Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Drawing from Memory

Youngest saw my "Keys to Drawing" book lying on a side table, and started reading and doing some of the exercises a few weeks ago. That was a surprise. He achieved right-brain shift on some of the first exercises, and was excited by that.

I've been looking at the book as a way to consider habits in my own drawing and sketching, to shake up my routines, and to get more of those valuable little tips that make the technical and mechanical side of drawing easier, so it can be the tool it's meant to be, and more of a pleasure, too.

Youngest got to the Pepper Challenge and needed some produce... I bought two peppers at the farmer's market this Saturday that would work.

The exercise was to look at a pepper and then walk away, wait a while and then draw it from memory. The last step is to draw the pepper again, this time from life. The instructions advise us to draw it at least life sized, and preferably larger than life size. While the book did not say to draw it from the exact same vantage point both times. we decided to set things up to do that, so we could consider the differences from memory vs. from life.

I was pretty sure I would not recall the shapes and relationships, but as we looked at the peppers I concentrated on a few critical points and proportions. That served me fairly well during the memory exercise, though shapes are oversimplified. I sense that I could get considerably better at this. Figures would be the subject worth the time (much more complex than peppers) - people don't stay still for prolonged studies in airports and restaurants...

This last drawing here is the one from life. Between 5 and 10 minutes, I think (we lost track of the time - stopped when Youngest was through). Pencil. More than 200% lifesize. I noticed when drawing from memory that I couldn't make myself draw them this large, though I intended to do so. I suspect I felt exposed for the details I would not recall, so I kept them smaller (just a little bit larger than lifesize).

Comparing all three of these images, I see that certain things strike me and I emphasize them. That's why a drawing is a record of someone's seeing. You see what matters to the viewer, where their eyes spend time, what they like, hate, wish...

1 comment:

Pagan Sphinx said...

Wow. That's from memory.

Interestingly,I'm devoting some time this morning and into late afternoon to reading more extensively about the left and right hemispheres of the brain. And then I come here and see your post! :-)

Hoping everyone at your home is well.