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About Art > Cross-Contour

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8536 comments Cross Contour

Cross-contour lines are very much an attitude about and approach to drawing. They are the lines that reflect the movement of your eye in and around what you see.

While contour lines describe edges, cross-contours describe form and volume. These lines can follow planes of form, moving around and across objects as well as through them.

Jean-François Millet

message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8536 comments Process:

1. Choose an interesting piece from your own body of art work to replicate in a cross-contour drawing.

•You may find it easier to use more cylindrical forms such as bottles, fingers or legs for this exercise. Faces tend to look awkward in cross-contour but there are no limitations on subject matter.

2. Lightly sketch the outlines of the simple shapes in the original piece on in pencil to create guidelines.

3. Draw in pencil cross-contour lines that “wrap” around the objects to define the forms in the composition to emphasize the volume. Carefully consider the direction of the cross-contour lines.

4. Go over the pencil lines in black sharpie using a variety of thicknesses of lines and good craftsmanship.

5. Be sure to erase all pencil guidelines after you finish your drawing and your ink is completely DRY.

Critique / Evaluation:

Do the cross contour lines follow the objects form?

Is the volume of the objects emphasized byt the cross contour lines in the drawing?

Did you use good craftsmanship (such as no visible pencil lines or ink smears)?


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather | 8536 comments You can actually make visually striking drawings with just those contour-lines (and no shading) but their real benefit is helping you to understand how objects appear from certain vantage points.

message 4: by Heather (last edited Aug 28, 2018 07:28AM) (new)

Heather | 8536 comments Cross contour brings elliptical curves within the boundaries of form to map the surface.

Cross contour can be applied in one direction or in any mix of directions as long as the mark follows the surface of the form.

Cross-hatching refers to a softer, woven application often used to build up tonal areas of shadow.

Cross contour uses line to map the curved surface of depicted forms in a drawing, but instead of dealing with the profile of the form, it moves within the outer boundaries and maps the surface facing the viewer. Although cross contour on rectangular surfaces can be useful, the most prevalent form of this technique involves curved contours to describe rounded organic form. There are many strategies for applying cross contour to the surface of forms. It can be useful to mix and overlap cross contours, to let them fade in and out of application, or to use them in a "broken" manner. Layering cross-contour strokes in different directions is sometimes called cross hatching.

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