Contour Drawing of Your Hand Without Looking

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If you would like to really see what a difference it can make to concentrate on just seeing and drawing what you see, you can make a drawing of your hand before you start these exercises. Just do it, to the best of your ability, and set it aside. Then you can compare it to the second drawing that you do, when you can look again.

1. Start by setting up your area to draw. Your pad of sketch paper on your board and a pencil will do.

2. Seat yourself in a comfortable chair, angled away from your drawing board.

3. Take a good look at your other hand. Make a bit of a fist so that there are a lot of wrinkles in your palm.

4. Decide on a place to start on your hand, one of the lines on your palm, for example.

5. Put your pencil down on your paper. Consider that spot the same as the spot or line you picked on your hand. Once you've placed your pencil, don't look at the page again.

6. Look very carefully at the line that goes off from your starting spot.

Which way does it go?

For how far?

Does it curve?

How much?

Is there another line that it meets?

7. Move your pencil, slowly, in response to what you see. Remember—don't look at the page!

8. Look at the lines in your hand one by one as they touch each other and try to draw exactly those lines that you are looking at.

Remain observant and sensitive to the wealth of linear texture, shape, and proportion in your hand, and try to put it into your drawing.

Keep working until you have drawn all the lines and shapes in the palm of your hand.

That it won't look like a hand doesn't matter. Your absorption in a purely visual task is what counts. Has your left brain left yet?

Try Your Hand

One way you can gauge your absorption and higher state of consciousness is to set a timer while you are working on these exercises. Set it for 5 or 10 minutes to start. If the timer goes off unexpectedly, then, my friend, you have been off in the void!

Here are some examples of students' contour drawings without looking.

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