Contours / Drawing with Compelling Contours & Foreshortening | Brent Eviston | Skillshare

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Contours / Drawing with Compelling Contours & Foreshortening

teacher avatar Brent Eviston, Master Artist & Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Contours Trailer


    • 2.

      Welcome to Contours


    • 3.

      An Introduction to Contours


    • 4.

      The Block-In


    • 5.

      Crafting Contours


    • 6.

      Cross Contour


    • 7.



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About This Class

Drawing is not a talent. It’s a skill anyone can learn. Designed for aspiring painters, graphic designers, illustrators and artists of all types, The Art & Science of Drawing series will teach you the foundation of art and design of all kinds: drawing. 

CONTOURS is the fifth course in The Art & Science of Drawing series designed to take students from the absolute basics to advanced drawing techniques like perspective drawing and shading. 

In CONTOURS you’ll learn to draw complex, volumetric form using three kinds of contour lines.  First, you’ll learn to craft a detailed outside contour.  Next you’ll learn to draw inner contours and overlaps that will describe any subject with great depth.  Finally, you’ll learn to draw using cross contour lines to create the illusion of dramatic volume and deep space.  By the end of this course, you’ll understand how to combine different kinds of contour lines to dynamically draw any form.  You’ll even learn foreshortening, one of the most sought after drawing skills.

In this course you’ll learn:

  • How to craft compelling contour drawings.
  • How to use overlaps and inner contours to create the illusion of volume in your drawings.
  • How to draw using cross contour lines that describe the topography of a subject in great detail.
  • How to use atmospheric perspective to give drawing a great sense of depth.
  • How to use foreshortening in your drawings.

CONTOURS is a remarkable course that will teach you how to draw one day at a time. Here’s how it works: Each day you’ll watch one video lesson that will introduce an essential drawing skill, and then do the recommended practice. 

During this course you’ll create a series of drawing each focusing on a different measuring technique.  By the end of the course you’ll be able to use a wide range of measuring techniques in your drawings.

This course is overflowing with powerful insights into the drawing process and offers some of the clearest, most accessible drawing instruction available.  Many of the tools and techniques you'll learn here are rarely taught outside of private art academies. 

If you're a beginner, we recommend going through the entire series in the following order:

The Art & Science of Drawing:

If you've got some drawing experience, feel free to mix and match The Art & Science of Drawing courses to suit your personal needs as an artist!

Brent has two drawing books that many students find valuable learning tools to accompany his courses. His first book "The Art & Science of Drawing: Learn to Observe, Analyze and Draw Any Subject" is available in paperback and for kindle

Many frequently asked student questions are answered here.

Brent's latest series The Drawing Laboratory includes everything taught in the original Art & Science of Drawing courses and far more. It contains many new skills, projects and demonstrations. The first course in the new series is How to Draw: A Beginner's Guide

Additional drawing fundamentals tutorials can be found on Brent's YouTube Channel.

Meet Your Teacher

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Brent Eviston

Master Artist & Instructor

Top Teacher

My love of teaching matches my love of drawing. I believe that learning to draw can transform the lives of my students, enhancing how they think and how they see the world.

Before creating my bestselling, award winning online drawing series The Art & Science of Drawing, I spent more than 20 years working with students in face to face classes through art studios, schools and museums. I spent these cultivating the most effective ways to teach drawing. To date, The Art & Science of Drawing series has had more than half a million enrollments from students in more than 180 countries.

