Contour Line

Contour means “outline”, and presents exterior edges of objects. A plain contour has a clean, connected line, no shading, and emphasizes an open “shell” of the subject.

pineconecontourcontour line pic

Blind contour drawing means drawing the outline and surface ridges of the subject without looking at the paper. The end result doesn’t matter – what is important is carefully observing the subject.


We will be practicing today beginning with drawing our hands 3 times:

  1. Trace your hand and draw the contour lines to make it look 3-dimensional like the figure above.contourtracedhand
  2. Draw the contour lines of your hand by drawing the outside edges and the details you see on the inside of the form (still drawing the lines on the surface).
  3. Draw a blind contour line drawing of your hand making sure you draw all the details. Only look at the hand you are drawing, not your paper!!
  4. Now, for the 4th drawing, draw the face of the person next to you in continuous blind contour lines – your pen/pencil will not leave the paper the entire time you are drawing, and only look at the person’s face, not the paper.


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