“No-Look Drawing”. BLIND CONTOUR DRAWING. Blind Contour Drawing. The Brussels sprouts of art class is here and it’s good for you, I swear. Eye’s off your paper! (Yes, that means draw without looking.)
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Two overlooked faculties of the human mind are kinesthesia and proprioception. Kinesthesia is the body’s awareness of motion in the body and proprioception is the body’s awareness of the position of the body. Both of these senses work exclusive of vision, but they are usually trumped by your vision. Take your ability to balance. Balance is achieved when your brain combines proprioception, sight, and equilibrioception (inner ear).
Stand on one foot with your eyes open, you’re probably fine. Close your eyes, and now your body has to rely on your sense of proprioception, and you’ll probably lose balance pretty quick.
Now try the same thing while swinging your leg and see how good your kinesthesia is.
In both cases, when your senses of kinesthesia and proprioception aren’t strong, your body doesn’t quite know what’s going on without your eyes, and can’t send the proper impulses to your muscles to establish balance.
The importance of kinesthesia and proprioception is that you can be aware of what your body is doing without looking. Blind contour drawing develops these skills.
The less you have to look, the better you will be. Think of dancers and gymnasts – they don’t have to look behind them to make sure they’ve lifted their leg to the right angle to make a certain line. They know. The tools you use to create art should be wielded just as effortlessly and confidently.
So when you’re doing a life drawing, you don’t have to look down as much to reorient yourself and you can spend more time studying the object you’re drawing. It also helps when drawing