Drawing is at the root of all of my creative work. I studied numerous forms of drawing including architectural drafting, anatomical dra... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Contours Trailer: In this course, we're going to focus on three different kinds of contour lines. The first are outside contour lines, which help to define the boundaries of an object and create a believable silhouette. Next, you'll learn about inside contour lines, which is when a contour dives inside the subject to better describe the volumes of the form. Finally, you're going to learn how to use cross contour lines. Cross contour lines go around the form, and are one of the best ways to describe the topography of a complex volume. Using cross contour lines will help you as an artist to truly understand how complex three-dimensional volumes operate in space. Understanding how to draw a complex volumes is critical to understanding how light operates, when it falls across these objects. It will help you understand which parts of your subject will remain in the light, and which parts will fall into shadow. By the end of this course, you'll be using cross contour lines to draw objects using foreshortening, one of the most sought after drawing skills. This course goes beyond drawing demonstrations and good drawing advice. Each lesson you watch will be filled with the best drawing tools, strategies, and techniques, including time-honored mastering traditions combined with contemporary concepts. At the end of each lesson, you'll be given a specific project, uniquely designed to maximize the impact of your practice, and streamline your drawing education. With engaging projects and expert instruction, this course will build your skills and get you ready for shading. Enroll today in contours, part of the art and science of drawing series. 2. Welcome to Contours: Welcome to the contours course in the Art and Science of Drawing series. I'm your instructor Brent Eviston. There are a few things I'd like to share with you before you start the first lesson. The first thing is that I absolutely love working with students. Teaching drawing is a joy and a privilege that I take very seriously. Before creating the Art and Science of Drawing series. I taught drawing for 20 years in studios, schools, museums and universities. While working with students, I would constantly ask myself, what are the teaching tools and techniques that really connect with students? What tools and techniques show the most improvement in their drawing skills? How can I teach these techniques in a way that really speeds up their skill development? This course is the answer to those questions. The courses in the Art and Science of Drawing series contains some of the most powerful teaching tools and techniques that are proven to teach students how to draw. Here's how the course works. Each day, you're going to watch one video lesson and then be given a project to do. Once you've completed that day's project, you're ready to begin the next video lesson. Now this course was designed so that you can watch one video lesson each day and do one project each day. But you're welcome to adapt the structure of the course to fit your schedule. If you can only get to one video lesson in project a week, that's fine. Feel free to make this course work for you. Now this is a project based course, which means that every lesson is going to come with a specific project that's designed for you to get the most out of the skills you've just learned. The practice that these projects provide is absolutely essential to your learning how to draw. If you're not practicing, if you're not doing these projects, you will not improve. Having an intellectual understanding of these ideas is great, but practice is required to really get good at drawing. Now one of my great joys as a teacher is to see students evolve and grow over time. I encourage you to share your work. You can share it with family and friends. You can share it on social media and of course, you can share it right here on Skillshare. When you share your work on social media, I encourage you to include the #evolveyourart. Building a community when you're learning to draw is a great way to be inspired to practice and get feedback on your work. Now this course is one of seven in the Art and Science of Drawing series. Each course in the series focuses on a different essential drawing skill. Now if you're a beginning student, I highly recommend going through this series in order. But if you've got some experience drawing, feel free to mix and match the courses to suit your own needs and interests. Now while you're taking the course, I recommend watching it on a larger screen. You're welcome to take the course on your phone if that's what you have available, but by watching it on a larger screen, you'll have a richer experience. You'll be able to see more detail in the drawings. If you'd like any other information on other courses and the Art and Science of Drawing series, drawing resources, or a detailed description of what kind of materials to use. I encourage you to visit the website, It's a great place to go for further drawing resources. Well, thank you so much for joining me. It's an honor and a privilege to have you as a student. Let's get started with our first lesson. 3. An Introduction to Contours: In this course, we're going to focus on three different contour lines. The first, are outside contour lines, which helped to define the boundaries of an object and create a believable silhouette. Next, you'll learn about inside contour lines, which is when a contour dives inside the subject to better describe the volumes of the form. Finally, you're going to learn how to use cross contour lines. Cross contour lines go around the form and are one of the best ways to describe the topography of a complex volume. Using cross contour lines will help you as an artist to truly understand how complex three-dimensional volumes operate in space. Understanding how to draw a complex volumes is critical to understanding how light operates when it falls across these objects and will help you understand which parts of your subject will remain into light and which parts will fall into shadow. We have a lot to cover in this course, so let's jump right in with an introduction to the three main contour lines that we're going to be focusing on this week. Let's start off by exploring the different contours of this acorn squash. The word contour is a French word that simply refers to the outline of an object. In this drawing, you can see contour in its purest form, a single outline that encloses the shape of the entire object. An outside contour line creates a boundary. The object itself is contained within this boundary. Even though an outside contour is a single line, it can still be incredibly complex. The outer contour as seen here, contains multiple peaks and valleys. Each one giving us a clue of the volumetric forums contained within this subject. But however complex an outside contour line is, it still only creates a flat silhouette. To better understand the volumes our subject contains, we need to go inside this contour. Inner contours are the second contour lines you need to master. While an outside contour line gives us the idea of the flat silhouette, inner contours dive inside the form to truly give a sense of volume. To understand how inner contours work, take a look at the outside contour once again. You'll notice that every inside contour line begins as part of the outside contour before diving inside the form to better describe the volume. When a line that starts off as an outside contour travels inside the form, it creates what is called an overlap. This drawing of an acorn squash contains a series of overlaps. Overlaps are a powerful way to communicate volume because they give the distinct appearance of one part of our subject being in front of another. Take a moment to examine the outside contour of this drawing. You'll notice that every single line of the outside contour either creates an overlap when it dives inside the form, or is itself overlapped by another line. Outside and inside contour lines work beautifully together to describe the shape and volume of a subject. The final contour lines you'll need to master our cross contours. Cross contour lines are a form of topographic latitude lines that travel across the form. Learning to draw using cross contour lines can be a challenge because they are not physically present or observable on most subjects and therefore must be visualized by the artist. One of the best ways to think about cross contour lines is as a method of visualizing the path that your eye would take as it moves across the object, traveling up and over any hills and valleys found on the surface of the object. Later on in this course, we'll give you a whole series of ways that you can use cross contour lines in your finished drawings. But for now, I just wanted to give you an introduction into the three distinct contour lines we'll be using this week, and the different ways they communicate shape and volume in a drawing. In order to craft compelling contour drawing, we need to sensitize our eyes and our hand to observe and record every tiny detail that takes place on a contour. To do this, we're going to engage in a classic drawing activity called blind contour drawing. Here's how it works. First, you'll need to get set up to draw, as you normally do. It doesn't have to be at an easel. But instead of facing your drawing surface, you'll want to turn yourself away from it so you can not see what you're drawing. During today's project, you'll be drawing your hand. You'll hold your hand up in a rigid pose far from your drawing surface. Your exact position, setup, and posture are not important. What is important is that you cannot see what you're drawing. In today's demonstration, you'll see me drawing with a ballpoint pen. Ballpoint pens are great for contour drawing because they put out even and consistent lines, but a pencil will work nearly as well. You'll want to begin by selecting a point on the wrist and very slowly start moving your eye along the edge of the wrist up towards the hand. Your goal here is to draw a line that exactly mimics the path that your eye is moving along the contour of your hand. Notice how slowly my hand is moving while drawing. This is because my eye is moving very slowly along the contour. During today's project, you'll want to be sensitive to every little change