Blind Cross Contour and Modified Cross Contour

    Connect your eye directly to your hand and remove any interference of symbols applied by the brain


    • Keep your eyes on the still life/model/photo and your pencil on the paper.
    • Do not remove your eyes from the model at any point nor the pencil from the paper.
    • Keep your eye on the contour of the figure and imagine an ant walking along the edges. Draw that line slowly until the time is up. If you were allowed to look at the pencil its movement would be almost imperceptible.
    • This time you may look at the paper during the Modified exercise but you cannot draw while looking.
    • Draw the cross section lines of the figure at will, moving from contour to contour. pushing harder when the figure recedes in space and lighter when it is toward you.


    1 - Setup Your Still Life, Use the Live Stream, or an Image


    • Household Objects (Bottles, vases, devices)
    • Organic Objects (Fruits, Vegetables)
    • (optional) Human Model
    • Lighting
    • Graphite or Charcoal Pencil
    • 18 by 24 inch Newsprint or Drawing Paper
    • Easel, Table, Cloth
    • Large Drawing Clipboard

    Duration: 10 minutes

    Now is your chance to setup a still life or pull up an image. A few references will be provided on here and on Discord. Prepare your light source to allow for a healthy dosage of light and overlapping shadows on your objects. Setup your paper and drawing area sutibly. The paper does not need to be vertical or eye-level for this exercise as you will not be looking at your paper.


    2 - Cross Contour

    Materials: Same as Above

    Duration: 55 (25 and 35) minutes

    In life we are able to perceive the edges of a figure as lines. A contour is where the form is defined by the edge of a figure. We can represent the contour with a line because of the way our eyes handle complex visual input. They detect differences in subtle levels of luminescence to interpret a form.

    A still life is not meant to be pretty. It's beauty arises from its interesting design.Take your time. Don't cheat as you will only be cheating yourself.


    1 - Blind Cross (Still Life/Figure)25 min

    1. Choose any starting point on the still life and find that point on the paper.
    2. Take your eyes off the paper and plant them on that contour as you plant your tool onto the paper. You may look at the paper this time but you cannot move the pencil while looking.
    3. Imagine an ant crawling across the surface, have your hand mimic the path of the ant. This time the ant is moving from contour to contour along a cross section of the form. Go incredibly slow. Your pencil should not even move if you were to look at it.
    4. Push harder when the figure recedes in space and lighter when it is toward you
    5. I'll alert you when the time is up.

    2 - Modified Cross (Two Figures): 35 min

    1. Repeat Steps 1-5 with a Figure
    2. This time you may look at the paper but may not draw while you look

    Submit for Critique

    If you did not use the same reference we did on the stream, submit your picture. Include your Twitch name if you do this exercise on a different day after the stream as critiques will be exchanged for !Kokos. If you used a stock photo from a DeviantArt page be kind enough to drop them a link of what you did! Follow their Stock Rules.

    Submit via Google Forms



    Submit in #drawing_lessons on Discord