Art Tuesday – Week 2: Scrooge McDuck Blind Contour Drawing

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I’m really happy with the turn out we had from last week’s assignment. There were a lot of people that took part in it that I wouldn’t have expected would turn something in, so that’s kind of cool. I guess because there is a surprise element to a blind contour drawing. It kind of levels the play field because unless you’re some sort of blind contour wizard, chances are everyone is going to have what they would consider an awful drawing.

The point of this exercise wasn’t to make an amazing drawing. It’s more about teaching yourself how to follow the lines of a picture and to help yourself remember the details of any subject. It makes the artist stay away from relying on symbols, things they think they know how to draw, and focus on the subject completely. Some really fun and interesting results came of this, so let us take a look at the gallery. At the end of the gallery you’ll also be able to find next week’s assignment, so don’t miss it!

Scrooge McDuck Blind Contour Results

This is the image I asked everyone to draw last week, so all of the following pieces are based upon this image.

I’m no expert in this assignment by the way, so my comments on everyone’s work will be kept to a minimum.

PhantomSpiker did a nice job keeping things kind of where they should be. This surely looks like a blind contour drawing, with lots of details being accounted for.

Dante369’s is interesting in the direction he took it. Instead of the body going towards the bottom of the page, he moves to the right, giving Scrooge an almost ghost like appearance.

John did a really nice job capturing the overall shape of Scrooge. Pieces like the coin in his hand and the cane are close to where they should be.

Russell Casse’s drawing is very close to Spiker’s in that it’s what you’d expect to see of a blind contour drawing. Lots of little details. His focus isn’t on the whole shape, but rather the details that make up Scrooge.

Russell’s wife got in on the action as well with the above two images. In the first one she did a nice job capturing the outline and shape of Scrooge. Unpleased with her work, she decided to focus on the more detailed end of him. Her first attempt is more appealing, because it is clear that on the second attempt she was focusing on the areas that she felt she failed on with the first image. The result is that she did those parts better, but left the rest of it up in the air. She cheats with the hands and simply makes circles where she thinks hands should go. Interesting to see how the brain works. This is a prime example of drawing actually. In the first image she let herself go and trusted her instinct. In the second image, her brain takes over and complicates things, forcing certain ideas of what she thinks the image should be, like the circle hands as symbols. I think the results speak for themselves.

Bowie kept things safe and also went with the general shape of Scrooge, foregoing detail for the silhouette of Scrooge. He did a nice job keeping the feet level with the ground. The hands are also close to where they would be.

My wife Demi decided to take part in this one and came up with this Scrooge. She hated it, but I think it’s really nice actually. She managed to get all of the important parts in there, and did a nice job with the fingers holding the coin, along with the feet and glasses. It looks pretty close to the original artwork.

Stillies’ Scrooge shows a different type of thinking. He works his image downward, with the important parts of the head slowly sloping downward. He spends more time on the arm with the cane and the coin but then goes for a more simple approach to the rest of the body.

I guess I felt the hands and feet were the most important part of my drawing because I went a little nuts with the proportions there. I really thought I had his left hand attached to his arm, but I guess I didn’t as it’s totally floating around in his chest. I thought I had a more complete head, but I forgot to do areas there too. I’m happiest with his right foot. It’s also worth noting I did mine on a tablet, I probably should have done it on paper. I think I would have had a better drawing if I went with paper.

Anyway, lots of real good drawings here. I’m happy with the gallery we have here.

Next Week’s Assignment – Upside Down & Right Side Up Leonardo

Hopefully I’m not scaring anyone away with this next one because it’s going to require a bit more patience and effort as it has two parts to it. Last week I tried to get you to really pay attention to lines and details, and this week you’re going to take that and apply it to something familiar, but not in the way you’re used to doing it. What you’re going to do is draw the following image as it appears here.

I want you to draw Leonardo, starting from the top and working your way down. It is extremely important not to think of it as drawing Leo and to instead focus purely on the lines. Your brain will be taxed and you’ll probably get thrown into a fit questioning your every move. Try not to let that happen, instead focus on the lines, not Leo. Now, when you’re finished set the drawing to the side and do not look at it. That is when you’ll move onto the next phase.

Now draw the same image right side up. You can draw this picture how you would any other picture. There are no rules, just draw it how you feel most comfortable. When you’re finished drawing it, take your original upside down picture and flip it to compare to the one you just drew. I think that you’ll find very surprising results.

Quick run down of what you’re going to do:
1. Draw the upside down Leonardo image from the top to the bottom. Take all the time you need. Don’t rush or it won’t pay off.
2. When you feel like the drawing is complete, put it to the side and do not look at it.
3. Move onto the next picture and draw it right side up. Draw it how you see it in any way you please. Take all the time you need.
4. Compare your pictures and post them on our message board. Post the upside down image right side up so we can see the result without having to flip it.

As always you can either post your images on our forum (the easiest way) or send them via e-mail to phil at shamoozal.com, or tweet them to me.

Looking forward to seeing these, have fun with it.

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