So, the next chapter is all about the contour line and a good explanation is given by Smagula about the difference between gestural lines and contour lines, in that gesture lines are used to visually express the basic shapes, movement and feel of the forms, whereas contour lines more accurately describe the exact shape of the form by carefully recording the placement of the edges and contours. Being confident with recording line accurately is obviously really important for improving drawing skills and being able to record line expressively to recreate 3D forms onto 2D paper is a skill that takes a lot of practice to be able to achieve a variety of visual effects.
Above is a drawing with graphite pencil of a pair of my shoes, trying to carefully observe the shapes I am outlining. I tried to keep an eye on the subject rather than on the paper and followed the contours of the shoes with continuous lines. Shoes seem to be a popular subject for contour line practice !
This was an exercise from Drawings on the right side of the brain by Betty Edwards I did a few years ago where you had to copy a line drawing by Picasso (Portrait of Igor Stravisnky) upside down and covered up, only revealing a bit at a time. The outcome was a very accurate copy of the drawing and accurate placement of the lines, as your mind was tricked into only observing the shape of the line and not on the overall image of a man.
Some more shoe drawings from a few years ago. The first two were contour exercises from Drawings on right side of the brain and using a picture plane. Obviously a greater degree of realism or photo realism can be achieved with a picture plane, as the proportions are accurate. The drawing on the right is a contour exercise of my Onisuka Tigers from Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. As I said... shoes... shoes.. .shoes... !!
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.