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Art Lessons: Blind Contour

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Blind contour is a classic
exercise to really experience and
realize a drawing to the fullest.
So, this is an amazing way to shift
off of your left hemisphere and into your
right hemisphere.
This really does slow your brain down,
slows the synapses.
They're firing at a slower speed and every
art student has done this at one point,
and if you haven't, you really should.
I do it every so often.
It's one of things that's actually really
fun to do if you can get into the zone of
it, you can have fun with it.
But I really recommend with this one in
particular that you are in a quiet space,
and if you have music, let it be classical
let it be something that doesn't have
lyrics, because you don't want your brain
to kind of travel off into some other
It's kind of a meditation in a lot of
Blind contour is called blind contour
because you're literally blind.
You're not looking at the paper
you're looking right at the object or
subject that you're drawing.
So, you're gonna need a couple things.
First of all, you're going to need your
own hand.
And if you're right-handed,
you're going to pose your left hand in a
comfortable position.
I know people and students that have done
this exercise and
they try to be dynamic and hold it out
here, and you know, it just gets heavy.
It's hard to model.
So, your hand by the end of it is down
So really, place your hand in a very
comfortable position.
Set a timer.
I would recommend right around 20 minutes
for this exercise.
For me, I'm probably gonna do it faster.
I'm gonna do it in five minutes.
So just be mindful that as long as you
to take on this, the longer you take, the
more you're going to get into the zone.
So that's even better.
So you're gonna need that.
I'm working here at an easel, but if you
don't have any easel,
you don't have the luxury of that, I would
take a piece of paper, and
I would tape it down, so it doesn't move.
You can't really afford to, you know,
draw on a piece of paper that's not taped
down, next thing you know you're
drawing all over your table because you
can't see what you're doing.
So, you need tape, you need a piece of
paper, you need to tape it down,
and you need a timer, a stopwatch,
something that will go off so
you're not always looking at your clock to
see what's going on with time.
You want to really lose yourself in a
timeless space so
that you could just experience nature.
So, once you have all of those, really
just kind of dial out.
Tune out.
Because you really need to be in the zone.
I'm gonna try to tune out as much as I can
as I'm talking,
but try, when you do it at home, don't
Don't talk to anyone, be left alone for
ten or twenty minutes,
I recommend 20 minutes.
And stop watch.
Tape it down.
Get in a comfortable position.
Use your hand.
Hands really easy.
You can do your shoes.
You can do your dog if your dog's asleep.
You could do whatever.
But, you know, I recommend your hand, you
can really control.
And get your hand into
an interesting position.
So the exercise here once again is not
that you're going to do a beautiful
drawing, it's more that you're going to do
something that's really real.
And, as I sit here and I look at my hand,
and by the way, don't cheat.
That's not doing any good for you on this
You're gonna be looking at your hand and
really drawing it without looking at all.
Once you look.
You've broken it.
You've broken the train of complete
realization with what the experience is.
So you can't look.
You will, you will break your entire
You want your eyes to kind of go around
the form and
move really slowly, and your eyes are
moving as slow as your hand is moving.
Don't let your hand speed up and your eyes
are moving slow, or your eyes speed up and
your eyes are drawing like crazy, and your
hands moving really slow.
You wanna really make sure that they're at
the same pace,
your eyes are drawing for you.
Your eyes are drawing.
Your hand is merely recording what your
eyes are seeing.
So they're moving at the same pace.
One goes up, it's really going to take you
to another place.
So, those are the pre-reqs, let's do this.
I'm really trying
to experience this.
Your brain's gonna really wanna speed up.
Now, I had my right eye open, and my left
eye closed.
Now I'm switching to my left eye open, my
right eye closed.
CauseI just see my hand moving in the
background, it's really distracting me.
I'm not gonna look yet.
But before I look, that clearly wasn't 20
It was only a couple of minutes.
But, I tried to really just concentrate
and really get into the zone and
fixate on allowing my eyes and my hands to
kinda move at the same speed and
to record what was going on sculpturally.
So now I'm gong to look woah.
That's actually really interesting.
So, yeah.
That's cool.
So, sometimes there's just like, you know,
what it is, it's like this almost feels
like a lie detector test.
So when I see that I had my eight year old
daughter do it, I had my friends do it,
I hall all, you know, people, my students
do this for years,
and it's always so much like real truth
when you do the exercise right.
There's so much truth in that.
This is like when you're really
experiencing line, when you're really
experiencing the form, and you can't lie,
you can't lie about it, it's impossible.
Because you're just looking, unless if
you're really doing it,
you're really concentrating.
You're really doing the exercise.
There's no lies.
There's just truth right here.
And so that's why some of these lines are
just so beautifully truthful.
Like right here where that thumb wraps
around and
you can see the edge and them the nail's
coming out.
To me that just feels like something
better than I could ever
experience when I'm drawing it, when I'm
looking at it because.
You're kinda dipping really into your
It's like, you know, the, the Kung Fu
blind Master, who can feel it,
who can see it in a more profound way on a
higher level.
That's what we're really tuning into here,
so you have to try this at home.
Anyone could do this.
And what you're gonna find out is, you
know, some of you who've never even drawn
before or some of you who are actually
master draftsman, master painters.
You're gonna find some truth that you
haven't even seen before.
You're gonna discover a lot about
So, enjoy this one.