Contour in Ink using a marble
Contour in Ink using a marble

I cringed when my high school art teacher informed me he was posting  my contour drawing of a student, sitting with his knees pulled to his chest,  on the wall outside our classroom.

My fellow art students cheered. They knew first-hand how difficult it was to draw anything resembling a human using a marble dipped in black ink. Yes, you heard me right – that drawing was done by rolling an ink-dipped marble around on a piece of paper while focusing on the student model in the center of the classroom.

The non-art students laughed at our “art wall” in the hallway of our high school. “Crazy artists, what the hell is that?”they jeered. But we were building our art muscle – contour drawing helps develop your eye-hand coordination.  As the year progressed we flexed our art muscle and in one hour we could sketch and shade a student model like this:

Live model in pencil
Live model in pencil

or this one of a classmate:

Live model sketch
Live model sketch

“Contour drawing is an artistic technique used in the field of art in which the artist sketches the contour of a subject by drawing lines that result in a drawing that is essentially an outline.”

Within a few months, we had moved from outlining the live model to sketching, shading and bringing the model to life on the page.  Looking back on my old sketches reminds me that I need to start working out again…building my art muscles.

And so, during the month of August, I want to introduce you to my “inner artist”.  I refer to her as the “slumbering artist” but I’m waking her up and clearing the cobwebs out of my art studio.  My plan is to share an art technique or medium on my Monday Musing and Friday Features blog posts throughout the month. I hope you enjoy.

Now where did I put those marbles……

20 thoughts on “Monday Musing ~ Art Class

  1. Oh, Sue, you are so talented! I’m looking forward to seeing what techniques you’ll be covering and what I can learn, too. Keep them coming. Loved this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Techniques can be fun, but without inner vision (which i know you have!!) they are empty, like the cup without the tea. (hope that doesn’t sound harsh, i don’t mean it that way)

    Liked by 1 person

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