So, now we're up to cross contour line techniques where we are recording information not just of the outer dimensions of subjects, but of the inner dimensions of the three dimensional form. The point is to follow the contours of the form from the edge inwards by drawing lines through and across the form. A good example of this technique is found in the right hand picture of Albrecht Durer's "Young Steer" (1495) drawing where you can clearly see the brilliance of his line work as he follows the muscles and skeleton of the animal with very detailed cross contour lines to describe the 3D form. It really is meticulous and brilliant. I have a lot of time for good old Albrecht !
This is my attempt at a cross contour line drawing of my peace lily plant in charcoal. The aim was to use parallel line to follow the vertical and horizontal contours of the plant, indicating shadow by drawing the lines close together and leaving areas blank to indicate highlights. I think it would have been better if I'd used a bit more variety in the line to indicate the tonal aspect more definitely and clearly... but it was late...and I was tired.... To do a good job with this topic, I think it's best to be able to take your time and not be rushed or tired.
These exercises were from a few years ago from Bert Dodson's Keys to drawing book. They explore a technique called hatching where tone is produced by a series of short parallel strokes and crosshatching where lines are drawn over top at right angles. It's a very methodical method of drawing and is very controlled and takes hours to complete small sections. These were done with a fine tipped felt pen. The one on the left is a copy of a small section of Georgio Morandi's Still life (1933). On the right is my teapot. Only four tones are used - light, middle light, middle dark and dark. I enjoyed doing this exercise and didn't mind the tedious aspect too much. My natural style and inclination is probably more controlled than spontaneous..
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.