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  1. #66
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    I get the same feeling when working from life. I look at the object from life and then visualize a portion of the information in the paper (a mental snapshot like Queen said). But like I said, it happens sporadically. I wish I could do that all the time, maybe with practice. I think it would be really helpful when working from imagination, visualizing want you want to draw before drawing it.

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  3. #67
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    The brain is a pattern recognizing and pattern making organ.

    There is more to observational skill than visual memory. I think visual memory comprises a small portion of the suite.

    Visual memory is, in many cases, ineffective without understanding. The two aren’t mutually inclusive. Qualitative/differentiated memory (detailed memory) follows the understanding of what it is you are observing. I can memorize a page of text in an unfamiliar language, but what good is that if I don’t understand a word of it. Like the lifeless copying of photos, my reciting it would certainly fall flat on the ear of someone fluent in that language.

    It’s most important being able to recognize, or to resonate with, the essence that makes a subject what it is. To be able to see what those essential characteristics or caricatures are that distinguish a subject. You have to be able to see the ‘poetry’ in things.
    Every artist needs a heaping helping of form, shade and light empathy to go along with their voyeurin’--to get things right. It’s not all about keeping a checklist in the head of things seen on the fly.

    Last edited by bill618; October 25th, 2012 at 04:22 PM.
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  5. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill618 View Post
    The brain is a pattern recognizing and pattern making organ.

    There is more to observational skill than visual memory. I think visual memory comprises a small portion of the suite.

    Visual memory is, in many cases, ineffective without understanding. The two aren’t mutually inclusive. Qualitative/differentiated memory (detailed memory) follows the understanding of what it is you are observing. I can memorize a page of text in an unfamiliar language, but what good is that if I don’t understand a word of it. Like the lifeless copying of photos, it certainly will fall flat to the ear of someone fluent in that language.

    It’s most important being able to recognize, or to resonate with, the essence that makes a subject what it is. To be able to see what those essential characteristics or caricatures are that distinguish a subject. You have to be able to see the ‘poetry’ in things.
    Every artist needs a heaping helping of form, shade and light empathy to go along with their voyeurin’--to get things right. It’s not all about keeping a checklist in the head of things seen on the fly.
    or you could, you know, just draw a lot.

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  7. #69
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    I think all this discussion on visual memory thing is pointless since any and every drawing from observation helps this imo. I remember Queen on the last page mentioning drawing something fast so you learn it out of necessity. I live in the middle of nowhere I don't get to draw people that often just sitting around. I went on a ferry with a friend earlier in the year I brought an old sketchbook of mine from years ago that had a few empty sheets in it since I couldn't find any paper. While waiting for the ferry I was drawing people. Usually didn't even have 5 minutes before someone moved. I compared the drawings from years ago where I had like a half hour or more to draw people eating lunch to 5 minute drawings now and I was amazed. Because I never had a time limit or anything. I never practiced jotting something down quickly, or limited myself. I just gained a better skill level at it from just drawing in general.


    That's the thing. Draw often, draw from observation, experiment and draw in ways or mediums you may not have tried before and your probably improving in ways you aren't even conscious of. When your starting out getting all caught up in the what should I do and how should I do it doesn't matter half as much.

    Last edited by JFierce; October 25th, 2012 at 04:18 PM.
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  9. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    or you could, you know, just draw a lot.
    Just drawing a lot without seeing the forest for, you know, all those damn trees, just exponentially increases the time you spend spinning in circles. Sure, you’ll eventually get ‘there’ by merely drawing a lot.
    Drawing a lot certainly hones your graphic language skills, and is a vital necessity in becoming better at the skill.

    I've driven a lot and walked a whole lot. I’m not exceptional in either task--yet.

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  11. #71
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    an example of visual memory..

    drawing a comic book serial..the first two or three instalment are slower to draw

    after that your memory remembers the main points of character and scenario

    by the 4th installment its plain sailing until finished.. episode 12

    drawing part 2 of a 12 part serial is by then very easy as you have remembered all the

    points that make the serial..and you follow the narrative as any other strips you have drawn..


    weekly serial 30 frames ..120 frames per month..

    weekly single comic stories 30 frames per week..120 frames per month

    total monthly frames 240 frames...

    continue for twenty years ...a visual memory is created both in technique Brush/pen and recalling shortcuts and references..

    any named image can be drawn almost without references..you are now a production artist..on short deadlines..and living on adrenalin..

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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by briggsy@ashtons View Post
    Fine, but I'm talking about memorizing your subject, not about applying memorized schema to your subject.
    But, I think you're making a "distinction without a difference." Here's why: the OP is pretty much doing exactly the "looking and putting" that you referred to! He's not claiming that he left his ref picture up on Degas' 4th floor or out in an Australian barnyard.

    He's using his short-term memory to reproduce pieces of the drawing as he progresses. How's that any different than how anybody draws an object within their visual range? From what he's described, he would have been running up Degas' stairs quite a number of times to complete his master copy.

    Now, for actually drawing an object completely from memory, I would think having a "schema" would be doubly important in organizing just what it is that you are going to put on the blank paper after you return from the barnyard. That's why I bring up Hale and Hogarth. Marko Djurjevic [sp.], as a child, spent long hours copying Hogarth's DFD thinking at the time that all real artists worked from memory. This paid off, and I think there's video of him doing realistic detailed figure drawings without any prior construction devices.

