I have started an on-line workshop with Jane Davies whose work I love. It is great fun and interesting - as my fellow classmates come from all over the world. We are set tasks to do and post the results on a closed blog for Jane and the others to comment on. From time to time, I shall share a few of my results.
Contour drawing - I first came across this from the book 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards and is a great way of improving your drawing. I selected an artificial rose in a bottle as my object and taped the paper down so it wouldn't move. I then drew the edges, very slowly, looking all the time at the object and not what my hand was doing. I had three attempts, moving the pen at the same speed as my eye and getting slower each time.
As you can see the results are quite strange and the lines are all over the place. However, because of my close observation, I think they contain the essence of the subject and are more interesting than the three drawings I did afterwards. For these drawings I looked at my paper as well as the object but I slowed down and really looked and studied it. I tried to improve with each go and I would not have been able to produce these results without relaxing and doing the pure contour drawing first.