Class 2 – Contour drawing

24 Jan

Yesterday was the second illustration class. It was a cold, cold day; I was running late because I wasn’t too organized about leaving by baby with daddy. And it was insanely cold in the classroom – many people wore parkas and hats and gloves.

And the class was frustrating – challenging in a good way and frustrating.

The topic of the class was contour drawing. We were all given a green bell pepper and told to draw its contour, while never taking the eyes away from the pepper, tracing every ridge and curve as you see it. It was okay if the result looked nothing like pepper. We also were to draw on large sheets of paper, using the whole arms, feeling the bones moving in shoulder sockets.

Apparently, I wasn’t getting the point of the exercise for I was working too fast. Um – it’s a pepper, not an avocado! There isn’t that much going on in a pepper’s contour, it’s pretty smooth. As hard as I looked, I couldn’t see anything. I drew like 8 peppers while we were supposed to do 2 or 3. Sigh.


The second exercise was drawing the countour, but this time drawing contours within the shape, giving dimension to the pepper. We were also allowed to look at the drawing – but forbidden to ever take pencil off paper. I am quite happy with my pepper. And I drew only this one pepper – so I wasn’t going too fast this time around! there’s a lot going on inside pepper, unlike it’s outer contour in exercise 1.


The third exercise was really tough. Instead of  tracing the contours of the ridges, we had to “cut” pepper in slices and draw those cut lines. It’s hard to explain, easier to show. This was the handout:


I was getting lost all the time. Should the line go up? Down? Why did I draw two ridges in the previous line – there’s only one here? Arghhhh.


And then the fourth task was HELL. We were given a piece of slightly folded tin foil and were told to do the same thing: imagine that it’s a lined piece of tinfoil and trace those lines, fill the contour with them, giving shape to the piece of tinfoil. This task I failed miserably. I was getting lost completely, having no idea whatsoever what I was looking at, being totally unable to coordinate lines with the previous ones.


So that’s this week’s homework… figuring out peppers and tin foils. Another sigh.


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