Learning to Draw - Contour Lines

Learning to draw Contour Lines can improve your observation skills and is a great way to practice your drawing technique.

Only lines are used when creating contour drawings (no shading).

Portrait Drawing Menu:
Video: Learning to Draw Contour Lines

Drawing Roses using Contour Line
Contour Lines are:
Outlines, actual lines like wrinkles, implied lines like the edges of a shadow or highlight (these usually define where a surface curves or bends) and differences in value and color.

Contour Drawings:

  • use only line & no shading

  • are drawn slow and deliberately NOT sketchy

  • describe the contours of a shape or form

  • are good practice whether you are a beginner or already a skilled artist

rose pencil drawing contour line

Drawing Supplies:

  • 2B pencil or a range of light and dark pencils

  • Eraser

  • Or, a fine tip marker

The main outlines are drawn with a darker heavier line and the softer, implied lines or edges are drawn with a lighter mark.

This was done with the same pencil simply by varying the pressure of the pencil on the page. You can also use a darker pencil for the darker lines and a lighter pencil for the lighter lines. Use an eraser to correct mistakes as you go.

Below: For a challenge, use a fine tip marker! An eraser won't help you here, so be extra careful and deliberate as you draw.

frog drawing

Watch the Drawing Contour Lines Video

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