    But, Hale would say this is because he internalized those devices and can now visualize where his contours need to go. This would be different than just either eyeballing contour and reproducing it or memorizing complete complex contours and reproducing them solely from memory.

    For instance, if we put a map of the coastline of Lake Michigan up on Degas 4th floor, how long do you want to study it before you go downstairs and try to draw it!

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  13. #73
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    I will add to this discussion that there is no such thing as "talent". I believe that is a word invented by people who simply cannot comprehend how much a person loved what they did and and how much work went into it. What we are really admiring about someone's "talent" is usually a relentless quest to really master something they care a lot about.

    If you want to be a basketball player, it helps to be tall. People obviously have unique characteristics that color their success. I bet most artists wish they had a photographic memory, I sure could use one of those lol.

    Look at anyone who is really successful at something and what you will find without fail is that they lived and breathed their "thing" to get to where they are. I see this same theme repeated whether you are talking a race car driver, artist, athlete, musician, entrepreneurs etc.

    There was this great reply to someone complaining that they wish they could play like one of the top Korean Starcraft players. The reply was very appropriate. "Dude, all you have to do is practice 12 hours a day against the best progamers in the world".

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  15. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    I think all this discussion on visual memory thing is pointless since any and every drawing from observation helps this imo.
    I think it doesn't hurt anyone if you'd like to talk about 1 or 2 theories you have, or if you'd like to understand more how the brain works and have someone who had other experiences give you there thoughts on that.
    Curiosity shouldn't do any harm, I thought so at least.

    Responses like "just draw" and "I think this is stupid because the important thing you should do is drawing and shut up"...this responses don't make sense to me. If someone is curious about something and if that something doesn't interest you then, yes, shut up and draw.

    For me, I got amazing insights from some people, and thanks for that

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  17. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolbenito View Post
    I will add to this discussion that there is no such thing as "talent". I believe that is a word invented by people who simply cannot comprehend how much a person loved what they did and and how much work went into it.
    The problem with the term ‘talent’ is in it’s misuse by people who never bothered to look up it’s definition. Talent is synonymous with aptitude.
    Talent is a predisposition to performing a particular novel task at a higher capacity than would be deemed normal. Talent plateaus out fast, requiring the same hard work that anyone has to do to develop a skill.

    If 8000 5 year olds perform a novel task and the vast majority of them perform the task like the average 5 year old and 4 perform, the first time attempted, task like a 10 year old, what would you call those 4 performers?
    I’d call them talented.

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  18. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    I think all this discussion on visual memory thing is pointless since any and every drawing from observation helps this imo. I remember Queen on the last page mentioning drawing something fast so you learn it out of necessity. I live in the middle of nowhere I don't get to draw people that often just sitting around. I went on a ferry with a friend earlier in the year I brought an old sketchbook of mine from years ago that had a few empty sheets in it since I couldn't find any paper. While waiting for the ferry I was drawing people. Usually didn't even have 5 minutes before someone moved. I compared the drawings from years ago where I had like a half hour or more to draw people eating lunch to 5 minute drawings now and I was amazed. Because I never had a time limit or anything. I never practiced jotting something down quickly, or limited myself. I just gained a better skill level at it from just drawing in general.


    That's the thing. Draw often, draw from observation, experiment and draw in ways or mediums you may not have tried before and your probably improving in ways you aren't even conscious of. When your starting out getting all caught up in the what should I do and how should I do it doesn't matter half as much.
    The same with writing really cos it doesn't matter about thinking of grammar and comprehension and things because if you just say it it will come out out and you'll improve. So it's pointless thinking about how you write and getting all self conscious and stuff because it just gets in the way making you think about that instead of saying what you think. And if you just keep writing all that doesn't matter half as much as what you are saying because that's all they want to know anyway.


    From Gegarin's point of view
    http://www.chrisbennettartist.co.uk/
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  20. #77
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    I feel like there is no way to reply to the comparison of writing and art without getting into a long discussion about the similarities and differences of writing vs visual art. Feels like a trap haha.

    I'll just reply that I have actually heard the advice from professional writers to beginners to "read a lot, observe the world around you, and write constantly". My sister was given similar advice when she sent a story to a writer she liked which was nice enough to actually reply.




    Besides that I'm opting out of the writing vs visual art discussion lol

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  21. #78
    Vinicam is offline Five percent inspiration and ninety five percent transpiration.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill618 View Post
    The problem with the term ‘talent’ is in it’s misuse by people who never bothered to look up it’s definition. Talent is synonymous with aptitude.
    Talent is a predisposition to performing a particular novel task at a higher capacity than would be deemed normal. Talent plateaus out fast, requiring the same hard work that anyone has to do to develop a skill.

    If 8000 5 year olds perform a novel task and the vast majority of them perform the task like the average 5 year old and 4 perform, the first time attempted, task like a 10 year old, what would you call those 4 performers?
    I’d call them talented.

    Yeah, I said exactly this, but in this forum this is a forbiden word. So is easier to ignore the rest of my post and just pretend I'm "obsessed" with the progress of others artistis.

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