I have been talking with a good artist about Blind Contour drawing and thought I would get some other opinions. I think the more experienced views I garner, the better I can do this.
So I am following Nicolaides "The Natural Way to Draw" and am at the first series of blind contour drawings. Setting up and not looking at the paper is easy enough. I am struggling with the "feel the pencil on the form" section, though. I am trying to find the best way to focus my mind on the form. You see, this exercise is very monotonous by nature and I find my mind drifting as I draw. My pencil is still moving, taking in the lines and curves but my vision kind of blurs (as happens whenever I look at anything intently for too long, especially staring). I have tried this exercise with music of various styles, without music, with my left hand, and with my right. I have also tried doing a mental dialogue. This last one really seems to work the best.
I am a verbal thinker. Everything ends up in the form of words and impressions for me. Even dreams. I don't remember images exactly. I have impressions of colors and words that make the image, though the image in my head that I recall is as clear as a photograph most times. So the verbal dialogue builds the image, and the whole while I feel like I am literally carving the image into the paper with the pencil. It feels solid. Every now and then, I am so in touch with it that it feels like I am dragging my finger across the surface of the object. But with the way people describe setting up the process, I worry that I am not "doing it right."
I understand that there is, technically, no right or wrong way but there is a way that was intended with the exercise. It is just such an internal thing that I think people have trouble talking about it...?
So...how did you handle the issue for blind contour? What was your thought process? How did you "feel" the form. I know this is hard to explain. Maybe that is why I have not found any discussions at all anywhere on the web on this aspect.
(side note: the person I was talking to indicated that he interpreted it as a belief, changing how you think completely and giving the line meaning. I think this is great and works for most people, but I wonder if there are other views and interpretations)