Contour and Gesture

There are a couple of drawing exercises.  One is contour drawing.  That is where you cannot look at what you are drawing unless you stop moving the pencil.  In this exercise you are to imagine that your pencil tip is actually resting on the edge of the object you are drawing.  In this exercise you are then drawing what you see and not what you think you see.  I heard an artist say once, “A chair does not sit on the floor.  It SITS on the floor."  I once watched an artist speak out loud what she was thinking as she did a control drawing.  The logical side of her brain was battling the creative side.  Like, “If you don’t turn that pencil now you are going to have a bad drawing.”  

The other kind of practice is gesture drawing where one rapidly scribbles in a form either still or moving.  Try it watching a sports event and do a person rapidly.  It is amazing how you can then put edges around them which gives you a much more live form. 

You are probably familiar with the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.