Sketchbooks Scans: ‘Blind Touch’ Drawings and Working on Dark Backgrounds

Following on from my Tutor’s feedback from Part One of the Coursework, I decided to try some blind touch drawings. First I selected five objects with different textures to draw:-


  • a vintage toy mouse (nubbly, lumpy, soft eared)
  • a beaded owl purse (fine, even texture, with zip)
  • a fork (shiny, hard, smooth, sharp, heavy)
  • a chunk of house brick, polished to a pebble by the sea (fine, but rough texture)
  • a finely crocheted cotton doily (lacy, floppy, soft)

Another of Cari’s recommendations was to try out more varied backgrounds, so I picked two A1 sheets of grey and navy blue Canford paper for this exercise. I gathered lots of white media to work with according to the perceived properties of the objects:- ink, paint, pencil, chalk, conté and gel pen.

First the blind touch drawing, feeling the object and not looking at the drawing surface either:-

An interesting collection of marks! I doubt that many of these objects would be recognisable, but it is a strange experience to draw from touch alone. For some objects it was more the texture under the fingers that dominated, for others, such as the fork, the contours were the main feature. Some things, such as the whiskers on the toy could not be felt at all.

A second attempt, this time still just feeling the object, but looking at the drawing paper:-

Again using a variety of media, selecting the one that I felt matched the properties of the object. The fork and brick pebble were considered from different sides and ends. I seem to have made most things longer and thinner. The faint pencil marks for the crocheted doily ended up like a deep sea creature, which I liked.

A good exercise in using more than sight to make a drawing. I also liked the darker ground for working on. I can see that this conveys textures that might be translatable into textile and stitch.

Another sketchbook version of the mouse, completed back in May when I first started the course. I wrote all over this one before Cari advised me not to do that!



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