind contours looked like what I was drawing ,but the line was strong and I did get details that I might have overlooked if I was trying to make it look like what I thought it should look like, if that makes any sense. This also heightened my awareness of angles and small detail that made me ask questions ,not just how do I draw this? Perhaps I will do this before I start any drawing.
    • Bill
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      wbeers
      I'll have to overcome my use of jigs to constrain my work. IMG_1569      
    • Lily
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      lilypage
      Hahahaha  this was the best of the bunch. the bird looked like a bird and I found that I could get the first half much more accurately than the last half of each object.IMG_0881
      • holly
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        hollysnuts
        Bill, were you a draftsman before you got involved with nature and that pocket of your creativity?
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      PatDunn001
      There were some portions of lines that looked true and accurate even if they didn't meet up with the other lines! It seems like a good way to capture some of the angles and the trajectory of a line even if the proportions were right out the window.
    • Kieki
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kiekidup
      I found the exercise challenging, and the results didn’t look even close to what I was suppose to be drawing.  But there are a few spots here and there I can recognized, so I guess that is encouraging.  Will just have to continue to practice.
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      debg51
      Well that was frustrating , humbling, and a good exercise to loosen up, observe and enjoy the gestural quality of line. Also made me laugh. Love my Springbok drawing it reminds me of cave drawings.
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      JKelly1963
      I found this exercise relaxing. I wasn’t happy with the final result but I think it has value when out in the field.
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      mickelboro
      I really had a lot of fun with this exercise.DSC_9456
    • Mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Buffalo72
      Not only am I bad at this, I'm worse at it than everyone else who has had the nerve to submit their work. I don't have any recognizable parts to my drawings. I've done eight so far; no successes at all. Any hints or tips on how to do this?
      • Liz Clayton Fuller
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        lizclaytonfuller
        Hi Mike!   Blind-contour drawing is a notoriously difficult exercise, it is admirable that you have done eight so far! With persistence will come progress, in my personal career I'm certain that I've done hundreds of blind-contour drawings and I'm even more certain that my first ones were not good! I encourage you to be patient with yourself and keep trying. Many of the sketches that folks have shared here are quite exceptional, blind contour drawings are often very goofy! I suggest you try varying your speed, maybe slow down if you feel like you might be going too fast (this is a common occurrence), or vice versa if you feel like it is going far too slowly. It is all too easy to let your hand and your eye get out of sync, so try to focus on drawing the exact part of your subject that your eye is focusing on. As with any exercise - this will come easier to some than others. Remember that learning to draw is a process and every drawing you create is contributing to your growth as an artist!
    • Aimee
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      aimee_lusty
      0 I enjoyed this exercise, I think it is a good practice in slowing down and will be a good technique to lead with to warm up my hand in the field. The quality got better as I went on after working on a few of them, still finding my proportion of returning to my starting line can be way off. Looking forward to practicing this on 3D subjects.
      • holly
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        hollysnuts
        I have to agree it's good as a warm up. I bet you'll be great with anything Fuller offers us
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      margsea
      imageIt was difficult to refrain from looking. As I drew I suddenly felt the movement of the animal more than the actual form. I plan to practise this in my backyard while bird watching. (That is if it ever stops raining!)
      • Robin
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        CamilleFuille
        Same happened to me...especially with the Springbok...I felt like I was jumping, too! Very freeing!
