I am working through the book and I think it'd be a little encouraging to start a thread about this.
Kimon Nicolaides' book is excellent, because it seems to focus on sight--not pictures, not techniques, but seeing and developing quite a sensitivity to the world around us. Contour makes me look, contour makes me feel the form, gesture has my body feeling what other people are doing. This is a strange book that's important for not only artists but everyone.
Here I'll post notes and just give my progress. Of course criticism is needed.
Today I finished schedule 1C, contour drawing is going a bit badly--I'm having a hard time not wandering, and believing that I am touching the thing I am looking at is still tricky. But I don't mind not looking at the paper anymore and I look to reposition my pencil.
Another problem with contour is that I lose track of what part I am in--this might be because I wander.
I am trying to not wander, and there is a little progress, but it's extremely hard to quieten my mind like that.
Can anyone help with this? How do I quieten my mind? Dozens and dozens of ideas come to mind when I do the contour drawing. The only thing that might work is if I keep reminding myself of the idea that I am touching the form's edge.
My contour drawing has become very, very slow. And I think I will slow it down even more. Right now, not even half the object gets drawn.
The positives are that I am going to remind myself that the I am touching the form because that's the only way to shut my mind up,
Oh, by the way, I put something over one of my eyes and get a piece of clay or a wooden figure or a piece of messed-up paper and I draw.
If anyone has any advice for the wandering problem, please share it with me.
I am improving rapidly regarding gesture. I am feeling the action, and I am drawing that action, and not the figure at all--well, things hardly suggesting the structure but definitely suggesting its movement. Wandering is still a problem here, but not nearly as big a problem as it is in contour drawing.
One thing though--I usually look at the figure for 5-10 seconds focusing on the forces and movement, and then draw. The drawing is really quick then and I maintain the movement in my own body. I mean, I try to feel before I draw.
But I do draw as I feel too, as with the 5 second and 10 second poses sometimes I draw just as I am feeling, I don't feel the whole figure and then draw while looking at the figure.
All this given that I do not have a model and am using one of those wooden figures that I can pose. I don't want to draw from photos. The wooden figure is great, it seems to have countless poses.
Another thing with gesture is that I am trying to draw things other than human bodies--you have a water bottle with water in it, and you should feel the tension between the water and the surface covering it; the water wants to get out, can't you see! Curtains, trees, buildings, they're just as important.
Problems might be: that I don't look at the paper while drawing, that I don't focus on the whole figure from the very start. I think that's why I look at the figure first before I draw, so that I can draw the whole figure's gesture from the start.
Any advice is appreciated, thank you.