I'm really enjoying the "Touchstone" online art course, Tara Leaver is conducting at present. It's the end of the first week, and we've done a lot on what's called a "Manual of Self", which should be pretty self explanatory. It's designed to help us understand ourselves better, in our process of creating.
Anyway, the first art exercise, was the blind contour sketch. You basically draw an item, without taking your eyes of it, but your pen stays on the page the whole time. So you end up with a random, freestyle sketch at the end. It was much easier to do, than a sketch I would normally concentrate on all the details for.
Here was my reference picture. A Spanish Iris given to me by my mother, many moons ago...
From that, I did the contour sketch with a black pen. I thought it would look really bad, but I was surprised how well the lines merged - because I basically had to guess where the middle of the flower was, without taking my eyes off the reference picture.
After you've completed the sketch, you can add colour, while looking at the page again. By keeping the colours random and simple, it matches the style of sketch too. Of course, I used Inktense pencils for adding colour. When don't I?
The whole exercise took me only 10 minutes to complete. I loved the random detail, while still being able to recognise what it is. I really enjoyed drawing with a black pen too.
At the same time, I'm planning for an artwork to be completed by the end of the course. I'm still developing the stages, but I'll show my progress as I go.