TUTORIAL / Exercise - Cross Contour Drawing
Some folks have asked me about the recent cross contour drawings which I have been doing for a drawing class I have been sitting in on. It’s a college level drawing class with an excellent professor, Chawy Frenn, who is great at getting his students to perceive in different ways and to learn how to speak about and critique their own and others’ work - essentially, to become visually literate.
It's the first drawing class I've taken in years, so though the exercises are very basic and fundamental, I've found the course to be so refreshing and is helping me to connect some of the missing dots in my own drawings. I hope this tutorial is useful. :) Please note that my comments here on cross contour drawings are mainly derived from the teaching of Professor Chawky Frenn. Thank you to [mashru](http://mashru.cgsociety.org/gallery/) for allowing me to use his free downloadable female 3D model for illustrative screenshots. Mashru's model (obj. file) may be downloaded for free here: [[b]Free Model[/b]](http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=446213) [http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=446213](http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=446213) +++ [left][b]What is a cross contour Drawing? [/b]A cross contour drawing may be thought of as a topological map of the face and body, or of whatever form you are drawing. Cross contour lines may be thought of as vertical and horizontal slices of the figure (or as in the case of 3D - wireframes). The purpose of a cross contour drawing is to allow the student the opportunity to draw not just the outline of the figure, but to map the interior of the form. As you are drawing, you are to look more at the model than at the page. You should also think of yourself as an ant along the surface, mapping the surface of the form with your eyes and transcribing it onto the page. [b]Elements of a cross contour Drawing [color=LemonChiffon] [/b][/color][b]Perspective [/b]and where the viewer is in relation to the model is of primary importance in a cross contour drawing. Here are some screen shots of some simple primitive shapes as seen from different positions. There is a deformed sphere, a sphere, a cylinder, and a cube. The wireframes - the horizontal and vertical lines - of the primitives are essentially the[b] cross contours[/b] of the objects. Notice how as the viewer's position changes, the direction of these wireframe lines / cross contour lines change. Depending on the eye level of the viewer, the lines will either curve up (if the object is seen from below) or curve down (if the object is seen from above) in accorance with the laws of perspective.
Notice that the eye level of the viewer is level with the center of the objects in this first example. Note how the horizontal lines above the viewer’s eye level curve upward, and the horizontal lines below the viewer’s eye level curve downward. Also notice how the horizontal and vertical lines are spaced depending on how close to the viewer they are. The spacing between the lines becomes much less - the lines become closer together - as the object recedes in space:
[left]Now the viewer’s eye level is below all of the objects. Note how the horiz. lines all curve upward and around the rounded objects. Notice how the spacing between the lines is greater where the object most protrudes and is closest to the viewer, and how the spacing becomes less as the object recedes in space:
[left]Here the viwer’s eye level is above the objects. Notice how the horiz. lines of the rounded objects curve downward and wrap around the form. Again, take note of the line spacing depending on how close or far the object is fromt the viewer:
[left]Here the viwer’s position is slightly above the objects and to the left. Notice how the horiz. lines of the rounded objects curve downward and wrap around the form, but less dramatically than when the viewer’s eye level was higher. Again, take note of the line spacing depending on how close or far the object is fromt the viewer:[/left]
[left]Notice how dramatically the curves are affected by the higher eye level of the viewer relative to the objects below: