OCA Foundations Drawing – Contour Drawing

Contour of a simple object.

Using a fine pen draw the outer contour of the object in a single line then add other outlines within the shape when you feel you’ve achieved a believable shape.



I can see that my observational skills have been developed during this exercise in the improvement of shape of the jug as I kept trying. Looking carefully and drawing a single outline at the same time just as carefully made me more precise and less hesitant in mark making.

Looking intensely and filling in the negative spaces after focussing on the outline of the object was almost a meditative, relaxing process. My whole intention was on achieving a believable copy of the object. I didn’t worry about making a mistake, and instead observed closely without distraction to achieve the continuous outline.

‘Blind’ contour drawing

Draw the object several times without thinking about detail without looking down at the paper. Concentrate on looking at the object and the experience on your hand movement.


I can see a resemblance of the object and I enjoyed the freeness of not checking my accuracy  but ‘going with’ the repetition of looking and depicting again and again. 

Although these were apparently simple exercises, I found them both enjoyable and relaxing. Instead of getting stressed about detail and whether I was making mistakes, it was a useful exercise to build self-belief in my observation skills. The second of these two exercises were especially stress-less as not looking down at the paper at all meant I could ‘feel’ the marks I was making physically rather than visually checking and putting myself off.

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