Cross-Contour Breadth


Texture & Light Study: How various textures bounce light differently.


  • Find 15 out of the 20 textures listed below.
  • PAY ATTN. to how light shows the surface of an object and EMPHASIZES the textures.
  • Take several photos of each.
  • Put all 15 on blog with 5 completely edited.

TEXTURES to be photographed:

1. rough                                                                                                                                                                  2. smooth                                                                                                                                                                 3. shiny/glossy                                                                                                                                                   4. fuzzy                                                                                                                                                                   5. crackly                                                                                                                                                               6. rusty                                                                                                                                                                   7. grainy                                                                                                                                                                   8. greasy                                                                                                                                                                   9. foamy                                                                                                                                                               10. leathery                                                                                                                                                       11. velvety                                                                                                                                                           12. pulpy                                                                                                                                                           13. wrinkly                                                                                                                                                          14. dimpled                                                                                                                                                       15. feathery                                                                                                                                                           16. hairy                                                                                                                                                                   17. slimy                                                                                                                                                                   18. wet                                                                                                                                                                       19. powdery                                                                                                                                                      20. porous

 Photography from Lauren Allen

2D & Drawing



Option A –

1.  Choose an interesting piece  from your own body of art work to replicate in a cross-contour drawing.

Option B –

1. Choose an interesting composition of your own choice – subject matter is open, however,  you may find it easier to use more cylindrical forms such as bottles, fingers or legs for this exercise. Faces tend to look awkward in cross-contour but there are no limitations on subject matter. 

2.  Lightly sketch the outlines of the simple shapes in the original piece on in pencil to create guidelines.

3.  Draw in pencil cross-contour lines that “wrap” around the objects to define the forms in the composition to emphasize the volume.  Carefully consider the direction of the cross-contour lines.

cross contour lines

4. Go over the pencil lines in black sharpie using a variety of thicknesses of lines and good craftsmanship.

•ONLY VARSITY AP STUDENTS MAY USE COLOR!!! If this is your first year in AP Art, using black ink is hard enough…

5.  Be sure to erase all pencil guidelines after you finish your drawing and your ink is completely DRY.


Do the cross contour lines follow the objects form?

Is the volume of the objects emphasized by the cross-contour lines  in the drawing?

Did you use good craftsmanship (such as no visible pencil lines or ink smears)?

Below are some of my AP studio art student’s solutions:

Below are some of Carrie King’s AP studio art student’s solutions

Cross-Contour Drawings with Feet:

Cross-Contour Drawings with Still Life objects:

Cross-Contour Drawings with Other Cylindrical forms:

Cross-Contour Drawings with Faces:

Cross-Contour Drawings with Other random stuff:

Cross-Contour Drawings with COLOR (only Varsity AP may use color!):

Below are old master’s examples of cross contour drawings:

MORE EXAMPLES of contour on my pinterest page!

Cool Video:

Each Line One BreathWhile it’s not exactly the same thing as the AP Cross Contour assignment, the drawings by John Franzen show how value can be shown with only the subtle changes in the space between lines. He begins by freehand drawing one very straight line and then slowly copies the line. The inevitable imperfections in his otherwise straight freehand lines become amplified as he continues to copy the previous line.

Good Instructional Video:

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