More Contours

March 15, 2013

130126A_ManFrontLeft: 8.5 x 11 inch sketch using Faber-Castel Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen to do a contour drawing of the face, and then outlined with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, on Stonehenge paper.

On February 1, 2013 I posted Project Friday: Contours on a Face.

I've got more of them I want to show you today. Maybe you'll revisit this approach this weekend for another Project Friday? Or maybe you'll just spend 30 minutes trying it once.

If you have a live model—whether it's a significant other or a cat, dog, or budgie—that would be best. If you don't have a live-in model then stopping the action on your TV will suit you for now. (I cover all this in the other post.)

130126B_profileLeft: 8.5 x 11 inch sketch on Richeson Recycled Watercolor paper. You'll see from this sketch that the rougher texture of the paper breaks up the pen lines in interesting ways.

I like to work quickly when I'm doing this if I'm working from the TV. I like to pretend that the model might move at any time. Ideally you'll want to go slowly at first and pay attention to all the little curves and nuances. (Those first two sketches are the same person.)

130127A_womanRight: Another contour sketch on Stonehenge, made first with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen and then outlined with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Background lines were also added with the PPBP.

130127B_ManLeft: Richeson Recycled watercolor paper. Same size and pen use as the other examples.

I find when I'm playing around with this exercise that I like to use the same page size for each drawing. And I like to fill the entire page. It helps me think about negative space around the head as well as within. (Though I don't always think about that space successfully!)

All of the contours in today's post were from "Perry Mason" episodes. The first two are the same character actor and he was fun to sketch for obvious reasons. The second two actors appealed to me because their hairdos had personalities of their own! 

Go have some sketching fun.

    • Karen
    • March 15, 2013

    I always like trying this without lifting the pen from the paper. You have to plan your trip around the face.

  1. Reply

    Karen, if I’m doing a totally blind contour I like to do that as well, though I rarely plan well, I just start in.

    When I’m doing something like this I like to see the individual shapes, and then jump to the nearest area, across the shortest space. Definitely finishing an area before going on.

    At some point I’ll end up in a cul de sac and have to move the pencil to a new area.

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