If there is one thing I know how to do, and know how to do well, it is Blind Contour Drawing (aka Blind Drawing or R-Mode Drawing). It’s a very basic exercise to learn how to look and to strengthen the pathways between your eyes and your drawing hand.

The result usually looks like shit.*

But spending two minutes before a drawing class engaged in looking results in a relaxed, calm, beautiful drawing during the actual class. Blind Contour Drawing is about the process, of shifting into “creative, engaged, looking” mode from our normal auto-pilot lives.

In any case, any time you spend engaged in visual arts, you should be spending at least 60% of your time looking at your reference.

Drawing is the Art of Looking, not the art of copying or the art of pulling a pencil across a page. Any monkey can pull a pencil across a page (hey, that would make for an interesting conceptual art investigation: putting monkeys, paper and pencils in a room and displaying the results. Has anyone done that yet?)

So Willem has been engaged with making music and I was wondering: what is the equivalent Blind Contour Drawing for musicians? I expect it would be “practising scales” but I’m not convinced. Do you know?

I asked a friend and he said that he turns the things in Reason around, connects them up randomly and listens to the result until he finds something that inspires him to continue. I think that could work.

*Except for Jaco Haasbroekwho was able to win a prize with a large Blind Contour Drawing of his room which he never posted online so I will have to ask Willem to take a picture of it this week ’cause that thing is gorgeous.

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