Category Archives: Week 2

Lines in Space

Lines, Lines, Everywhere a Line

Remember, a line cannot exist alone; it always brings a companion along. Do remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume.

– Henry Matisse

line and space

Studio: Gestures, Contours

Alexander Calder, Christo and Jeanne-ClaudeTim Hawkinson, Michael Murphy

In Class Studio: Portrait Contour Drawings

For this assignment you will do two contour drawings of your classmates, each on 18” x 24” paper with a pencil or pen.

Drawing #1

This is a blind, continuous contour. This will make use of outline and cross contour.  You may NOT lift up your pencil. Draw slowly, this should take you 15 minutes which is a LOT of time for details and meandering lines. Remember: A contour is an edge or an outline of an object OR shape. The purpose of contour line drawings is to become more aware of the outlines of forms, surfaces, shapes and figures. Draw a continuous line without lifting the pencil. Concentrate on the outside edge of the shapes on the face as well as the details inside: examples are hair, wrinkles. Do NOT assume what is there. Draw only the zone or portion of the face on which you are focusing. FOCUS is key for this to succeed. When hesitating, stop moving, focus, and then decide where to direct your line. GO SLOW.

Drawing #2

This is also a continuous contour (do NOT lift your pencil). However this does not need to be done blindly. Working from life is ideal, but you might find it difficult for the subject to not move positions. Expect this to happen but keep working as best as you can.  You are going to spend longer on this drawing – 25 minutes. This means more detail and conscious decisions about what shapes to investigate and what details to pursue. Do NOT lift your pencil.

Ai Weiwei (Chinese, b. 1957). Profile of Marcel Duchamp in a Coat Hanger, 1986. Wire clothes hanger, hanger: 15 x 11 in. (38.1 x 27.9 cm), frame: 27 x 20 in. (68.6 x 50.8 cm). Collection of Larry Warsh. © Ai Weiwei. Photo: Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART

Wire Portrait (

Assignment 2


wire demo here.