Do you know what blind contour drawing is? I never heard of that term before today, although after I read about what it is, I realized I’ve done many drawings this way.
Blind contour drawing is when you look intently at the object you are drawing, and you draw it without looking down at the piece of paper and without lifting your pencil (or pen or whatever).
Each time you have to lift the pencil, like if you are drawing a face and you need to lift the pencil to draw an internal component like an eye, then you can look down, lift the pencil, position it in the correct place, and then look away again before moving the pencil. This style of drawing reminds me a little of drawing on an etch-a-sketch. It’s the same concept since you are drawing with a single fluid line; however, I’ve always looked at my drawing while I drew on an etch-a-sketch. The interesting thing about this type of drawing is that the goal is not for it to result in something that looks like what you were drawing. As a matter of fact, it will most likely look very different. The goal is simply to improve your own hand-eye coordination.
Blind contour drawing is so much fun if you can keep yourself from peeking (it’s so hard!). If you draw for ten or fifteen minutes while carefully observing whatever it is you are drawing, it’s like opening a present when you finally look down at what you’ve done. It’s really cool actually! There is a nice tutorial on HubPages if you want to check it out. If an artist is really good at blind contour drawing, he or she can do it with their eyes closed. They can draw from their memories of a subject, which is exactly what Kevin Breakstone did in the drawings below. His impeccable renditions of these famous Star Trek: The Next Generation characters are mind-boggling. He draws these with a sharpie and then colors them with watercolors. It really illustrates what muscle memory can do when it’s put to the test!