Drawing the Subconscious!
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  1. #1
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    Drawing the Subconscious!

    I have this image, or characters in the back of my mind. It's hard to explain, but they have a style onto themselves that is very specific. I like to work with the subconscious but I have never been so challenged by dream like images before.

    I want to be able to draw and paint these characters along with other dream like imagery. But when I close my eyes to focus on the images in my minds eye, I lose them, they disappear. But if I pay no attention to these dream like images, they disappear too. I can recall the image or characters at will, but I can only half see it.

    It's a bit hard to explain, I can recall the image in the same way you might be able to recall a dream. Its fuzzy and not like it was when you were dreaming.

    I can't however imagine the image or create along the way as I go. I've tried to draw it but every time I look at the picture its lacking and never captures the essence of the dream-like characters in my minds eye.

    I must be crazy!

    What can I do to get these characters out? How do you draw subconscious imagery when the image is fuzzy?

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  2. #2
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    You really can't draw effectively from fuzzy images (I call them auras, because it's sort of like the 'aura' of an image, not complete). You'll have to train your mind so you can see with much greater clarity and longevity (the mind's a muscle, train it or find another way). Otherwise, you're going to have a hell of a time and are going to get really frustrated.

    One trick though, for your possible edification, is to try to 'zoom in' to part of the image, this sort of gives the brain a shove and gets it to render and clarify a section of the image better. This probably won't help you accomplish your goal but it might help you distill part of the 'essence' of these characters from a logical standpoint so you can try to emulate some of it when you do draw.

    I wouldn't get obsessed over the whole thing though. It's very difficult.

    SSG 37
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  3. #3
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    Maybe if you "zoned out" and tried to draw them fuzzy (not concentrating on the particular, but the general instead) you might get something as a basis to work with? Then you could maybe work from the outside in? Does that make sense?

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  4. #4
    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    The more you learn your anatomy and spend time analyzing the form and structure of stuff like trees and rocks and whatever... the more clear your imagination will come. And practice definitely helps. Concentration proceeds from discipline. And holding images in your mind's eye definitely requires mental control and focus.

    On the other hand, I think that detail tends to be a province of craft rather than imagination. I mostly imagine images, which are made up of silhouettes and shadow areas, (which because they are definite shapes I can more or less trace onto paper). I add the detail and the particulars of form in the fleshing out stage.

    Often I will draw what I know to be correct on a drawing, and then squint my eyes and grey areas show up where lines or shapes are missing, which I then draw in. This is the imagination filling in the gaps.

    Oh, forgot.. certain lighting conditions in the room tend to be more conducive to good imagination sessions. I like low light in the room during daytime, soft couch, curtains drawn with dreamy sunlight dappling in. Joseph Clement Coll would drape a towel over his head to focus his imagination and I find that works for me as well. Frazetta I heard would sometimes spend a week thinking about his compositions before putting brush to canvas.

    There's drawing techniques designed to free up your imagination. I've heard of scribbling out stuff. I often will draw a shape and shade it all in with pencil, then use a pink pearl eraser to draw with. Walter Everett taught his students to use the pencil sorta like a Ouija board, whenever a pictorial idea strikes to lightly let the fingers find the image, slowly doodling arabesques off your imagination onto paper.

    Whatever works for you...

    kev

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