A few weeks ago, I was contemplating a new way to present the idea of cross-contour drawing to my students. Having taught drawing for more than two decades I always like to keep it fresh and try new tactics. Cross-contour lines allow the artist to bring 3 dimensionality to a drawing of an object by making lines that not only outline it but wrap around and across the form itself. 

I decided bananas would be a good fruit to draw because they are already both cylindrical and planar. I often ask students to imagine a see-through cylinder in space with a string wrapped around it. This starts a sort of x-ray vision that allows an understanding of a form in the round at different perspectives. 

So, I had them bring in bananas. Most of them remembered. Then, we took Sharpies and carefully drew directly on the bananas. Each ink line emphasized a planar division or traced around the circumference of the banana. This super-imposed ink diagram gave the students a map to follow when they posed the banana and drew it. 

Their drawings had an immediate dimensionality and the technique seemed to help them wrap their mind around the concept of cross-contour. Until next time, imagine drawing all the way around and through a 3D form. Or, just draw on a banana. CREATE.

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