Skip links

Line Quality: Contour Line

Line Quality: Contour Line

Video Category:
drawing of a hen by LZM Studio
drawing of a hen by LZM Studio

One of my favorite types of lines to use in a drawing is the contour line: a spatially descriptive line that shows the depth of the form.¬†Contour lines are a line quality where the lines you are drawing describe the three dimensional form and mimic perspective in order to shade and communicate the three dimensions simultaneously. This is a more complex way to use multiple lines than hatching or cross-hatching, as the lines shade and demonstrate the sculptural nature of our three dimensional world at the same time.¬†It helps to have some understanding of perspective to use this line, but looking closely at the things you’re drawing will also help. Let me know your questions or where you get stuck in a note in the comments- I’m happy to help you get unstuck!

Contour lines on an apple by LZM Studio
Contour lines on an apple by LZM Studio

Also, check out the nest drawing video on my Youtube channel and image on instagram for more images of contour lines.

PS. Something went wrong on our audio recording of this video, so please pardon the background noise!! Oops!