What drawing beginners tend to do is using lines to mark the contour of an object.
Contours are great, because the are an easy way to separate on object from another.
BUT they are an abstract idea – a short cut – they do not exist in reality (haven’t seen someone with a thick black line around his head).
So we should use them wisely like Zorn did with the left arm in the right part the picture. He used the line to separate the sitter from the background that has the same value like the arm.
What Zorn did (not) in the rest of the piece what we should do instead of using contour lines or outlines is the following:
- He seldom uses contour lines / outlines.
- He uses cross contour lines to describe form.
- He uses lines to create values shapes. This is the typical way of thinking of a painter who draws. He doesn’t think in lines, he thinks in value shapes.
- He uses more or less lines to create different edges (lost – soft – firm – hard). If you use outlines, you just have hard edges.
- He draws great 🙂