in the contour. Every little dip, bump and crevice should be observed and recorded in your contour drawing. At no point during this exercise, should you ever look at your drawing? Remember, this exercise is not a strategy for good drawing. It is simply a training exercise to increase your hand-eye coordination and sensitize you to all of the details and complexities that the contour of a subject may contain. Continue to slowly move your eyes along the path of the contour of your subject while drawing a single continuous line. The slower you go, the more detail you're likely to observe and record. When you arrive back at the other side of the wrist, you may stop. Contour drawings done blindly, usually looks strange and out of proportion as mine does here, but the resulting drawing is irrelevant. You can reap the rewards of a blind contour drawing without ever setting eyes on the resulting drawing itself. The second kind of contour drawing that you're going to be asked to do for today's project is only partially blind. The rules are only slightly different from the blind contour drawing you just saw demonstrated. You'll begin your drawing blind, just like you did before. But instead of simply following the outline of your hand, you'll want to take every opportunity you can to dive inside the form following the contour until you feel that it comes to an end. Once you come to the end of the contour, you may lift your pen and look at your drawing in order to place your pen back on the outside contour at the moment it dove inside. Now, you're ready to begin drawing in the blind, once again, following this next contour until it dives inside the form and naturally comes to its conclusion. Just like before, you'll want to record every tiny detail that occurs on both the inside and outside contours. But remember, you're only allowed to look at your drawing while placing your pen back on the outside contour. Once the pen starts moving, you are only allowed to look at your hand, not your drawing. Once again, the resulting drawing will look strange and out of proportion as we would expect given that it was drawn in the blind. But again, the benefits that come from this exercise or gained from the experience itself. The goal here is to sensitize your eyes and hand to the countless number of overlaps that occur in a seemingly simple subject. To demonstrate how an outside contour is usually the result of his series of overlapping contours, each one of them an opportunity to dive inside the form and to better describe the volumes contained therein. Now, before I give you today's project, there are a few things that I want you to understand about this contour drawing. First of all, doing this contour drawing really forces you to observe all of the details that actually exist on the edges of your subject. By slowing down and observing and recording every tiny little nook cranny and shifting the contour, you really get a sense of how much detailed information there is. This is a way to add great depth and complexity to your drawings, and to make sure both your inside and outside contours really reflect what's going on in your subject and aren't oversimplified. The second benefit to doing this contour drawing is that it increases your hand-eye coordination. It's a great way to begin to sync up your hand and your eye. Your hand is constantly responding to what your eye is seeing. Now, it's critical to note that these contour drawings are not designed to yield good drawings. In fact, I wouldn't even encourage you to not even look at these drawings so you're not worried about the outcome. You should expect that the drawings you're going to produce during your project today are going to look silly and out of proportion, and that is totally fine. You shouldn't be the least bit worried about the outcome. These are purely training exercises for your eyes and your hand. I would never encourage you to use blind contour drawing in the context of a drawing you actually wanted to finish. Now that you have an understanding of the benefits of contour drawing, but also understand that this is not a strategy to normally employ a wall drawing, let's get you to your project. Here's your project for today, you're going to do a minimum of 30 minutes of blind contour drawing. Now, remember, blind contour drawing is when you are looking at your subject, but not at your drawing, you're going to make one continuous line tracking the movement of your eye as it moves over all of the details of the contour of your subject. You're also going to do a minimum of 30 minutes of partially blind overlapping contour drawing. Now remember, instead of simply tracing the outline of this subject during this project, you want to take every opportunity to dive inside the form. You're going to follow a contour into the inside of the form until you feel it comes to an end. Once it does, you're allowed to look at your drawing to place your pen back on the outside of the subject, and then start drawing again. You're going to repeat this process, creating numerous overlaps that dive inside the form until you feel you've gone far enough around your subject to have gotten a really good sense of it. Now during today's demonstration, you saw me draw from my hand. Hands are great because they have so many anatomical details. They have so many little bumps and crevices that will really allow you to get in there and make detailed contour drawings. But I want you to feel free to explore any subject you want to. You just want to make sure that it's a complex subjects, and one that allows you to create contour drawings that have a lot of detail and complexity. Well, have fun with your practice today. I will see you here for the second day when you're going to learn how to use this detailed contour drawing in the context of the drawing process as a whole. 4. The Block-In: Today we're going to introduce you to an incredibly useful technique called the block-In. The block-In is as a process of translating complex curves and contours into straight lines before attempting to draw all of the details found along the contours. The block-In is an excellent tool that will help you see the general pattern and structure of curves and contours before darkening them up. Now for those of you who have been going through the Art and Science of Drawing series in order, you've noticed that there's a big emphasis on simplifying forms into their basic shapes first. The block-In technique bridges the gap between basic shapes and complex contours. The result will be volumetric drawings that are well constructed, but also have a rich level of detail. To understand how the block-In works and why it's so important, let's first take a look at some images and diagrams. To get a sense of how the block-In works and why it's necessary, let's take a look at today's subject, a pair. The most basic simplification of the largest shape contained in the pair is a circle. The top of the pair can be conceived of as a half oval or egg shape. Although these simple shapes are a solid start they're too simple in generic to turn into contours. Take a look at the outside contour of the pair. You'll notice that it's not evenly or consistently curved. In many areas, the contour almost seems to straighten out entirely before making a quick turn and then straightening out again. For example, take a look at the top of the pair at the moment the stem emerges. The top of the pair is practically a straight line. As are the two lines going down from either side of the top. Instead of dealing with this as a complex curve in the block and phase, for drawing, we can simplify it into a series of straight lines. Hopefully you can see that these straight lines in many ways do a better job at describing the top of the pair than the half oval did and they give a sense of structure which might otherwise have been mistaken as a loose curve. Now, anytime you have two lines coming together to form an angle, you get what is called an apex. In this collection of three lines, we have one apex on the left of the top of the pair, and one on the right. Later on in the drawing process, we can use these points to measure an angle side our subject. For more information on measuring an angle citing, please view the measuring and proportion cores in the art and science of drawing series. Next, take a look at the bottom left of the pair. Hopefully you can see that this section of the pair will also benefit by conceiving of it first as straight lines and provide some structure for this complex curve. During the block-In demonstration, you're about to see, I'll go around the pair, translating each curve into a straight line until the complex curvature of the outside contour has been entirely blocked in providing us a scaffolding on top of which we can craft the contour we eventually want seen by a viewer. Let's start this drawing, by first simplifying the pair into its most basic shapes. A circle for the large lower section of the pair and a half oval for the smaller top. Finally, working our way from the biggest to the smallest forms, a rectangular shape for the stem. Hopefully, you can see that this simple collection of shapes immediately registers as a pair in the mind. But if we were to just darken the contour created by these basic shapes, it would produce a drawing that was too simple and uninteresting. Now you'll see me use the block-In technique to help her in this drawing of the generic pair into a drawing that captures the unique qualities of this specific pair. I'll begin by blocking of the angles that seemed the most obvious to me. There's no one right way to transition to drawing from basic shapes to the block in. But as always, we want to work our way from the biggest and most obvious elements down to the smaller and more subtle details. As always, I can assume that this first attempt at the block in will need to be altered and refined. Translating complex curves into straight lines and angles, gives the curves a much more structure, and the drawing begins to reveal the unique qualities of this pair. Take a look at how the very top of the pair seems to slant downward toward the right. Next, take a look at how the large lower section of the pair seems to bulge out on the right. This is no longer a drawing of a generic pair. The block-In has succeeded in laying a foundation that will allow us to craft a contour specific to this individual pair. One of my favorite things about the blocking technique is that an apex is created