Lesson 2: Best Method of Drawing Contour Curves

10:51 PM, Wednesday January 25th 2023

I'm working on re-doing my Organic Forms with Countour Lines exercise and was wondering if I had been doing it the wrong way. When i previously did the exercise, I draw my curves by drawing an ellipse, but only the part needed for the curve. Is this the right way to draw the curves or am I doing it wrong?

2 users agree
3:53 PM, Thursday January 26th 2023

https://imgur.com/a/rD6GYwr

https://d15v304a6xpq4b.cloudfront.net/lesson_images/061ed3b6.jpg

https://d15v304a6xpq4b.cloudfront.net/lesson_images/d878b8b2.jpg

One thing I would suggest is that you spend some time looking at the images here and picturing in your head how these sausages have a volume, follow in your mind the whole contour trying to feel how they are not flat, they express volume, the marks are not random, you don't just copy them without thinking why the contour is like it is shown here. Later you can just try them out a little to see if you could grasp and reproduce a form with volume. I hope it helps :D

0 users agree
10:31 PM, Saturday January 28th 2023

Hi Dayneb12, the correct way to draw these curves is to ghost an entire ellipse and only touch the page for the lines you want to see; it can be tricky to do, but drawing the complete ellipse helps the contour lines wrap around the surface better.

A couple thoughts from looking at your submission. Your work looks rushed and also lacking confidence, as mentioned in your feedback. If you're rushing, slow down and really focus on each mark you make, whether that is a line or an ellipse. Don't worry about completing the whole page; just focus on that one mark and then do the next. Focusing on each line and striving to execute it with confidence will take you longer at first (a page might take you 2 or 3 times as long), but it will also give you better results. With many months of practice your speed and accuracy will improve; but at first you have to go slow to build the right muscle memory (i.e. don't rush; you can and should still execute your marks with swift confidence); you don't want to build a habit of being sloppy.

My apologies if I'm misunderstanding or misjudging your approach, but I thought this advice might help you. Drawabox is as much a life course on patience and character-building as it is on drawing construction.

The recommendation below is an advertisement. Most of the links here are part of Amazon's affiliate program (unless otherwise stated), which helps support this website. It's also more than that - it's a hand-picked recommendation of something I've used myself. If you're interested, here is a full list.
Color and Light by James Gurney

Color and Light by James Gurney

Some of you may remember James Gurney's breathtaking work in the Dinotopia series. This is easily my favourite book on the topic of colour and light, and comes highly recommended by any artist worth their salt. While it speaks from the perspective of a traditional painter, the information in this book is invaluable for work in any medium.

This website uses cookies. You can read more about what we do with them, read our privacy policy.