I encourage students inside my program Self-Taught to Self-Confident to explore different practice strategies to inform their original art.
For example, musicians practice things like scales to warm up and develop tone, fingering, and other skills that improve their performances.
In this behind the scenes Q&A, I talk about one of the exercises many artists avoid doing (or have never done – that was me for years – no one told me about it) and how it can help you better “see” your work.
In this video you will: see examples of cross contour drawings,
learn how to use cross contour studies to help create balance in your composition,
and some other compositional tips to improve your original art.
Have you explored cross contours as a practice? How do they help inform your art? Tell me more in the comments below!
Circles, oblongs, ellipsis and so forth are great “warm-up” exercises, especially when you segment a circle into a globe-like structure. Add a bit of shading to an object and viola, cross-contours. I’m not quite sure of how to draw an object without some kind of contour lines to define that shape? Sometimes, all it takes is a bare wisp of a line, or lines. They’re so important to build a drawing or painting. You have to give some “feel” to an object, lest it just hang there in space. These lines bring life to almost anything I can think of. Even angular subjects need shadows, which, even if straight, I guess you could consider them to be “cross-contours” of a kind, no?
Sometimes I’ve found people rely too much on contours, but as I know you are a pro when it comes to stipple that isn’t a problem you face 🙂
I like that cross contours have us considering volume, it’s not something we often think about specifically, even though our goal is often to achieve a level of realism in drawing.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here!