Memory in drawing from observation.

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    Memory in drawing from observation.

    I'am certain that there is a thread like this somewhere around but i searched and searched and nothing (maybe i used the wrong terms..)

    Well, the question is: Is it possible to improve the quantity of information one can get from a subject while drawing from observation?

    I don't know if i can explain what i mean. hmm, like when you are drawing an object, you are looking at the object and then you turn the eyes to look at the paper, and the information saved, while you are turning your attention to the paper, decreases.

    For me it decreases very much, so that i need to constantly look at the object. (i know that you need to do that, but i do it more than 5 or 6 times sometimes only for a part of the arm or so... just an example)

    I had the habit, until recently, to even making some markings and lines without turning the eyes away from the object...


    Are there any exercises that will stimulate this memory? or theres just the choice to draw draw draw and you will improve? because i know thats the simplest and longest way, theres no need to say that lol

    thanks

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    It's not

    look

    draw

    look

    draw

    look

    draw..


    It's

    lookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdraw


    Tristan Elwell
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    hmm, i do things differently

    like


    lookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlo okdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlook drawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdr awlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdraw lookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlo okdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlook drawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdr awlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdraw lookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlo okdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlook drawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdrawlookdr awlookdrawlookdrawlookdraw


    But i was saying if there are exercises to improve this memory...?(because there are people with better memory than others, if it's not equal than you can improve it.)

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    What I'm saying is that observing and markmaking aren't two separate things, they're part of the same process. That's why questions about time spent looking vs. time spent drawing don't make sense to me. When I'm drawing, there's continual feedback between what's going on with the model and what's going on on the paper. It's all one thing. The more you understand what you're drawing, the better your mental model of it will be, the more efficient your drawing process, and yes, this comes basically from putting in the time at the board.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    I'am certain that there is a thread like this somewhere around but i searched and searched and nothing (maybe i used the wrong terms..)

    Well, the question is: Is it possible to improve the quantity of information one can get from a subject while drawing from observation?

    I don't know if i can explain what i mean. hmm, like when you are drawing an object, you are looking at the object and then you turn the eyes to look at the paper, and the information saved, while you are turning your attention to the paper, decreases.

    For me it decreases very much, so that i need to constantly look at the object. (i know that you need to do that, but i do it more than 5 or 6 times sometimes only for a part of the arm or so... just an example)

    I had the habit, until recently, to even making some markings and lines without turning the eyes away from the object...


    Are there any exercises that will stimulate this memory? or theres just the choice to draw draw draw and you will improve? because i know thats the simplest and longest way, theres no need to say that lol

    thanks
    Looking at any subject a LOT while drawing is a good thing. You want to take a good look at the subject, and stay relatively zoomed outwhen it comes to the drawing part. You don't want to get in too close, too much distortion. Also, "...making some markings and lines without turning the eyes away from the subject".. Congratulations, you stumbled upon a technique and you didn't even realize it. My friend you have discovered Contour Blind. It's drawing without looking at your drawing.

    One exercise you can do to stimulate your memory is to look at an object for 10 minutes, and then draw for 2-5. I studied under an art professor who did that and he can work very well from memory. I haven't tried it, and I don't know if I plan to, but if you want to give it a try, I'd say go for it.

    Doctors heal you, Artists immortalize you.

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    Try setting your canvas up vertically if it isn't already, and then sit in a position so you can see both the subject and the canvas at the same time.

    Website Sketchbook

    "If it looks wrong, it is wrong."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    What I'm saying is that observing and markmaking aren't two separate things, they're part of the same process. That's why questions about time spent looking vs. time spent drawing don't make sense to me. When I'm drawing, there's continual feedback between what's going on with the model and what's going on on the paper. It's all one thing. The more you understand what you're drawing, the better your mental model of it will be, the more efficient your drawing process, and yes, this comes basically from putting in the time at the board.

    I understand that. But imagine that when you look at the object (regardless of the subject) and the amount of information retained is equal to 1 second of drawing until you need to look again. This will require for you to be constantly looking at the object, and so you will waste more time than a person that can look at the same object in the same amount of time and draw for 2 seconds.

    I'am not worried about the need to look so many times, i just find it helpful to try and stimulate different aspects of drawing to break some monotony in the studies.


    hitnrun - that seems like a good exercise thanks!


    Derek the Usurper: What do you mean by that? to help and look more quickly?

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    I agree with Elwell. I don't get it either. Like I never think about how much I am looking vs how long I am drawing. I'm just doing both at the same time. It's a flowing process, not a stop and start sort of thing. You get better at the process the more you do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post

    Derek the Usurper: What do you mean by that? to help and look more quickly?
    It's to help you look more continuously at both the subject and the canvas. If you can see both at the same time without having to move your head or look very far, you will eliminate the barrier in the process you seem to be having.

    Try measuring and figuring out angles by holding your pencil up at arms length toward the subject too. It's not just seeing and trying to remember what you see. It's also knowing where every part and shape exists in relation to every other part and shape, by figuring out proportional measurements and angles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    I agree with Elwell. I don't get it either. Like I never think about how much I am looking vs how long I am drawing. I'm just doing both at the same time. It's a flowing process, not a stop and start sort of thing. You get better at the process the more you do it.
    It seems it's a common way of thinking so i just have to resign lol.
    I'am looking for a way of increasing this short memory, but like i said i'am not worried about anything (don't know if that was the message i sent). I just know that there are people who train this memory, just wanted to know the exercises.

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    Memory training generally doesn't apply to working from life, because, frankly, the split second it takes to glance from your drawing to your subject and back shouldn't be an issue. Setting things up so that you can do this easily, as Derek mentioned, is important. It boggles my mind to see people in life classes who have set up their pad or canvas so that they have to crane their neck around it or turn almost ninety degrees to see the model. There are exercises to learn how to hold an image in your mind, but a lot of them depend on skills you have to develop working from life (abstracting into simple shapes, judging angles and relationships, mentally "drawing").


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    What I'm saying is that observing and markmaking aren't two separate things, they're part of the same process. That's why questions about time spent looking vs. time spent drawing don't make sense to me. When I'm drawing, there's continual feedback between what's going on with the model and what's going on on the paper. It's all one thing. The more you understand what you're drawing, the better your mental model of it will be, the more efficient your drawing process, and yes, this comes basically from putting in the time at the board.
    I've bolded the part that seems to me to be the part that most addresses your concern. If you aren't retaining information from one look to the next, then I think it's in part because you're possibly looking without fully appreciating what you are seeing. Whether it's anatomy, or lighting, you need to not only look, but think deeply about what you are seeing. Strive to understand it. Why is that reflected light red? What is casting that shadow? What muscle group is flexed there, and why is it flexed? If you can answer these questions then that understanding will cement in your mind what you are seeing.

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    I gotta admit I have exactly the same sort of problem as Pegasi.

    Say, I put an object in front of me. I need to look, then draw, look, then draw. When you look and you turn your eyes away to draw on your paper, the info which you "saved" during your looking gets reduced to ZERO and you start to wonder what exactly did you see, and when that happens, your hand is stuck and doesn't know what to draw.

    I think drawing more will gradually solve this problem.
    For me, simple objects ain't that problematic; it's the more complex objects (spherical objects or objects which extends away from me into space etc.) that I'm stuck.

    Hey Pegasi, what we can do now is to pray to God and hopefully we can fix this **** soon.

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    When I do a still life on the computer, it's next to my monitor, so it's not a problem. The same with drawing an object traditionally, have the page and object next to each other and then you can eyeball them at the same time.

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