Friday, March 11, 2016


Artists are well known for sharing. That is why I liked this sign that I saw in San Francisco one day. I think of it as a reminder to us all to value the work of creative people.

A good friend, Deborah Hansen, sent me a drawing of her cat, which had been prompted by my post, Look or See. Rather than a pencil sketch, Deborah employed her iPad to make her drawing. She uses the Procreate app on her iPad for much of her work, and as she said, "I decided to cover the existing design with a solid layer and used the eraser tool for the contour drawing. Using the eraser shows what is underneath the solid color." I'm going to have to try this technique.  Great way to get a scratchboard effect!

Deborah does beautiful work in many media. Take a look at her wonderful website at

Another good friend and I sat in La Mediteranee in Berkeley the other day and talked of our plans for our college reunion. She is an artist who especially loves Diebenkorn, Robert Motherwell, and the quality of a line. I was surprised and delighted when she mentioned how my blog post, Look or See, had reminded her  to be brave in her own work. Contour drawing gave her the chance to focus on the quality of her line. I love that!

One last example of contour drawing shows how this technique develops the character of a line. These chairs seem a little quirky, don't they?

Contour drawing is a fun way to learn to draw. It does take some patience because you need to make yourself draw slowly as you absorb the shape of the object that you are drawing. You only look at the paper when you turn a corner and you never take your pencil off the paper.

With contour drawing, you become aware of all the details of an object. You are practicing 'seeing.'

Try it and send me your results!


  1. Will try a few and share if I see success.

  2. A wonderful way to touch something or someone's skin with the eyes. I'll send you something!

    1. I'm looking forward to your drawing, Flo. Yes, contour drawing of people can be intense -- but in a good way!

  3. Today I received the first two of your postcards Martha - so beautiful! I'm not sure which side of the "100 hours project" card I like best - the side encouraging me to do what I love, or the side with your beautiful art. :) Thank you!
    Kate Thompson

  4. Thank you, Kate. I've enjoyed writing postcards to you!


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