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Figure Drawing: Line and Contour


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Gestural Structure
Figure Drawing: Line and Contour
S McKeeman, licensed to About.com, Inc.
A common problem with pure contour drawing is that as the 'tempo' of drawing changes, and as we focus in on one small area at a time, the proportions of the figure become lost. Gradually errors compound and the figure becomes distorted. We need to learn to preserve the proportions of the figure. The best way to do this is to learn to draw the structure of the figure first.

As you become more familiar with the structure of the human body, you will gradually learn to judge proportion by instinct. We are then able to maintain the proportions of the figure by visualizing landmarks prior to drawing, and by continually checking against the line one has already drawn.

In this example, drawn by Sharon McKeeman, you can see how the artist has rapidly sketched the key structures of the figure before describing the contour with a few elegantly descriptive lines.

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