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  • Marybeth Bradbury

Now Leaving the Comfort Zone


When it comes to drawing faces, most of us tend to rely heavily on visual cues and references. But what happens when you take away the ability to look at your subject, in this case, my own face, while you draw? Enter the blind contour self-portrait.


For those unfamiliar with the concept, a blind contour drawing is one in which you draw the contours of an object or subject without looking at the paper. This forces you to rely solely on your sense of touch and your memory of the subject. And trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds!


I decided to give it a try with a white pen on black paper and let me tell you, it was quite the experience. I set up a mirror in front of me and began drawing my self-portrait, all the while trying my best not to peek at the paper. It was a bit of a struggle at first - my hand kept wanting to wander, but I kept reminding myself to focus on the sensation of my pen moving over the paper.


As I progressed, I found that my lines were much more fluid and less rigid than they would have been if I had been looking at the paper. It was almost as if my hand was dancing across the page, following the contours of my face in its own unique way. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to capture, though it looked quite silly and not much like me. But that's the beauty of blind contour; it's more about the seeing than the final image.


The real fun began when I decided to take it a step further and create a collage out of my blind contour self-portrait. I cut out the face and laid it out in front of some other painted papers I had in my stash, then did some more drawing and writing on top of it. The "G" is to remind me to be aware of the Grace that is available to me as a girt from the Spirit of Creation. It was a playful and creative process that allowed me to think outside the box and come up with new and unexpected ideas.


In conclusion, the blind contour self-portrait is a great exercise for anyone looking to push themselves out of their comfort zone and try something new. It's a fun and creative way to explore the idea generation process, and it's a great way to challenge yourself to think differently. So go ahead and give it a try, you might be surprised at what you come up with!

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