Blind Contour Self Portraits (Sketchbook Ideas #15)

Blind Contour Self Portraits (Sketchbook Ideas #15)

For blind contour drawing self portraits, you look in the mirror and never at your paper. You draw your features without once peeking at what you are doing. You can lift up your pen, or not, as you wish.

Try some of these faster, and some more slowly deliberate, and try your non-dominant hand as well. The first one below is my non-dominant hand, the only female looking one was where I went slower, and all the rest I went quickly.

You’ll find that they really won’t look much like you. Most of mine here appear to be bald and male, and I am neither! Also, what you’ll find is that features will be in the wrong place, and that will render them more expressive and eccentric. There is more life fluently expressed in these blind contour drawings, than if you carefully tried to draw “right.” (Humm… maybe a spiritual lesson there too?)

These would be a great way to transition to abstracting the face, because they are already significantly out of whack. You could take these further by coloring them in or collaging into them, but I liked them as they are for their simplicity of line, and potent characterizations. These also would be fun to do of others, if you are idling where people are just sitting around.

Doing these blind contour self portraits would also be great as a warm up for any other artistic activity, since you see and experience by doing them that perfectionism does not always yield the most interesting results! This can be rather profound and freeing!

These are quick and fun to do, so give lots of them a try. You’ll like some better than others. I’m sticking only the top three into my sketchbook.






I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


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