every time two angles come together. Every apex has a specific distance and direction from every other apex on the form. You can begin to measure these by using your pencil to carefully extract an angle from your subject and carefully transfer it to your drawing. By doing this, you can make sure that the angle created between any two points on your subject matches the angle between the corresponding two points in your drawing. The more evaluations like this you make, the more accurate your drawing will become. Remember, it's up to you as an artist to decide how many iterations you want your drawing to go through. Once you've made all of the refinements that you feel are necessary, you're ready to draw in the contour. It's important to note that during my demonstration drawings, I'm usually drawing much darker during the initial phases of the drawing process than I would if I were alone in my studio. The reason, of course, is that so you, the student, can more easily see the drawing. If you feel you're drawing has gotten too dark, feel free to clean it up with an eraser. I would recommend using a kneaded eraser like this one. Kneaded erasers worked just like silly putty. Begin by pressing it down on the paper, over the lines that you want lightened. By doing this, the eraser will lift any loose pigment on the page. It's important to do this before scrubbing with the eraser so that the loose pigment doesn't smear all over your drawing. After blotting and lifting away any excess pigment, I can then use my eraser to scrub around the form, to clean up any smudges or loose pigment leftover from the bloating process. Even though the drawing is much lighter, you'll notice that the block-In is still evident on the page. This way, we can still use it while crafting our contours, but it won't be noticeable to a viewer when we're done with the drawing. Now I'm ready to begin crafting the contour of the pair. These are the first lines I've drawn that I actually want to be seen by a viewer. Instead of the continuous and even contour line that we used for yesterday's contour drawings, I'm crafting the outside contour of the pair in pieces, trying to be sensitive to each of the subtle shifts of the contour. The resulting outside contour is not a generic line. It is derived from the specific attributes of this individual pair we've been working with. The block-In method has allowed us to first lay in a light foundation that served as a scaffolding for our contour line. Although we won't be dealing with shading, I do want to note that the block-In technique works extremely well as an initial way of separating the lights and darks on your subject. The main difference is that the lines used to block and the shadow are soft edged instead of hard edged and just like the block-In process, you just saw it demonstrated, the soft block-In line for the shadow can be refined until the desired level of detail has been achieved. Now that you have a sense of how the block-In technique works on a single subject, let's take a look at how you can use it when drawing multiple subjects. To begin, you'll want to simplify your subject down into its most basic shapes. In this case, a series of circles and ovals. Before beginning the block-In process, it's important that you take whatever time you need to get these big basic shapes in the right place and at the right size. Once you're satisfied, it's time to begin the block-In process. Now before I begin blocking in the contours of the individual forms, you'll see me use a technique called enveloping. In order to create an envelope around my subjects, I'll go around the subjects and analyze the angles between the furthest points of all of the subjects together. This is a great way to double check to make sure that each individual object is at the right size and in the right place in relationship to the other objects. While you're creating your envelope, if you find that any of the individual objects are out of place, make any necessary adjustments. Similar to what you saw me do with the pair, you can compare the angle between any two apex created by your envelope. The ankle in your drawing should exactly match up to the angle taken from your subject. For more information on angle citing, please review the measuring and proportion section of the Art and Science of Drawing series. Enveloping your subjects is a great technique to build into your plug-in process. It will ensure that not only each individual subject is properly drawn, but that all of the objects are in proper relationship to one another. With our envelope blocked in, we can now begin blocking in the contours of our individual subjects. It's important to note that the block-In technique is not equally useful for all subjects. For example, the large oval that I've used to draw the picture already works very well to describe the long steady curve. However, an examination of the lemon reveals that many of the contours are actually pretty close to straight lines. The block-In technique will really come in handy while trying to draw the complex curves of the mouth of the pitcher. How far you take the block in process is entirely up to you. Remember, its main function is to provide a structured scaffolding upon which you will build your more detailed and complex contour lines. Once you're ready, you can begin using darker lines to draw in the complex curves and contours that you actually want seen by a viewer. What I'm proposing in this lesson is a three-step process to arrive at contour drawings. The first step in the process is to translate any form no matter how complex into its basic shapes. This will usually be circles, triangles, ovals and if you're comfortable translating those into simple volumes like cylinders, spheres, or cubes. The second step of the process involves the block-In when you're translating all of the complex curves of the contour first into straight lines. This will give your drawing a sense of structure and it'll help your drawings from being too generic. The block-In technique will help make sure that you're capturing all of the unique qualities of the contour of the specific object that you are drawing. It'll help bridge the gap between basic shapes and complex contours by providing the scaffolding upon which you can draw more complex and detailed blinds. The third step in this process is contour drawing where you're going to use dark lines to draw all of the details you find in the contour. Once you have a structure and scaffolding, provided by the basic shapes and the block in you can detail the contour using the same observational skills that you practiced yesterday. This will allow you to keep your eyes on the object much more when you're actually drawing the contour. That way you can spend your time observing all of the tiny details of the contour on the object itself and only look back at your drawing every once in awhile, confident that your scaffolding will keep you in place and you're drawing in proportion. Here's your project for today. You're going to select three objects and use this block-In technique for each of them. Fruits and vegetables are great for this project because they simplify into basic shapes, but they also provide a lot of irregularities for you to practice this block-In technique. If you're looking for an extra challenge after drawing each of these objects individually, try grouping them together so you can practice the enveloping technique. Well have fun with your project today. I will see you here tomorrow when you're going to learn all about line quality and how to use expressive mark-making to really get the most out of your contour drawings. 5. Crafting Contours: Today you're going to learn how to use contour drawing over the foundational drawings you've been practicing. The process you're going to learn today will allow you to produce drawings that are well-structured, but also have a wide range of expressive line quality that really communicates the form. Now it's important for you to remember that we're not yet dealing with shading. We're learning to communicate form, volume, and even texture using line quality. We'll get to shading during the seventh and eighth weeks of your Art and Science of Drawing Series. But for now, it's important for you to note that marrying shading with a line quality that you're going to learn about today is a powerful combination of drawing elements. One of the big questions you're going to grapple with today is what details to include, and which details to ignore. We're starting from the premise that reality is infinitely complex. It is impossible to capture all of the details found in a subject. We, as artists, have to figure out what exactly we want to communicate to a viewer. Once you know what you want to communicate to a viewer, you can focus on the elements of your subject that will help communicate that intention. Because our drawing surface is flat, we'll usually want to focus on volume. That's what you're going to see me doing today, picking out all of the elements of the subject that help to communicate volume. Now, that doesn't mean that's the only thing I'm going to draw, you'll see me get into texture, and all kinds of small details on the subject. But we need some way to organize what details we want to include in the drawing, and which to ignore. Now, before we get to today's demo, there are a couple of ideas I wanted to address. First, you'll notice that the outside contour of our drawing today is made up of numerous contours that dive inside the form, and that creates a series of overlaps. The outside contour is not created by simply tracing a line around the form. I'm constantly diving inside the form, and then having to go back to the outside contour, start to follow the outside contour again, and then dive back inside the form. You're going to see a whole series of overlaps. That's going to show us which parts of our subject are near the front, and which are behind. Next, I wanted to introduce you to a metaphor that really resonates with my students in the studio. I call it the dog and the dog walker. If you were able to trace my path while I was walking my dog, what it would look like is very similar to the block in. There would be a straight line, and when I came to a turn in the street, I would make a turn, and then continue in a straight line. The path I'm walking is very structured, and made up of straight lines. But if you were able to trace the path that my dog is walking, it would zigzag back