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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 ear 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
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.
So here we go: The Helix and Lobe
Approaching this as a modified
Drawing the Helix
Step 1: Setting up
in the other exercises, read
all the steps before you begin. You'll
need to draw a format or print the pre-sized
proportionate format on the next page. Format for helix. I built the format
right around the exact same picture of the helix
you see above. Read the exercise first, there's
another link for the format at the bottom.
to allow yourself 30 minutes of time to do the
drawings. (If you have an hour, all the better;
if all you can put aside is 15 minutes, then work
with that. A consistent 15 minutes 4 or 5 days a
week will yield more lasting results than 1
down your paper like you did in lesson 4. You
don't want it moving around.
look at your screen. You should have the Helix
right there on the screen in front of you. Since
you've probably never looked at an ear this way,
it'll be foreign to you. That's great! What we're
trying to accomplish with this is find a view of
facial features that's complex and interesting:
one you're left hemisphere will want to reject
and allow the R-mode to take over.
acquainted with what you'll be drawing
that you've comfortably positioned yourself, give the
helix 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
helix, look at the shape of the front of the helix: the
open part. - it's really a pretty simple shape, but has
so many beautiful details (and this is only a drawing!).
Allow the shift back to R-mode to begin. Be aware again,
of how this shift in perception feels.
a good long look at the helix. Close your eyes.
Imagine in your mind the helix is bordered by a
vertical and a horizontal line. Open you eyes.
There it is, framed within the format. Pick one
of the longer lines, margins or contours. Focus
in on it.
picked the diagonal line at the upper left corner.
Imagining this next piece
of angled line drawn in the format:
(Note: compare this next
illustration to the one above.)
And then the next
and the next...
And the next...
And so on...
You're getting the idea...
And the next - it's really
Now you have the idea. (And
yes, I drew more than the helix here.)
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
as you did in lesson 4, begin slowly
moving your eyes along the contour, and start recording
with your drawing
pencil, all the same perturbations,
undulations and curves at the same slow
pace as you see them.
you finish one line or contour, draw
the very next one, the one immediately
neighboring the line you just finished. Then go
to the next, and then the next. Draw
the lines and contours as they come up: don't try
to draw a big outline that you'd have to go back
to and fill in later.
some of the lines of the helix seem pretty long.
Break it up like this: most of the lines are
straight with little kinks that as a whole ad up
to a curve. Draw little sections that seem pretty
straight - that way you're comparing the lines by
the angles they diverge towards or away from
vertical and horizontal. Break it up like in this
no need to talk to yourself, or use language at
all. When you're in R-mode, there's no use
for words. R-mode does fine entirely without
words. Just keep referring to the screen,
wordlessly comparing, relating, and scanning what
is before your eyes.
words only get in the way. No need to say things
like "well if this part is here, then this
must go there..." - you don't have to reason
anything out. Just draw what you see. It's all
right there. Focus on how one line or contour
seems to arise out of the one before it, compare
widths, angles, and lengths. Compare those
lengths or angles to the one you've just
can look at your paper occasionally to
reference a relation, a starting point, or a
quick proportion. But don't get hung up on it.
You're bound to have discrepancies in relative
size and proportion. Don't' worry!
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.
you get stuck on a part that seems too difficult,
the tendency is to access your memory -
this pulls you out of the real-time, in-the-now,
direct experience of R-mode. To avoid
the "memory bin trap" of
L-mode do this: Draw the area or contour
immediately next to or around
the troublesome part. That will shift you away
from naming it, will steer you around L-mode, and
head you back into R-mode.
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.
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.
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
Now following these
exact same directions do:
A) 4 drawings of the antihelix;
(you did the Helix
b) 4 drawings of the
Shadow area :
Go to Negative Space
Drawings of the Ear
for Ear's master link page
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