Drawing Tips, Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Art Courses,

Drawing – what you see not what you think is there

It can be so easy to draw what you think is there and for some it happens over and over. Our eyes are definitely seeing the object in front of us but our brain, helpfully, is constantly labelling and offering advice based on what it already knows.

One of my favourite objects to put up for Drawing is a chair. Something which should, in theory, be relatively simple to draw. After all it’s got straight lines and planes and is a relatively simple construction.

The trouble is that our brains know all about chairs! So we must come up with strategies to view the chair as an object. Look at the space between the lines, the angles and placement at which lines intersect. We have to see the chair in terms of light and shade, what is around it and which parts of it we can ACTUALLY see.

One way to do this is to start with a series of very quick observational sketches. We often do four in a row starting with one minute, two minutes, four minutes and twelve minutes. This gives us time to put aside preconceived ideas and begin to really look at what is in front of us.

These quick sketches can be followed by a twenty minute drawing and then finally forty five minutes or an hour. You will be very surprised how quickly the hour disappears and how much there is to see in a simple chair.

So get off your chair and draw it. Have fun.

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