and forth. See, the dog investigates every little thing that interests him. When you're first drawing, you want to be the dog walker. You want to produce a simple, straightforward structural drawing that is composed of basic shapes and straight lines derived from the block in process. Once that foundational drawing is done, then you can be the dog. You can walk along the path, and investigate every tiny little detail that catches your interest. Now, of course, the second pass where you're investigating all of the little details is connected to the structural line created by the initial block in phase. While you're laying a light foundation of structure lines, you are the dog walker. But on the second pass, you get to be the dog, interested and excited in every little thing that catches your attention. But the contour line produced while you're exploring all these details will of course be tethered to the initial structure. Having that original structural drawing underneath will make sure that you never get too far away, and will allow you the freedom to explore all of the details that you want without concern that your drawing is going to get out of proportion. With those ideas in mind, let's get to today's demonstration. For today's demonstration, we're going to be working with this Japanese sweet potato. It has a wonderful round and twisting form, and a texture that will allow for all kinds of experimentation with contour drawing. We'll begin our drawing by simplifying the potato into its most basic shapes. Remember, there's no one right way to do this. To me, the biggest shapes of the potato seem to simplify into three overlapping circular forms. These three shapes seem to do a great job at communicating the major bulges of the potato. With my basic shapes in place, you'll now see me transition to the block in technique. On some sections of the potato, the bottom right, for example, I'll leave the basic circles alone because they do an adequate job of communicating the structure. But for other sections of the potato, the front left chamber, for example, some more structure seems to be needed to communicate the forms. These are perfect opportunities for the block in technique. Hopefully you can see that my collection of basic shapes combined with a block in technique do a great job at communicating the large forms of our potato. Next, I'll focus much more on volume. I'll begin to transition the circles and straight lines into volumetric forms, like egg shapes and cylinders. To do this, I'll need to focus on the ellipses. For more information on volumetric drawing, please view my Form and Space Course in the Art and Science of Drawing Series. To understand why I've drawn the ellipses this way, let's take a look at our reference photo. You'll see that the left side of the potato is coming towards us, and the right side is further away. We'll talk more about foreshortening later on this week. But for now, I just wanted to give you a sense of the spatial orientation of the potato. The ellipses found on the potato aren't quite as obvious as the ellipses we would find on a more structured object like a cup. We need to look a little closer for the implied ellipses. Lets go back and forth for a moment between the drawing, and our reference photo. Hopefully you can see that the ellipses are implied in numerous places on the potato. Overlaps on the contour, shifts in color and light on the body of the potato, and markings on the surface of the potato give us plenty of visual evidence, and give us plenty of opportunities as artists to use these implied ellipses in our drawing. By using basic shapes, the block in technique, and indications of volume, we've crafted, structured a volumetric foundation upon which we can now draw the contour lines. It's important to note here that nothing we've drawn so far is ever intended to be seen by a viewer. But the simple collection of shapes and volumes is essential for us to be able to draw the contour freely and expressively without worrying about the proportion in structure of our drawing. With the big shapes and volumes handled, we are now free to focus solely on all of the details. While you're drawing today, there are two kinds of lines that I'd like to call your attention to. When a portion of your contour bulges outward, we refer to it as a convex line. A convex line is any line that curves outward, like the surface of a sphere, or a circle. Conversely, when a contour seems to scoop inward, we refer to it as a concave line. One way that I remember which kind of line is concave, is that it cuts into a form, just like a cave cuts into a mountain. While I'm drawing contours, I'm always asking myself if the section I'm working on is a straight line, or a curved line. If it's a curved line, whether it's convex, or bulging out from the form, or concave, scooping into the form. Every line you draw is going to fall into one of these broad categories. One of the biggest challenges in drawing, is to give the viewer a sense that a volumetric object is occupying deep space. This is a challenge of course, because our paper is flat. To do this, we need to take advantage of every opportunity to communicate volume to the viewer. While i'm drawing, you'll see me emphasizing every overlap and ellipse. In fact, you'll see me exaggerating their visual importance in the drawing. There's no rule in drawing that says I have to copy reality exactly as I see it. As an artist, I get to pick and choose exactly what I want to communicate to the viewer. Because I want to communicate volume, i'm going to over emphasize as many indications of volume as I can and let any details that don't communicate volume fall by the wayside. This next iteration of the drawing focuses heavily on the ellipses and overlaps. Hopefully you're really beginning to feel a sense of volume in the drawing, even though it's on a flat surface. Now i'm ready to begin to explore the contour of the drawing in all of its complexities. While detailing the contour, i'm using a process very similar to the partially blind contour drawings you practice earlier this week. Although i'm not being as strict with the rules, i'm constantly moving my eye back and forth from the subject to my drawing. Attempting to analyze and record every interesting detail. I'm also taking every opportunity to dive inside the form. Each dive inside the form creates another overlap, which helps to communicate volume. In order to bring extra emphasis to the overlaps, you'll notice that i'm actually using darker lines, where every overlap occurs. A darker line draws the viewer's attention and lets them know that something important is happening here. While drawing organic forms, one of my favorite techniques to help communicate overlaps is the calligraphic line. This is a technique where a line goes from being hard and dark, to soft and light. You can see this technique used on most of the overlaps. Where the overlap itself occurs, the line is usually dark and hard edged, but as it dives inside the form, it begins to dissipate. This mark making take some practice. But it's extremely useful when you're drawing rounded organic forms and it's one of my most used marks while i'm drawing the figure. For more information on mark making, please review the dynamic mark making section of the art and science of drawing series. While i'm drawing these different kinds of lines and marks, make sure that you not only watch the line coming out of the pencil, but the pencil itself. How i'm holding it, how it moves, and how quickly or slowly i'm moving my hand. Remember, there's not just one way to draw these kinds of contours. The important thing is, that you're exploring different kinds of line qualities and really making sure that you're drawing has a number of different kinds of lines and marks, each communicating in a different way to the viewer. By focusing heavily on the overlaps and ellipses our potato begins to take shape and really seems to be occupying deep space. Hopefully you the viewer, are getting a sense of what parts of the potato are closest to you and in front of other parts of the potato and which are further away and behind. Even though we're working with details now, you'll notice that i'm still not rushing into the tiniest details. I'm still working generally from bigger details down to the smaller ones. At this point in the drawing, I'll transition away from the outside contour and begin focusing on the smaller details that give a sense of texture to the form. You'll notice that i'm using a wide range of different kinds of marks. Hard lines, soft lines, light lines, dark lines, thick lines, and thin lines. But even as i'm communicating these smaller details, hopefully you can see that they're still in reaction to the ellipses and the volumes that we established in our structure drawing. This means that every detail is an opportunity to help communicate both volume and texture. It's incredible to me how expressive and communicative this contour drawing can be. Even without shading, we've been able to communicate volume and texture. My intention with the line quality is to not only give the viewer a sense of what the potato looks, but how it might feel to touch it. I've put extra visual emphasis on the rough and gnarled textures of the potato. You'll also notice that most of the darkest and hardest lines are at the left front side of the potato. This helps pull that side forward while letting the back right recede into space. This isn't something that I observed in the reference photo so much as a drawing device used to communicate deep space and volume to the viewer. Finally, I'd like to point out that no erasing has been done during this drawing. All of the process lines used to construct the form are still faintly visible underneath the darkened contour lines. Of course, you're always free to erase these kinds of process lines. But unless they're glaring or distracting mistakes, I usually like to leave them in my drawings. I think they provide visual interest and also help to communicate volume on an almost subliminal level to the viewer. Hopefully, this process has produced a drawing that really gives the viewer a sense of the look and feel of our subject. Here's your project for today. Just like yesterday, you're going to select three subjects. Once you've selected your three subjects, you're going to go through the process you saw demonstrated today of blocking in a light foundation and then using contour drawing to create a detailed and expressive record of both the inner and outer contours of your subject. Now remember, if you feel you've drawn a little too dark during the blocking process, feel free to use an eraser to clean up your drawing before darkening up your contours. While you're drawing your contour today, try and keep your viewer in mind. Remember, drawing at its core is a communication device. Figure out what you want to communicate to your viewer and focus on those things. One of my favorite ways of defining drawing is that it's a record of things that I think are interesting that I want to share with the viewer. Also, I encourage you to explore all kinds of different line qualities. Remember, we want to produce a drawing that is interesting to a viewer. You want to vary the kinds of lines you're making as often as you can. Try drawing lines quickly, slowly, make lines that are thick or thin, light or dark, hard or soft. Make a contour drawing that is interesting, that is constantly shifting and changing. It can be a great exercise to try and draw the same subject twice using different kinds of line quality. