CONTOUR DRAWING: lines of inquiry

I’ve taken Danny Gregory’s sketch challenge: take 10-15 minutes to create art before breakfast.  I enjoyed doing these breakfast still life compositions.


"Breakfast Still Life"  copyright Cheri Isgreen pen on paper  6" x 6"
“Breakfast Still Life” copyright Cheri Isgreen pen on paper 6″ x 6″

These three little studies are based on contour drawing.  From the idiom, “a line of inquiry,” contour drawing takes this notion quite literally.  When one closely examines objects and sets out to draw them through contour lines, this close observation results in deep inquiry about the “thing-ness” of individual objects.  What makes a teapot a teapot?  For me, it’s the ceramic glaze, the stout curved form, and the bamboo handle.  The delicate china shape of the egg plate suggests “Haviland; Limoges, France.”  In describing the milk jug, I added some details to the lines which reflect who I am.  For those who know me well, they would say, “She chooses healthy food, (non-gmo and unsweetened).”  They may also say, “Well , she’s lactose intolerant.”  It’s not necessary to include every detail in the milk jug.  It’s more important to make a statement about the object, or in this case, about the artist- what was important to me as I portrayed the milk jug.

"Contours of my Morning"  copyright C Isgreen, pen on paper, 6" x 6"
“Contours of my Morning” copyright C Isgreen, pen on paper, 6″ x 6″

It’s fun to play with words, as well as images.  Think about what the “contours of your morning” look like.  For me, breakfast is very important.  As one who used to skip breakfast, I’ve come to rely on the sustenance those nutrients bring.  Without breakfast, I would have no stamina.

Are you a busy career person?  What do the contours of your morning look like?  Are you focused on the meeting at 9 AM, the daily commute, or grabbing some family time before everyone heads out the door?  Visual it.

"When Negatives Become Positive"  copyright C Isgreen 2015, ink on paper 6" x 6"
“When Negatives Become Positive” copyright C Isgreen 2015, ink on paper 6″ x 6″

Artists use the negative space found around an object to define the shape of the object.  Instead of focusing on the contour of the shape, in this drawing I looked at the negative space AROUND each shape.  Using ink, I needed to do some adjusting, so instead of strong contour lines, I opted for sketchy lines with strong negative space surrounding the objects. the negative spaces were defined from cast shadows.

What other negatives could be interpreted as positives?  For starters, the results of a mammogram…….