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Blind Line Drawing for Inspiration

July 18, 2018

Several years ago, I took one of the very few art classes I have taken in my life. It was with a talented artist and my friend, Arla Patch.  One exercise she had us practice as “a great basic tool to shift from left brain to right brain” is called blind line drawing.  It was the first time I had ever drawn anything that I actually liked! And the funny part is that a blind line drawing is done without ever looking at your paper while you are drawing.  It allows you to really SEE what you see versus seeing the logical world that your brain THINKS you see.

This explains it better than I can. All I know is that it works, and its fun, and I generally really like my results!

“The goal of blind drawing is to really see the thing you’re looking at, to almost spiritually merge with it, rather than retreat into your mental image of it. Our brains are designed to simplify — to reduce the tumult of the world into order. Blind drawing trains us to stare at the chaos, to honor it. It is an act of meditation, as much as it is an artistic practice — a gateway to pure being. It forces us to study the world as it actually is.” excerpt from an article written by Sam Anderson.

For me, these types of activities fuel my creativity and get me thinking outside of the box, which I believe ultimately helps me to become a better photographer.  Give this a try.

  1.  All you need is a pencil and a drawing pad, or two pieces of paper.
  2. Place one larger piece of paper over your entire hand, pencil and bottom piece of paper.
  3. I set a timer for 2 minutes, no more or I tend to start over thinking what I am doing.
  4. Sit quietly in front of a scene outdoors or at your table with something interesting and multi-dimensional sitting in your immediate line of new.  My first blind line was of a large pair of scissors sitting on the table in front of me.
  5. Place your pencil on your paper wherever you want to start, cover your hand, pencil and bottom paper with the top piece of paper, and hit the timer!
  6. Do not lift your pencil off the paper until the 2 minutes is up and your drawing is complete.
  7. Take a look! If you like it, Awesome! If not, give it another try with drawing something else!

Let me know how it goes!  I’d love to see your fun results!  Feel free to post a picture here in the comments, or tag me on Instagram @nanettefayephotography!  I’d love to see them!

Here’s mine from the other evening at sunset! I love the depth of field (photographer in me 🙂 ).   I decided to also do a quick 5-minute (I set the timer again), not over-thinking, watercolor on top of the blind line drawing.  Pretty happy with the colorful result!

In addition to Instagram, you can also find me over here! I’d love to chat with you about fun creative activities like this one, or about photography too!

2-minute blind line drawing

Blind line drawing with quick watercolor

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