Cross Contour Drawing: Apple Exercise (Otis College)

Cross Contour Drawing: Apple Exercise (Otis College)

>>To draw our Cross Contour Apple we will
use a range of drawing pencils. F – H – HB and 4B We will start with the harder or lighter
graphite pencils F and H. First we measure the
proportion height and width of the Apple. In this case are Apple is
roughly one unit wide by one and a quarter units tall. We will make this Apple about eight
inches wide and 10 inches tall to fit comfortably on our 18 by 24 inch
paper. This is our rectangular Apple placement on
our paper. It helps if we visualize placing the
Apple within an imaginary rectangle. This helps to locate the correct
perspective and planar analysis of the apple. After drawing this vertical
rectangle, we locate the bottom corners of the
Apple and we draw the rest to the plane proportions using only straight lines. In doing so, we discovered that the Red
Delicious apple actually has five sides to it. We must
correct and draw these planes in. We locate the stem area and draw the distinct planar shape and outer contours of the Apple. The
inner contours of the Apple are also located and drawn in. Then we draw the cast shadow of the Apple. We also locate the correct perspective
of our tabletop. Using the light and dark areas to locate
the major planar changes in structure, we begin to draw in the
correct shape and curves of the Apple. We must correctly wire-frame our drawing
using the planar analysis of the previous drawing and read the Apple. Thus, mapping out the Apple. Finally, using only the tip of the pencil,
we begin a careful cross-hatching or shading of the Apple adhering to
strict cross-contour wire-frame we have established. Using a light graphite pencil, H or HB,
we slowly crosshatch our drawing going from light to dark. We must draw our lines going in only the
two directions of the wire-frame. This structural volumetric way of drawing creates a dramatic three-dimensional
rendering of the Apple. Step-by-step, we proceed towards our
finished result. Finally, using a softer, darker graphite pencil B to 2B to 4B, we finish our drawing being careful to
leave the lighter highlights intact or erasing them. Our darker
graphite pencil drawing is only used for the darkest core shadow or cast shadow areas. We must not use
these softer pencils in the lighter areas of our drawing. And here we have our finished cross
contour Apple exercise with tabletop shadow. Here are examples of finished student
still life drawings demonstrating the Cross Contour process.

Dereck Turner

15 thoughts on “Cross Contour Drawing: Apple Exercise (Otis College)

  1. flauntvida says:

    very interesting, thank you for posting 🙂

  2. Hairless Sasquatch says:

    what ever happened to just drawing lines on a peice of paper to make shapes that turn into things?

  3. kentuckyfriedplus says:

    Thank you for posting. I think this will help me somewhat this weekend.

    I'm so used to doing smooth shading, this's the first time the class I'm enrolled in (and this video) has tried to demonstrate methodically how to correctly to cross-hatching. I don't expect the results to be great, but everybody's got to start somewhere!

  4. papermason says:

    Wonderful, I'll try this, thank you for this fabulous video, (nice music too)!!!!!!

  5. ronald ferreira says:

    id have just gone from the apple itself but good technique

  6. Martin Dimitrov says:

    you use Hb man thats like drawing with a knife???

  7. Creationcreed says:


  8. luciabeckett4 says:

    really good job.
    anyone know tips on regular conture lines ones you cant pickup pencile! continuesline.
    need it for art class-tips!

  9. 亞明自然減近視 says:


  10. Rico Adventura says:

    im not trying to be a hater here but i sat through this video at one in the morning hoping that it would be more about hatching in cross contour but instead the video is mostly about proportion and laying out a picture at the end it barely attacks the issue at hand which is value.

  11. jjjjjokerface says:

    I've never done something like this! I'm excited to try it! I can't afford an education in art so this is the next best thing 😀

  12. James Kerr says:

    if drawing were playing guitar, he'd be a good guitarist

  13. Shaithydollarz says:

    That's breathtaking!!!

  14. Robert Dente says:

    Hey Barry, you can draw?  Where's your brother Bruce?  Did you marry Lynn?

  15. S Duncan says:

    Barry Fahr is an awesome teacher! Barry is an IMPORTANT LIGHT AND SPACE Artist

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