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to do this. But the goal is that you produce a drawing that is interesting to you and hopefully hold some interest to a viewer. Now in order to do that, that means you have to pick a subject that is interesting to you. I would highly recommend fruits and vegetables because they simplify into volumes very easily, but they have all kinds of unexpected irregularities that provide opportunities for us to deal with different kinds of line quality. Well as always, have fun with your project today and I will see you back here tomorrow when you're going to learn all about cross contour lines. 6. Cross Contour: Today you're going to learn how to draw using cross contour lines. Cross contour drawing is one of the best ways to teach you how to observe, analyze, and draw complex volumetric forms. It'll help your drawings make the shift from being flat to being completely unbelievably volumetric. Before we teach you how to draw using cross contour lines, let's first just talk about what they are. Cross contour lines are essentially longitude and latitude lines that go over the surface of a subject. To think about this, imagine a globe. Longitude lines are the lines that run vertically from pole to pole. They move from the top of the globe all the way around to the bottom of the globe and back up the other side. Latitude lines are the lines that run horizontally that circle the globe. Latitude lines essentially form a series of rings that go around the globe. Using latitude and longitude lines together is a powerful way to describe the volume of an object. To start today we're going to have to actually create an object that has cross contour lines. Before you learn to draw using cross contour lines, we need to prepare a subject that actually has cross contour lines. I'm going to recommend using a yellow or green apple. The dark lines we're going to draw across the surface of our subject will be easier to see on a lighter color. You're also going to need a permanent marker, preferably in black, but really any dark color will do. We're going to start our lines at the very top of the apple in the hollow, where this stem emerges, beginning at the very center of the depression, you're going to carefully draw a line straight out. But I wouldn't try and draw the line all in one stroke. Instead, once the line is started, I would recommend mapping out where it's going to go by creating a dashed line. The goal is to create a more or less straight line that begins at the top of the apple and moves all the way down over the curving surface and down underneath, ending in the center of the underside of the apple. Once you've marked the path that your line will follow carefully, draw the line section by section. Drawing over the curved surface of the apple can be a challenge. It's okay if your lines aren't perfect. Once your first line is drawn, you're going to repeat this process and create a second line that seems to continue the path of the first one, moving straight up the other side of the apple and connecting back at the top. When viewed from the top, this line should appear to divide the apple into two equal parts. Next, you'll want to repeat these steps again, but this time, dividing the apple perpendicularly to the first line you drew. When viewed from above, all of the lines you've drawn so far should appear to divide the apple into four equal quarters. We're going to continue this process until each of the quarters is divided in half. Again, when viewed from above, the line should seem to divide the apple into eight equal sections. We have now drawn a longitude lines on our apple. Next, it's time to draw the latitude lines. I would recommend beginning this process by finding the halfway mark on each of the vertical lines. It's important to note that one section of your Apple might be taller than another. So the halfway point on any individual line may be higher or lower than the one next to it. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. Just try your best. Once you've marked the halfway point on each of your vertical lines, go ahead and connect them with a horizontal latitude line that travels all the way around the apple and connects back to where you started. Next, you'll want to draw two more latitude lines. To do this, you'll first find the halfway point on each of your longitude lines between the latitude line you just drew and the bottom of the apple. Once again, you'll connect all of these points with a line that moves all the way around the apple and meets back up where you started the line. Finally, repeat this process once again on the top section of the apple. The result will be three latitude lines that divide the apple into four horizontal segments. Drawing cross contour lines on an actual subject can take a bit of practice. It might be helpful to have an extra apple or two on hand, just in case your first attempt doesn't work out as well as you'd hoped. Also, it's important that you don't eat the apple after drawing on it with permanent marker. Now that my apples ready to go, let's get to the drawing demonstration. By now, the drawing process should be getting pretty familiar to you, will start off by simplifying the subject into its basic shapes, or in the case of the Apple, a single basic shape. Next, we'll begin to refine this basic shape by using the block in method to analyze and structure the curves. This part of the process is never intended to be seen by a viewer and should be done as lightly as possible. Next, we'll begin crafting the contour using darker lines. These are the first lines that are intended to be seen by a viewer. The result is a drawing containing both inner and outer contour lines, and hopefully we'll have captured some of the subtleties and nuances of the contour that make this apple unique. Although the contour is drawn here hinted volume, they don't really give us the sense of a fully formed volumetric object occupying deep space. To create a more dramatic illusion of volume, will need to draw in the cross contour lines. You can begin drawing cross contour lines the same way you draw any other contour line. The first pass should be a light in simple block in. In this demonstration, you'll see that i'm not limiting my block in to straight lines. My initial block in of the cross contour lines includes a number of subtly curved lines. But hopefully you can see that the curve still appears structured and specific to our subject. I'd also like you to notice that i'm blocking in all of the vertical longitude lines first. During your project today, I would highly recommend drawing all of the longitude lines first and then trying to latitude lines or vice versa. I wouldn't recommend going back and forth between drawing one longitude line, then switching to a latitude line and so on. Going back and forth can be confusing when you're first learning how to do this. Once you've made any alterations necessary to your initial cross contour block when you're ready to darken them up, instead of simply tracing over your block in. Take this as another opportunity to observe and draw any subtle nuances you may have missed. Now, I'd like you to focus your attention on where the cross contour lines begin and end. Notice that they don't collide with the outside contour. Instead, they gently curve into the outside contour. There's no hard corner or apex created when these two lines come together. The cross contour lines gently merge into the outside contour, much the same way that a freeway on-ramp merges with the freeway itself. Adding the longitude lines has given our drawing a much richer sense of volume. You really get a sense of each longitude line moving up from the bottom of the apple before diving down into the depression at the top of the apple. Now that i'm satisfied with the longitude lines, i'm now ready to start drawing the latitude lines. Just like before. I'll begin with an initial and simple block in before making any refinements or adjustments and then darkening them up. You'll see that i'm once again making sure that the latitude lines gently curve into the outside contour. Perhaps you've already noticed that each latitude line is essentially the front edge of an ellipse. This means that the latitude lines not only describe the topography of the surface of the apple, but also help communicate that we are viewing the apple from above. For more information on how ellipsis work, please review the foreman space course of the art and science of drawing series. Hopefully, the resulting drawing gives a much more dramatic sense of volume than a more basic contour drawing. Let's take a look at this process one more time. This time focusing only on the drawing. I want you to watch how the sense of volume evolves as the drawing progresses through its phases. Try and observe the moments where it goes from being a flat silhouette on the page to a believably volumetric object occupying space. Although cross contour drawing can be a challenging technical assignment, if done well, it should hit us on an almost gut level. A well-done cross contour drawing should give a distinct sensation of volume that feels completely different from an object that has been drawn flat. I'll once again turn the apple and draw it from a different vantage point. In this drawing, the bottom of the apple will be facing us. Remember, an