What is a continuous line drawing and why you should master it

Continuous line drawing

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Artists often struggle with a rigid approach when drawing and this can lead to poor results. In order to improve your art style, you need to develop better hand-eye coordination and learn how not to be so stiff when working on a piece of art.

Continuous line drawings, also known as Contour Drawings, provide an excellent way for artists of all levels to practice these skills. By learning how not to lift the pencil off the paper until you have finished their drawing, you are able to focus on hand-eye coordination and relaxation techniques that will help you achieve more natural-looking results in future pieces of artwork.

Continuous line drawing is a technique that focuses on the process rather than an end result. The aim of continuous line drawing, as its name suggests, is to encourage more variety and improve quality in your lines by reducing tentative sketchy work or erasing mistakes – it can also help you become less hesitant about making errors at all!

It should be noted that this is NOT intended as a substitute for traditional figure drawing classes but rather as an addition to any artist’s training program who wishes it.

What is a continuous line drawing called?

Continuous line drawings are also known as Contour Drawings. The name is derived from the process of drawing which involves following the contours or outline of a subject without lifting the pencil off the paper until the drawing is complete.

How can continuous line drawing help artists?

There are various ways in which continuous line drawing can help artists, irrespective of their level of experience. Continuous line drawings encourage more variety and better quality lines as well as promote hand-eye coordination and eliminate hesitations when it comes to making mistakes.

They also provide a useful exercise for improving overall control and fluidity when sketching or drawing from life. In addition, they can be used to create finished pieces of artwork that have a more natural look and feel.

Blind Contour Drawing

There are also blind contour drawings which is the same technique but with a twist. You cover your eyes or close your eyes and try to draw the same image without actually seeing what you are drawing.

This is a lot of fun to do and I have tried this with my kids and students to see how much their mind’s eye flows through to their hand as they draw.

Try it out and have a laugh and see how accurate a contour drawing you can draw from memory and without seeing what you draw!

Here’s a link you may be interested in if you want to learn more.

Blind Contour Portraits Oct 26 Imagination Stations

What is the purpose of continuous line drawings?

Think of continuous line drawings as going to the gym for drawing. They help build the drawing muscles and mental capability to tackle drawings. They are a training exercise. Continuous line drawings are essentially a drawing made of connected lines that are drawn without lifting the pencil from the paper.

One of the most important parts to remember when drawing or sketching is that you should be fluid. This means no hesitation, just moving from one thing on your paper into another without overthinking it too much.

Continuous line drawings also help you focus less on the subject matter and more on how you are going to solve the problem of getting the line work correct. Solving problems is what artists do 90% of the time to ensure composition, perspective, lines, and shape are all correct. This process helps with all of that.

Why should I use this technique for my drawings?

Continuous line drawings are very beneficial for you to practice your hand-eye coordination. This technique is useful because it helps with the flow of your drawing and helps you convey movement through the lines that you draw.

Movement is important when creating art, an object in motion tends to look more life-like than something that is not in motion; Continuous line drawings teach you how to capture these angles when representing motion in your work.

Continuous line drawings are great when used repeatedly because they help build muscle memory, which ensures correct proportions when doing so.

Contour drawings also force artists to utilize their brains correctly while working on a piece of art by focusing less on what you are drawing and more on how you want to solve the problem of each angle in the picture.

I like to doodle using continuous line drawings as I don’t need to think about what I’m drawing the more I do them and they come along faster and more naturally.

What kind of Continuous line drawings can I practice?

Continuous Line drawings come in all shapes and sizes, but artists should start small to work up to larger projects over time. Continuous Line Drawings often look more natural than other drawings when you become more experienced at completing them.

Most people start with drawing heads as they are easy to imagine without having to look at anything else.

You can also practice continuous line drawings of fruits and flowers, basically, any still-life subject works best.

Just start simple and let your drawings get more detailed as you become more proficient.

How do you make a continuous line drawing?

The basic idea behind Continuous Line drawings is that you never lift the pencil off the paper until you finish the drawing. This might seem difficult at first, but with a little practice, it becomes much easier.

Once you have selected your subject, take a good look at it and begin by sketching out the outline of the entire object. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just get the basic shape down. Remember, keep the pencil or pen tip stuck to the paper and don’t lift it!

Then start filling in the details of the object, again moving around its entirety. You can go back over areas as many times as needed to create a smooth continuous line. You can shade in areas or add texture by simply running the pencil or pen over the area over and over until the desired effect is achieved.

Some artists find it helpful to use light pressure when doing Continuous Line Drawings so they have more control over their lines. Others prefer using a heavier hand to create a more expressive line. Experiment and find what works best for you.

Have a look at these examples below.

Examples of what can be done with continuous line drawings

As you can see, Contour Drawings can be used to create a wide variety of different effects. The possibilities are endless!

Tips on how to make your own custom continuous line drawing 

1. Start by sketching out a basic outline of your subject using light pressure.

2. Once the outline is complete, begin adding details and shading using a continuous motion.

3. Don’t lift the pencil off the paper until you’ve finished the drawing!

4. Experiment with different line weights and pressures to create different effects.

5. Take your time and be patient. Contour Drawings can take a while to master, but the results are worth it!

Contour Drawings are a great way for artists of all levels to improve their hand-eye coordination and loosen up their art style.

By taking the time to learn how to do them correctly, you’ll be able to create beautiful, natural-looking drawings in no time.

What does a continuous line symbolize?

When you make contour drawings, they symbolize the flow of life. That is why contour drawings are often used in meditation and can help you focus on the present moment. It is why I use this method daily on a small pad whenever I am in a stressful or boring meeting.

What is a continuous line drawing – Wrap up!

Contour drawings are a great way for artists of all levels to improve their hand-eye coordination and loosen up their art style.

If you found this post useful, feel free to share it with your artist friends or students wishing to understand what continuous line drawings are, how to do them and why you should master them.





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Joe Colella - Chief Wasted Talent
Joe Colella – Chief Wasted Talent

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