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In this exercise, the only real differences from the pure contour exercise is that in modified contour you get to look at your paper - at the paper you're doing the actual drawing on. You'll also be drawing within a format - you recall: the frame, the container, the bounding space around your drawing. The format will become more important as we get into negative space - the next exercise. I'm throwing out terms you should be familiar with by now. If not, you can reference them below:
So, if you need to, I recommend re-reading Modified Contour in the foundation lessons or either of the Ears or Nose Modified contour lessons. I'm going to give the quick version of modified contour here - as applicable to the eyes.
So get yourself comfortable, I've adapted a previous exercise for eyelids.
Recall, modified contour is just like pure contour except you get to look at your paper. You spend 90% of the time looking at the subject (parts of the eye in this case) and 10% looking at your drawing. You begin to size the proportions of your drawing by sight. That is, by comparing, judging angles, relating one line or part to another you can reproduce a drawing that looks like the subject you're drawing - with all its proportions intact.
Formats are the framework (rectangular in this case) you draw your exercises in. You can print them from their separate pages or trace them right off the screen.
You'll be Drawing This Eyelid
Step 1: Setting up
Step 2: Getting acquainted with what you'll be drawing
So, now that you've comfortably positioned yourself, give the eyelid on the screen a good look. As you did in the pure contour exercise, start in one spot - any spot. With your eyes, track the contour lines all the way around the shape. Look at the texture, look at the shapes in and around the eyelid. Allow the shift back to R-mode to begin. Be aware again, of how this shift in perception feels.
Eyelids within the format
I've picked 2 diagonal lines to reference here
Imagining this next piece
of angled line
(Note: compare this next
I'm starting with the upper lid plate margin and working my way around. Rather than try and draw whole line sections, visually break them up into small straight lines. Remember, you're learning to do two things here: youre' learning how to draw eyelids and built lots of depth in accessing R-mode, i.e. seeing as an artist sees.
And then the next section...
and the next...
Here I've added the margin of the upper eyelid that lies right on top of the eyeball. I did it in one big jump from the previous drawing but you get the idea, right? (Remember, you're using your imagination here and visualizing the jump from the original illustration to your drawing paper.)
And the next...
Adding the lower lid margin that touches the eyeball...again in one fell swoop. Break it into smaller sections if that works for you.
Note: the lower lid is a double line. That's because the lid has thickness to it and if you look in the mirror right now, you'll see the lighter or shinier margin of the lid edge. This thin edge along the eyelid is the aslo the origin of all the eyelashes. The upper lid has the same margin to it - it's just not as obvious as the lower lid.
And so on...
Here I've added the little pouch of the lower lid.
And lastly I've added a little wrinkle at the "lateral" corner (earside) of the eye and the "nasal groove" at the "medial" aspect (nose side) of the drawing.
Now you have the idea.
Lets review the technique a little: Fix your eyes on any line, (or contour) that grabs you. Again, in comparison to vertical or horizontal, which way does it go? Which way does it angle? I'm easing you into making it a habit to compare contours, or any line for that matter, to vertical and horizontal.
Like the pure contour method, the vast majority of your time in this exercise should be spent on observing and recording what you see. Maybe 10% of the time should you be looking at the paper.
As a reminder: everything you need to know is in front of your eyes. You just need to observe those perceptions - no reason to think, no need for words. The finished picture will be a recording of those fresh, honest observations you made while you were immersed in R-mode.
So that's your job: play reporter and get your observations down. Since you don't need to do anything else, this will feel easy, you'll feel relaxed, and confident as you get engaged with the information in front of you. You'll be fascinated how the puzzle pieces will come together.
You've set up the conditions so R-mode can process the information. And that's why once you can leave the critical, domineering, belligerent L-mode behind, it becomes easy. What you see is just "information". And you're the conduit between the "information" and the paper.
Now following these exact same directions do:
A) 4 drawings of the pupil and iris within the eyelid drawings you've just done.
Draw the pupil and iris inside the eyelids
Review the Pupils exercises if necessary and go for it! You've drawn the eyelids, now fill them in with pupils and irises. Experiment with the placement of the pupils. Have fun with it!
Take a break. You deserve it. Next exercise is a "Negative Space" treatment of the eyelid/iris/pupil you've e just completed. If this seems like I'm getting redundant, that's good! I want you to so familiar with the basic drawing skills that they'll be second nature.
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