MASS vs. CONTOUROne of the things I discuss in class most often is learning to see in MASS! Seems we are conditioned from the time we first pick up a crayon (or as my grandson calls it "care on"), to outline and then fill in the spaces! While this is not 'wrong', it continues to keep me in a linear mode as I work. I think this is one reason that I have often felt my paintings had a contrived feel to them. When I am thinking in linear mode, I tend to work in a piecemeal fashion, working on bits and pieces here and there. I am finally moving out of that mode of work, looking for beautiful shapes that might unify or tie together the separate parts. When continuing in the outline mode after my initial start, it seems I have a difficult time loosening up and letting the beautiful creative flow take charge. As Daniel Greene often said, "It is all much easier than you ever imagined". Instead of continuing to hold the charcoal or brush in a pencil grip style, if I flip it over, perpendicular to my fingers and begin massing with the side, instead of the point, my drawings and paintings are instantly more fluid and painterly.
The worksheet below is from Andrew Loomis' book Creative Illustration.
You can find a copy of it here
It is in pages 115-117. Loomis' books are fabulous!!