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Level: Primary, Junior, Middle School, High School
Grades: K and up | Age: 5yrs and up | Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater

Blind contour drawing is an excellent way to train the eye to draw what it really sees rather than what it thinks it sees.


When making a blind contour drawing, the eye is not watching the hand as it draws on the paper.

Blind contour drawing is an excellent way to train the eye to draw what it really sees rather than what it thinks it sees.

The first contour drawings you do will look, well, funny. However, with practice, you will find that you will be able to accurately record an image on paper without looking at your hand as it draws!

It is a great warm-up drawing activity for any age group.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Choose an object to draw (a door, a book, shoes, window, plant etc.).

  2. Pick a point on the object where the eye can begin its slow journey around the contour or edge of the object. Remember, the eye is like a snail, barely crawling as it begins its journey.

  3. When the eye begins to move, so should the hand holding the pencil. At no time should you look at your hand as it draws. Try drawing the entire contour of the object without lifting your pencil form the paper.

  4. Practice this drawing method often and you will find your drawings looking more and more like what you are looking at.

  5. If you are feeling adventurous, place your drawing under a box as you draw ... that way there is no possible way for you to see what you are drawing. Try it. And remember ... don't panic if your drawing of a shoe looks more like a squashed beetle ... relax and keep it fun. Practice, practice, practice. That's how the real artists do it.
Recommended Books/Products:

Drawing with Children; A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
by Mona Brookes
Founded on the belief that any child can learn to draw realistic pictures using her "alphabet of shapes" while in a noncompetitive environment, Mona Brookes' easy-to-follow, lesson-by-lesson approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages.

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