Playing with perspective

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Lockdown is rough my friends. Feelings of isolation, anger, sadness, grief, despair, claustrophobia, and fear have been swirling around my body in the moments that I stop remembering to be grateful that my family is healthy and that I have a lovely back porch to write this introduction from.

I created this series because whether you’re an artist or accidental Picasso, taking out time to play is an important part of breaking up routine and trying new things. Take this time to learn a new art practice or get back to your art school roots!

The goal is to make these exercises accessible to anyone in any circumstance. The weirder the medium the more interesting the image. For example, I have painted a self-portrait using coffee and wine. I have also been known to draw random doodles in restaurants and colored those with mustard and ketchup. No judgment here.

To kick us off, let’s start with an exercise most beloved by art teachers and despised by many art students (but is actually really fun so just bear with me).

What you will need

  • Something to draw on ((i.e. paper, cardboard, an iPad, or the wall of your family room’s yellow wallpaper because you feel it’s missing something.)

  • A pen/pencil/marker or whatever else you can find that can be used to draw.

  • Anything! Paint, ketchup, Listerine, sparkles, sprinkles, thread, safety pins.

So, what is a blind contour?

A blind contour is when the creator stares at something — or as in my experiences someone which involved a lot of intense staring — and draws the subject without looking down at their utensil OR drawing surface

So the point of this exercise is to slowly move your eye along your subject, teaching your eyes to see what’s actually in front of you, the details of a subject and your hand and eye to work together!

WARNING: At the end, you will not have a shockingly realistic image of whatever it is you studied. However, you will have a totally ridiculous and awesome line drawing that likely looks nothing like what you actually tried to draw.

You may now go wild with all the extra supplies you decided to grab! Paint it, collage it, it’s your art, who cares??

BONUS POINTS: Because we all could benefit from a little break from reality, hang your blind contour up in a window for your neighbors to see and possibly fear for your sanity. Mail this piece to a friend. Include a letter, or don’t.

And finally, post your wild new creation and tag @sometimesarthouse! We desperately wish to see what you cute little gremlins are working on.