Contour drawings are great exercises for the sketchbook.
There are two kinds of contour drawings. The first, and easier of the two is the recording of the outlines or contours of the subject. As seen in the example to the right, we are recording lines only. This is a lot like the Grid Exercise but we are looking at a much larger area, and focusing on the subject as a whole instead of in pieces. This will improve your observational skills, especially as it relates to form.
The second of the contour drawings is know as the blind contour drawing. This exercise is designed to establish stronger hand-eye coordination. What you're doing here is drawing a continuous line, outlining the contours, but looking only at the subject and never at the paper. Just follow the contours with your eyes, and move your hands along with it. The resulting image may not look like much, but it's the practice that counts.
Proceed to our Exercise Gallery and choose a few images to practice.