To get the ball rolling, and so I don't start over thinking things again, I'm putting up some of the drawings I've been doing whilst not in University. Before we broke up for the summer we were focussing on life drawing and there was something about blind contour drawing that really took a hold of me. The excitement as you don't know how it will look until finished, the strange exaggeration of your subject, how it captures more "character" than a photorealistic drawing and mainly as it removes any excessive thought process on my behalf and i could just draw.
Spending so long in an art based environment I've picked up a few bad habits/practices in which I have now set these unreachable goals in order for a piece of my own artwork to be accecptable (in my eyes). According to these rules, each of my contour drawings is "wrong" but it wasn't until researching Matisse and Picasso that I realised that I was just wrong....
The idea of looking at "character" was also suggested to me, and rather than me taking a overly cartoon styled approach (in which I normally make things cute looking), contour drawing has been a great way of capturing the character of almost ANYTHING! Rather than looking at your page to see if the line you have drawn follows your subject, not looking at the page gives the technique a naievity somewhat reminiscent of a childs drawing where representation takes over accuracy. However in doing this you achieve a new sort of accuracy that captures the feeling and essence of your subject more so than a photograph.
(all these were either drawn from my own photos or images from magazines)
this first is an example of how i tried drawing accurately (on the right) and then used contour drawing (on the left)
as opposed to my cute characters :
I've been obsessed with finding my own style this past year. Something that I feel is truly my own and not something copied/influenced by another artists work, something at least a little bit unique to me. I believe blind contour drawing has helped along this path to me finding somewhere that I am happy working.
It's also allowed me to connect a little more with two of my favourite artists, Jim Mahfood and Ashley Wood. Don't worry, I'm not going to go on too much about them again, only that the distinct styles featured in both make use of exaggerating features and anatomy within their photo-like compositions. Since I've been working from photos a lot recently too, I'm now looking at taking this into screen printing posters. I've recently tried contacting Jim Mahfood too, hopefully looking forward to hearing something back from him when he's done promoting :)