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  1. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    I suspect the best way to learn to draw is by combining both memory and direct observation. Work from memory sometimes, work directly from observation sometimes, mix it up sometimes. The memorization helps strengthen your ability to observe, and the direct observation helps correct any tendency to drift toward schematic ideals and also strengthens your ability to observe accurately. At least, that's been my experience so far.
    I think there is another thing that comes in here, and that is the learning of stylistic conventions. In any culture there are certain standard ways of representing particular things. Of course, one can overdo it and end up with drawings that are recognizable but that look like emoticons. However, almost all drawings will have a certain amount of emoticon-ness to them, and that is not necessarily wrong. In fact, I think it is part of the learning process. Thus, looking at and copying the work of other artists may be of much use.

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  3. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Er, no. This is NOT what you are doing when you draw from memory. There's a good deal of reconstruction, editing, and filling-in-the-blanks that happens as well. Same as when you draw anything from your head - you are pretty much never going to just "trace" a mental image, because it changes while you draw it. The very act of drawing changes it. So there's always a lot of give-and-take between the mental image and what you're setting down on paper.

    (Unless somebody is some kind of bizarre savant-type of the kind that can memorize a phonebook by glancing at it. But that's extremely rare and generally involves sacrificing basic living skills in favor of a super-memory. As far as anyone knows, this cannot be learned. Yes, people have tried experiments.)

    When I capture something in memory, it's usually a combination of specific shapes and colors AND basic structure AND the overall gestalt of a motion or attitude.


    There are times when I feel like I'm tracing the photo on the paper. I know that the information when it gets to your brain, it has already been edited. But its what it feels like when it happens.

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  4. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    Arshes Nei: I think Pegasi means mindless mapping when he/she talks about anybody can trace.

    Just to add another point to the 'better visual memory=better drawing' concept:

    Imagine someone with an photographic memory, that is to say, a perfect visual memory. They are (to coin Mr Ferrara's wonderful phrase) a camera made of meat. Drawing is synthesis out of a consciously chosen set shape intimations from an infinite flux.
    Could not agree more!

    Being able to copy exactly what you see its not art, but its a pretty good skill to have.


    By the way, I know that my thinking is flawed, thats why I made this topic from the start. And I've got some great input already!

    Last edited by pegasi; October 25th, 2012 at 11:05 AM.
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  5. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    I suspect the best way to learn to draw is by combining both memory and direct observation. Work from memory sometimes, work directly from observation sometimes, mix it up sometimes.
    And above all, work from memory while working from life.

    From an extended discussion of memory drawing in Robert Henri's The Art Spirit:

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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post

    Being able to copy exactly what you see its not art, but its a pretty good skill to have.
    Indeed.
    It is a dangerous one. and has to be used with infinite care (like the blur/smudge tool ) Mimetic skills are the plague of all the arts.

    Briggsy: Completely agree with that Henri extract. There appear to be exceptions in the likes of William Coldstream, Cezanne, Uglow etc, but they are really a special catagory of what Henri is saying and, if intepreted rightly, follow Henri's understanding and distillation of the issue perfectly.

    Last edited by Chris Bennett; October 25th, 2012 at 11:18 AM.
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  9. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    And above all, work from memory while working from life.

    From an extended discussion of memory drawing in Robert Henri's The Art Spirit:
    I now need to buy that book.

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  10. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    There are times when I feel like I'm tracing the photo on the paper. I know that the information when it gets to your brain, it has already been edited. But its what it feels like when it happens.
    Ok so how do you work from life? I see mentions of photos, but what about the subjects around you?

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  11. #60
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    I'm not saying I draw exclusively using visual memory. Its like the Bargue's Drawing, its just a way to study.

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  12. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    I'm not saying I draw exclusively using visual memory. Its like the Bargue's Drawing, its just a way to study.
    *confused*

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    Kim Jung Ji ..

    this excellent artist has the ablity to visualise

    the drawing before making his marks..

    this ability is enhanced by drawing everyday..

    with mental pictures in your head before draw it

    is possible to create a large picture by physically

    enlarging it..it is a creative gift

    i have known a few people in my profession (illustrator)

    who could do this without references.. straight onto

    board..a number of them were comic strip artists

    drawing and inking up to six pages a week..

    the fact that they drew so much for years

    gave them the facility to dispense with

    pencil roughs on a tight deadline...a rigid editors nightmare

    ...experience and discipline

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  14. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    Being able to copy exactly what you see its not art, but its a pretty good skill to have.
    It's a skill I never managed to master, thus to me it does look like quite an art! :-)

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  16. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    *confused*
    Well, I didn't understand your question either

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  17. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasi View Post
    Well, I didn't understand your question either
    You said you feel like you're tracing a photo. I asked how do you approach it working from life, then?

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