outside contour line on its own, no matter how well crafted, can ever communicate volume, it's simply lies flat on the page. It's not until overlaps and inside contours are drawn, that volume begins to emerge. The addition of cross contour lines completes the illusion of volume; creating a drawing that triggers a sensation of volume. Every cross contour line gives our eyes a path to follow. The latitude lines invite us to follow the path around the backside of the apple. And our minds intuitively understand that this line continues behind the object and re-emerges on the opposite side. If we follow the longitude lines down from the top of the apple, we get the distinct sense of going underneath the form. By following their path upward, we get the distinct impression of going up and over the top of the apple before falling down into the depression. While doing your project today, I'd like you to pay particular attention to the distance between the lines. For example, take a look at the upright Apple in the center. You'll notice that the latitude lines, the lines running side to side, are not consistently or equally spaced. At some places on the apple, the latitude lines come closer together. In other places they seem to get farther apart. You'll also notice that the longitude lines vary greatly in their distance from one another and also how curved they are. All of the longitude lines come closer together until they converge at the top of the apple. During your project today, I encourage you to take your time and really explore all of the nuances of every latitude and longitude line. By capturing the nuances of every cross contour line and being mindful of the relationships between them will allow you to craft a drawing that is nuanced and subtle, as well as dramatically volumetric. Now that you've seen that demonstration, hopefully you really get a sense of how powerful cross contour lines can be, and how far they go in describing a volumetric form in all of its details. Cross contour lines truly give your viewer the sensation of volume. Again, volume in a drawing is something that you feel. Cross contour lines help immerse your subject in volume, and it is undeniably clear to the viewer that a volumetric object is existing on the page. Now to do this, that means that you as an artist, have to get yourself to the point where you really start to believe that there is a volumetric object existing on the page. You literally want to feel your pencil moving back and forth, not just side to side. You want to be able to convince yourself that your pencil isn't just simply moving side to side, that it's moving around the object, it's coming around front, it's dropping behind, and that it's not simply a shape laying flat on the page. Now one of the challenges of cross contour drawing is that although they do an excellent job at describing volume, they don't actually exist on many subjects. It would seem very strange to artificially draw them onto random subjects in a still life. However, cross contour lines are often implied on a subject. And often simply drawing the mere implication of a cross contour line is enough to register the sensation of volume in your viewer. We'll talk more about this idea of implied cross contour lines tomorrow. But until then, just know that the kind of cross contour training that you're doing today is the best way to prepare yourself to seek out implied cross contour lines on an actual subject and to get them into your drawing. For today's project, you're going to need a few extra things. In addition to whatever drawing materials that you're using, you're going to need an apple and a permanent marker. Just like you saw in the demonstration today, you're going to draw a whole series of cross contour lines onto your Apple using the permanent marker. You might want to watch the video a couple of times just to see how I'm doing it. Remember, these lines don't have to be perfect. As I mentioned while I was preparing my apple, you might want to get an extra apple or two just in case. Once you've gotten your latitude and longitude lines drawn onto your apple, you're ready to draw it. You're going to draw this apple a minimum of three times. Each time you want to draw the apple in a different position. This will really give you a sense of how cross contour lines describe all of the complexity of form and how they change depending on the orientation of your subject. Remember, it doesn't take much of a shift of position to change the cross contour lines, even if you're just turning it a little bit, you can start to note the differences. Now it's important to note that in this series, I'm only giving you the bare minimum practice. If you really want to get good at cross contour drawing, try drawing your Apple five, even 10 times. The more you practice this, the better you are going to get. If you're looking for a real challenge, try setting up an Apple without cross contour lines drawn on it and see if you can envision the cross contour lines. See if you can actually start to extract them just from looking at your bare subject and get them into your drawing. Being able to visualize and draw a cross contour lines on a subject that doesn't actually have them is a powerful tool, and will allow you to start to use cross contour in subtle ways, even on objects that have no indications of cross contour on their actual surface. Another thing you can do if you really want to get good at cross contour drawing is to try drawing them using a much more complex subject. Apples are a great place to start, but they're relatively simple objects when you start to compare them to the wide range of possible still-life subjects you could be working with. Now this is probably one of the more challenging projects that I've given you. But if you've got some drawing experience, and particularly if you've been progressing through the art and science of drawing series in order, you should be ready for this. Well, I hope you have fun with this project today, and I will see you back here for the fifth day when you're going to learn about foreshortening. 7. Foreshortening: Today you're going to learn how to draw a foreshortened objects using contours and line quality. Foreshortening is the phenomenon that occurs when we take an object, particularly an object with a good amount of length, say a pencil, and begin to turn it toward the viewer. Today you're going to learn a series of tools and techniques to successfully create the illusion in your drawing that one part of your subject is much closer and another part is much further away. We have a lot to do today, so let's get right into it. To get a sense of how foreshortening works, let's take a look at our subject today, a banana. Bananas are long and slender. As you can see when viewed from the side, the banana doesn't offer many opportunities to communicate volume. There are few, if any, opportunities for overlaps, and the black cross contour lines drawn around the banana, from this point of view appear almost entirely straight, meaning that they don't communicate any roundness of the form. From this point of view, no part of the banana is much closer to us than any other part. The full length of the banana is on display with little or no foreshortening. In just a moment, we're going to turn the banana just slightly. Pay attention to what happens to the distance from one tip of the banana to the other. As the banana begins to turn towards us, the distance from tip to tip gets smaller. Next, take a look at the cross contour lines. Even this slight turn reveals more of a curve. This is an opportunity to communicate the rounding of the cylindrical volume of the banana. Even by turning the banana just a little, we begin to see evidence of foreshortening and are presented with multiple opportunities to communicate depth and volume in the drawing. Now let's continue turning the banana and watch what happens. Once again, we see a decrease in the distance from one tip of the banana to the other. We also see the cross contour lines drawn on the banana become more rounded. Now, take a look at the tip of the banana closest to us. Take a look at the outside contour highlighted by the light blue line. You can follow this outside contour as it dives inside the form. This creates an overlap, giving the appearance that this section of the banana has moved in front of the section that is further away. This means that the section of the banana that is closest to us has begun to eclipse the rest of the banana. I'd also like you to notice, that this section of the banana closest to us appears to be larger than the section of the banana that's further away. Even though in actuality there are pretty similar size. This is an important law of perspective to remember. Things that are closer to us appear larger and things that are farther away appear smaller. Now, let's turn the banana once again. From this viewpoint, the banana is extremely foreshortened. Even without the diagrams in overlays, you can clearly see that the front section of the banana is much bigger than the back section. The two tips at either end of the banana are even closer, still in the ellipses have continued to open up and are now almost full circles. Now let's turn the banana one more time. The tips of the banana are practically in vertical alignment with one another. Now let's take a look at the width of the section of the banana that's closest to us. Remember, in actuality, it's about the same size as the corresponding part of the banana at the other end. But when we compare their widths in this photograph, we can clearly see that the front section appears to be much larger than the back section. Hopefully, this demonstration has given you a sense of what you should look for when an object begins to go into foreshortening. This demonstration should also have given you an idea of how you can position your subjects to take advantage of as many opportunities for volume as possible. Now, let's show you how to prepare your own banana for today's demonstration in project. To make your own cross contour banana. You'll need a banana, a permanent marker, and a rubber band. We're going to draw four rings. They go all the way around the banana. We want them positioned roughly equal distances apart. But remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. To make this easier, you can place the rubber band around the banana, and use it as a guide. If your rubber band is too big, try doubling it up. In this