We all view the world, just a little bit differently than everyone else.
Sure, a tree is a tree, a rock is a rock and other people are bipedal mammals of different size, shape and color… unless you’re crazy, in which case those things would probably be more like a branchy vine monster from Klaxu 8, an ancient fossilized turd from a Titan and Morlock spies from the underground empire of Mog.`
But that’s not where I’m going with what I am presenting to you today… and if anyone in this room actually leans toward the latter examples of reality vs. the former, we’re going to find out about it in a few minutes anyway.
The activity I would like everyone to participate in is a method of drawing widely used by art teachers, where an artist (in this case, all of you) draws the contour of a subject without looking at the paper. Blind Contour Drawing.
The technique is to fix your eyes on the outline of the model or object, then track the edge of the object with your eyes, while simultaneously drawing the contour very slowly, in a steady, continuous line without lifting the pencil or looking at the paper. After you are done with an outline or shape, you can lift the pencil and move on to the next object. Without ever looking at the pen and paper, simply keeping your eyes on your subject.
The subject in this case will be, another person sitting directly across from you. That’s right, you’re going to draw your partner, their face actually.
Now, this is a wonderful activity to do when you’re out with friends, on a date, or just want to see if the person you are currently sitting next to in a bus terminal has a good sense of humor and any artistic skills. It helps to pass the time… and is also incredibly funny because most people are absolutely terrible at this kind of exercise. Your face, drawn by the other person will probably come close to something between a cheese grater with fruit stuck on it, and a pineapple with silly putty slapped on it by a chimp. In either case, both of those would be better than I could EVER do. Ever.
So if you will please join me in a little activity I call, I like your face and let me prove it.
Now I will reiterate, take your time and move your pen to follow where your eyes go, slowly working through each object. It also helps to keep in mind where the last object your drew was, if you choose to take your pen off the paper. You will, for the entirety of this exercise ONLY look at the persons face, you WILL not look down at the paper either you or they are drawing. This is paramount.
*** At this time, people were teamed up with another person that was sitting across from them in the meeting room. Over two dozen individuals took place in this exercise. ***
Try and use a good amount of the paper, the larger the picture you draw, the more room there is for error in placing things. I speak from experience.
Start with the head, oval, round, squarish, a simple shape will be your canvas and focal point for everything else.
Slap on some ears, are they wing like and able to carry them aloft or short little things tucked in close to the head? Are they wearing earrings?
Now move to the hair, long or short, wavy, saucy… none, solid in form or single strands like spaghetti
Put some eyes on that beautiful face, almond shaped, round and large, squinty, glasses, whatever they are
Nose, crooked, large small, bulbous or pointy
Mouth, wide lips or a slight grin… maybe a frowny face because they hate this exercise and are going to push me down the stairs after the meeting
Add on any special touches you think they need to have, a mole, a rosy cheek, a dimple where there chin is.
Once you are done, put your pen down so we know you are done.
Sign your name on the bottom right and right their name with the date on the top left, and hand it over to them.
Everyone, place your picture above your head for all to see. Pretty awesome isn’t it?
Now obviously, this exercise is more for fun and should not be held against anyone who does not have the ability to accurately represent another’s visage. I sure as hell don’t and never have.
But the point is that our perception is always very subjective when it comes to how we view other people. Your likes and dislikes for certain attributes play a part in how you perceive the world around you and this affects how you talk to and treat other people.
You added or subtracted certain things about the person you drew based upon what you found important or liked, or perhaps disliked about them. And this kind of observation has been with you since you were very young, and will be with you until the day the Morlocks break ground and take over the world. And our only hope will be those branchy vine monsters from Klaxu 8 who will wield the turds of the Titans with amazing accuracy.
Thank you all for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this little exercise and remember, no matter what you look like to another person, I like your face and I hope I proved it.
*** I would highly recommend this type of presentation to anyone who wishes to get the audience engaged and involved. In a room full of suits and ties, business skirts and often frowning faces of serious metrics and ledgers, laughs, chuckles, awkward looks and jovial exclamations were rampant during the several minute process. It was truly a thing of humor and beauty to see some quite often sallow and stuck up faces light up, if only for a short time. ***