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Linear Contour Drawing - Pure Contour

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Limitations of Pure Contour Drawing
Drawing forshortening is difficult with pure line

Drawing forshortening is difficult with pure line

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A complex object with many edges may give the appearance of detail, but a simple object will offer no information about its three-dimensional form. For example, a circle may be a flat disk, a ball or a hole. Only the context of the drawing gives clues about the form. Because of this, it can be easy to misinterpret shapes, or for them to look odd or badly drawn. In this example, the fingers look quite mis-shapen because lack of information gives the viewer insufficient clues as to the degree of foreshortening.

Some readers have commented that they like this drawing and find it simple and elegant. Perhaps because they are looking at it from a more illustrative or design perspective, where these elements can be important. In contrast, I was looking at it from a more expressive, naturalistic point of view. So it goes to show - when you think a drawing is a failure, it might not be. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' as the saying goes!

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