Unbroken line drawing, also known as continuous line drawing or blind object line drawing, is a really simple way to change up your sketches.
As the name suggests, this technique demands that you draw only one line on your page. This means that you must draw your entire subject with one continuous line, only lifting your pen when the sketch is complete.
Obviously this creates some challenges. Lines double back on themselves and, inevitably, you have to draw lines where you would prefer blank space.
But this is sort of the point.
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Often used as a technique to help art students loosen up and understand their subjects very quickly, continuous line drawing has a raw simplicity to it that is central to its appeal. Make no mistake, it is not always easy, but it is a great way to create a more free-flowing, and often faster, impression of any subject that more traditional pencil and paper drawings.
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Made famous by artists such as Paul Klee, there are clear stylistic benefits to this method of drawing. The demand of using only one line allows greater freedom in that an impression of your subject is all that is expected, rather than a true to life reproduction.
Favoured by Picasso in his later years, the artist’s use of continuous line drawing focused on simplicity. Often drawing animals in one stroke, his images are uncomplicated and free from extraneous detail. Yet the image of Lump, the artist’s beloved dachshund, is instantly recognisable.
Most often used to depict the forms of animals or to highlight contours in a portrait, this technique has many uses and only one rule: don’t lift your pen until you are finished.
Get to grips with drawing people in this way with the instructional video below;