Gesture and Cross Contour

Today I’m onto one of the next exercises in Kimon Nicolaides’s book The Natural Way to Draw, Cross Contours.

This exercise is very interesting. It ends up looking like a bunch of wavy lines on a page but the actually thought and visualization behind it is important.

What I’m doing here is looking at the model, picking out a point on the outside contour of their body and drawing a right angle line from that outside across their form. It could be a head, torso, back or leg, it doesn’t matter. But the most important part is to try and feel the undulation of the body as it moved in and out of space toward you and away from you.

It helped me to imagine what a piece of tape would look like, what lines it would make if it was going across the body. It’s like trying to FEEL the volume of the form.

I found myself constantly thinking about perspective and where my eye level would be in relation to the model so that I could correctly determine if the line should curve up or down.

Here is a great image I pulled from SVS Forums that illustrates how the curves change.

The rest of my time today before we head off to the Zoo is doing gestures. Always Fun!

What went well?

Having lots of fun with Nicolaides’s book.

What didn’t go so well?

Only two hours of drawing and reading today, but it’s okay as we have some fun things planned.

What did I learn and/or how can I do better?

Cross-Contours are really going to help me see the depth of form better!

Session Details