I’ve continued making contour drawings this past week. Most of these have been blind contour drawings. Blind because you don’t look at the paper while drawing unless you wind up at the end of a contour or off the page. You follow the lines of your subject slowly with your eyes while your pencil or pen follows along on the paper. The results tend to be strange images that, nevertheless, help train you to see what’s in front of you as opposed to what you think is in front of you. I also find that doing these contour drawings helps me slow down, so the process is like a form of meditation.
This particular pencil drawing is of part of a large papier mache mask I made in 1997-8. I was amazed to find that the drawing did show some of the raw feeling of the mask.
The mask itself is 12 inches long by 9 inches wide at its widest. His topmost layer is made from Japanese papers. I enjoyed making this wild face–angry and scared–and the character Ahab from Moby Dick came to mind. That’s how I’ve always thought of him.