demonstration, I'm using a black elastic hair band. A string tied around the banana would also probably work just as well. Once your guide is in position, carefully draw a line going all the way around the banana. When you're done, simply move the band up the banana until it's properly placed to draw the next drink. You'll want to be careful when moving the guide up the banana. It may have some black marker on it from when you drew your first ring. Try not to smear too much ink as you slide the guide. Repeat this process until you have four evenly spaced rings drawn around the banana. You now essentially have four latitude lines traveling around the banana. You may have noticed, that because the banana is faceted, it has naturally occurring longitude lines, meaning we don't have to actually draw them in. Although they're not as visible as the black lines that we drew, you should be able to see that well enough to get them into your drawings today. One final note, I would recommend waiting until you're ready to draw the banana to get the cross contour lines on it. The handling of the banana will start the bruising process and the banana will quickly begin to turn brown. You'll want to be ready to draw as soon as you get the cross contour lines on your banana. That way it'll be nice and fresh. Before I demonstrate how to draw foreshortened objects, I'd first like to focus on how to communicate volume through a drawing by using line quality alone. From this viewpoint, our banana doesn't have too many indications of volume. But using line quality, we want to take advantage of what few opportunities we have to communicate volume. After the initial block in, which you should be pretty familiar with by now. I'll start adding the lines and marks that I want to be seen by a viewer. It's critical that you remember what we draw is not limited to what we observe. We as artists get to decide exactly what we want our drawing to communicate. Once we know this, we can focus our drawing on the elements that communicate what we want. This often means ignoring information that doesn't serve our intentions. Drawing is not a race to pack as many details as we can into a drawing. I would encourage you to embellish and even fabricate information that helps you communicate your intentions. For example, I know that ellipses and overlaps are a great way to communicate volume and yet from this position, we don't see either. What can I add or change in my drawing to better communicate volume, but that still leaves my drawing believable to a viewer. First of all, I know that darker, heavier lines imply weight. By drawing a darker, heavier line underneath the banana, it signals to the viewer that there's weight in the object. Conversely, on the top side of the banana, I can use a much lighter line, further emphasizing that darkness of the line underneath. This isn't something I simply observed from the object itself, but I know how to communicate weight using line quality. For more information on line quality, check out the dynamic mark making course in the art and science of drawing series. Now let's take a look at our reference photo again. You can see that the cross contour lines drawn around the banana barely curve in the photo. But I know what an amazing job ellipsis do communicating volume. In my drawing, I'm going to bend them more dramatically than I can observe in the reference photo. If I would have limited myself to what was observable, I would've missed an opportunity to communicate volume, but by deviating from what I observed in the reference photo and by exaggerating the bend of my cross contour lines in my drawing, I'm able to better communicate volume. Beginning students are often surprised how often artists exaggerate or embellish elements in their drawings. But it's an artistic truth, that sometimes we have to draw things that we can't observe, in order to better communicate what we know to be true. For the next drawing demonstration, we'll draw from the banana that's beginning to turn towards us. Even though the banana hasn't been turned much, we can still see evidence of foreshortening. After I've blocked in the main volume of the banana and the cross contour lines, I can begin to build up my line quality. Our main goal in this drawing is to give the illusion that one end of the foreshortened banana is closer to us than the other end. There are three main ways I'll do this in this drawing. The first is to emphasize ellipses, the second is to emphasize overlaps, and the third is to use a drawing technique called atmospheric perspective. To use atmospheric perspective in a drawing, I'll make sure that the parts of the banana that are closest to us have the darkest and hardest lines. And the parts of the banana that are furthest away are drawn with softer, lighter lines. After refining my initial block in, you'll see me immediately darkening the lines of the section of the banana that's closest to us. Hopefully you can see that even in this early stage of the drawing, that the darker lines seem to pull this section of the banana closer to us. The lighter lines at the other end seemed to allow the banana to recede. We'll continue to push this illusion throughout the rest of the drawing. You'll also see me at a number of inside contour lines using incredibly soft, hazy lines. Even the softer inside contour lines are darker near the front and get lighter as they go back in space. It's important to note that line quality isn't done in a single pass. Throughout the entire drawing process, you should feel comfortable darkening and even lightening lines that you've made. Next, I'll start emphasizing the cross contour lines. I'll even use atmospheric perspective here. The closest cross contour line will be drawn the darkest. Each following cross contour line will be drawn slightly lighter than the previous one, again, giving the illusion that the banana is receding in space. Lightening lines using a kneaded eraser is a great way to show that a portion of your subject is receding in space. Hopefully, you can see that when atmospheric perspective is combined with overlaps and ellipses, it creates a powerful combination of drawing elements that seem to transcend the flat page and give the illusion that one side of our subject is coming towards us while the other end is moving away. In this final demonstration, you'll see me do three more drawings. Each time, we're going to turn the banana a little more until it is completely foreshortened. In each drawing, you'll see me push the sensation of depth and volume further and further by using overlaps, ellipses, and atmospheric perspective. I want you to notice that every time we turn the banana more towards us, the width of the drawing decreases, but the height stays relatively the same. This is a tricky concept that beginning students often struggle with. In reality, the size, shape, and the proportions of the banana haven't changed. But the more we turn the banana towards us, the more they appear to change. Whenever you're dealing with a foreshortened subject, it's critical to consider the width to height relationship from your particular point of view. A look back at the first banana demonstration we did today will reveal that the drawing is much wider than it is high. But in this drawing, the height has remained the same, but the width is continue to decrease so much that the drawing is now higher than it is wide. The next thing I'd like to call your attention to is how I'm using the cross contour lines. In the first two drawings, I explicitly drew them in using dark sharp lines. But in these last three demonstrations, I'm only going to imply them. For example, take a look at this softly drawn surface markings on the banana. Even though they're drawn softly and subtly, almost all of them could be categorized as partial latitude or longitude lines. Although none of them are complete cross contour lines that circle the entire banana. Even the soft and subtle bits and pieces of cross contour lines help communicate the volume. As we mentioned earlier this week, these kinds of subtle lines and marks communicate volume at an almost subliminal level. Take a moment and see how many of these subliminal cross contour indications you can find. When combined with atmospheric perspective and overlaps, the subliminal cross contour lines do an excellent job rounding out the form. Now let's turn the banana once again into an extremely foreshortened position. During our first drawing demonstration today, the banana had a long languid curve from one tip to the other. But now that we're drawing the banana in an extremely foreshortened position. Look how tight the curve is from tip to tip. As we continue to turn the banana, what used to be a loose arc has now tightened up into a U-shape. When a curved object goes into foreshortening, the rate of curve can increase dramatically. Also, in this drawing, it should be crystal clear that the banana now appears to be much higher than it is wide. Finally, I'd like you to pay attention to all of the overlaps. There are more overlaps in this drawing than there have been in any of the previous bananas we've drawn thus far. For the final drawing, we'll turn the banana so it is completely foreshortened. The two tips of the banana, which were once on opposite sides of the drawing from one another, are now practically in a vertical alignment. The banana drawn here is exponentially higher than it is wide. The ellipses and cross contour lines have entirely opened up and are practically full circles. To really push the illusion of depth, I'm going to draw the darkest lines I've demonstrated today, at the front of the banana and at the far end of the banana, I'm going to use the softest lines I've demonstrated today. If done well a properly foreshortened drawing can trigger the sensation of depth and volume in the viewer, even on something as flat as a piece of paper. Here's your project for today. You're going to prepare a banana, just like you saw me demonstrate earlier today, by drawing a series of rings around it. Once your banana has been prepped, you're going to draw this banana a minimum of three times. Each drawing should be from a different position and each drawing should be more foreshortened than the last. This is a great opportunity to use all of the tools and techniques you've learned so far with a focus on overlaps, cross contour lines and ellipses, and using line quality to convey depth and distance with atmospheric perspective.