    • Eileen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      cherryred
      So glad you  had us do 4 subjects because  I found myself looking at the subject  as a big shape immediately , and then looking at the other shapes within , before I started started to use the pencil.  As I drew, I was thinking of the shapes as I was seeing them and  I felt that this is how artists must see. My fourth picture really pleased me.  Thank you so much for this exercise.  It has made a big difference to me. I feel like I have begun to develop a skill. Amazing!It may look more like a kangaroo than a a springbok to most viewers , but to me it is a success!  By the way, as a lefty, I  remembered to start on the right side this time and that probably helped , too. IMG_5289    
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      SRMelton
      Initially I didn't intent to share my results. Seeing what others posted inspired me to repeat the exercise, so thanks for sharing! Did anyone notice the odd shape on the springbok's back left upper leg? Do you know what it is or might might have caused it?IMG_2606
    • Kenneth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Ken Jinks
      Found it difficult to not look at drawing on the newt this focusing improved as I worked through the following pictures. The results were in all cases hilarious , but in all of the pictures there were elements that I could recognize and felt that showed some control of hand eye combination. A exercise that also indicates the usefulness of the short staccato pencil strokes along with the need for constantly changing focus to attain accurate drawing.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      margsea
      I thought I was concentrating well and kept my eyes on the subjects but my goodness my results were hilarious.            
    • Mario
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      fusertramp
      mines went really horrible, i think the only one was the bird of paradise flower haha i have to keep trying!!
    • holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      hollysnuts
      Once again, share it if you’d like to. Do you think it helped you stay focused on your subject? Indeed it did! I discovered lots of things after this exercise. I can see clearly things I might not have noticed previously, like the effect of light and striations of my subjects things Prof. Fuller has taught us. My inability to judge distance and the amount of time I might need to complete any drawing are clearer after attempting this exercise and from the other things Prof. Fuller has taught us before using BLIND CONTOUR DRAWING. I'm not sure I cheated when I used my right hand as a ruler to simply keep my left hand on the page of my journal. It's a curious exercise and one I'll practice with. She's always so positive, but I was disappointed with myself. I won't give up though because the course is fascinating. I appreciate the work the other students are sharing and wish I'd taken art courses instead of language in college.
    • Kristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ktiebel
      Anyone have tips for getting proportions accurate? Mine are all over the place.
    • Mariane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Mare83
      Guys, look at my Springbok 😂😂😂  Cool excercise though!  I'm here to learn and I am loving it!! image
      • Mary Jo
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        mp2162
        Love it!  I agree that this course is so cool and especially the sharing of our drawings and learning new techniques.  I have really been enjoying it.
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        amy_jay_bee
        Kudos for posting this! It’s kind of like the top was at the beginning of the jump and the bottom was at the peak.
    • Montecito
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      favelasco
      At the beginning a though it was difficult to draw without seeing, but after I started, I felt more confident and also relax. It was easier than I though, as you can keep your sight exactly where you are drawing the details of the shapes. This way of drawing the contours helps you focus really on the subject. I loved it.IMG_4581IMG_4580
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Jean_Smith
      My eye speed and hand speed don’t seem to match, producing distortion. My newt looked more like a flying squirrel, and some of my springboks are neckless while others look like giraffe x springbok hybrids.  I’m not sure if it helped me focus. I’ll keep trying.
      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        debg51
        I had the same problem Jean, my eye and hand speed didn't match.
    • Christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Chris2019
      IMG_6196 Oh that poor bird!! Yikes! I admit I freaked out a little and drew that one too fast... Better try that one again... IMG_6197 That felt better! I do like my bird of paradise, though... IMG_6198 Springbok got kind of a spare tire... something weird happened with his hind foot... that one ear looks like a third horn... If you can't laugh at yourself, you're not having fun.
    • kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      pajaroenmano
      That was really difficult to let go of the outcome, but fun in the end. I like that it forced me to really slow down and try to coordinate my hand movements with my view. I liked my springbok the best!image
    • Barbara T.
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      btyczkowski
      LOL, I found myself stopping after doing a section to pick up my pencil and draw a new limb or section. It still came out looking funky!
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Smyrna38
      I notice I’m better on the down strokes, less accurate on the return, or upstrokes.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      donnacnh
      I never attempted this before, an interesting exercise, my newt was pretty good in some parts, not so much in others, but the general body shape is there.image
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Sustra
      When there are many small appendages it's harder to draw without removing hand from page then when it's more of a solid mass like the newt, but you had to focus on both the subject and the flow of your hand so I'd think it's helpful when sketching a moving subject.
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