Christine Orcutt Henderson
artful creativity happens

Journal

Converging Tracks

Composition, objects, landscapes, or a still life can have complicated imagery. Sometimes it can be daunting to figure out where to begin.  One of the basic drawing techniques that I use, is to break objects down into lines. The lines are interesting and ignore all the details or white noise. There are a few different techniques you can use; one is contour.  Your eyes trace the object, and your hand records the information on the paper.  The key is to not look at your paper. Your hand will record squiggles, jumps, jags and smooth lines. As an artist you start to subconciously notice how the object is constructed, which naturally informs what your creating – instead of trying to interpret in your head what you think you see vs. what is really there.  

This makes creating a sketch less overwhelming, because you see how one line relates to another. 

This idea is similar to ski tracks in Nordic Skiing.  The groomer lays nice corduroy and classic tracks over the topography (contour) of the land. The land is made up of mountains, hills, flats, and hollows. The groomer only knows to keep the lines uniform and traces the rise-and-fall of the landscape. This is the same concept as contour drawing: Seeing how the lines intersect and connect, to create the whole.

Christine Henderson