The first time I saw form
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    The first time I saw form

    When I started drawing I tried studying perspective and I thought I understood it. I knew the basic rules, I knew the vanishing point, the horizon line, how to draw different shapes in different perspectives, etc. I knew how form was supposed to look like and why it was supposed to look like that.

    But I never really saw form.

    I was drawing this gooey amoeba character one day and I needed to draw a wrapping line around his arm (for some aesthetic reason). I couldnt get it to look right, but after really thinking about it I feel like this huge light bulb went off over my head and I said out loud "Holy shit. I see the form of his arm. Its like that stupid cylinder i was drawing over and over". For the first time I felt like my drawing was a tangible object. It was probably the biggest breakthrough I've ever done in art, even though It sounds so incredibly simple. Being able to finally understand why lines wrap around objects the way they do was really exciting for me. It sounds like something a middle school kid figures out in basic art class, but for some reason it was so different than everything I have ever experienced when drawing. It was the first time I saw 3d in a 2d surface. ever since I have been progressively getting better and better at seeing things as 3d objects and not as simple shapes on a paper. It totally changed the way I draw.

    Have any of you had these really simple, yet mindblowing mental "clicks" when it comes to fundamentals? I tried to explain this to a friend that doesnt draw much and she told me "Duh. of course". But theres so much to it. even though it has been a year since I found this out, I still am so humbled by the amount of things I can learn about simple forms and other fundamentals.

    Anyway, just my rambling for the night. Sorry for wasting your time!

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    Perhaps my great moment of seeing form will also one day happen, if I practice enough. I have a terrible battle trying to understand the 3D form of things - I have acquired the bad habit, over many years of drawing, of trying to copy contours. I never managed the trick anyway, but it also made me a bit blind to 3D form.

    Oh well, back to the drawings board and the perspective book! :-)

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    I had a similar experience "finding form", though a rather slow and step-by-step understanding. In Angel Academy of Art I was forced, for the very first time, to really spend a lot of time on identifying and modeling the form, and slowly discovered that it matters a LOT more than I had previously thought. Before, I had underestimated it and my painted figures tended to look flatter.
    I'm still working on it. It's still a conscious effort to figure out what this form is and how this light will model it. Some day, I hope, it will become routine.

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    Congratulations on your epiphany. Build on it.

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    Interesting.

    I think I know what you are saying, though I am not sure I have yet experienced anything like that. Of course I read of this concept, described as seeing the 2-dimensional surface as a 3-dimensional world, but it sounds as if it is something that the brain adapts to. Not just understand that, yes that part of the leg can be seen as a cylinder, which seems elementary, but truly sensing it as 3-dimensional. That I have trouble with. Perhaps I already do, perhaps I will know when I have developed that far and feel it "click."

    It is difficult; when I observe I wish to take in the 3-dimensional and see it as 2-dimensional to represent it in accurately on the 2-dimensional surface. But when imagining and illustrating creatively, I then wish to see it in 3-dimensions before I take it to 2. I suppose that enough practice will do that, enough of a certain sort of practice anyways.

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    I've had many random ones. The one that sticks out the most was seeing color. Really seeing it. Standing in front of the mirror with bright warm lights looking at my arm brushing my teeth and literally with a mouth full of a suds saying "Howy shwit itz bwue".


    Read many times warm light cool shadow but never saw it until that day.

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    Cool - yeah, these happen and sometimes you're aware of them and sometimes not, and some come quite early or when too young to understand them as epiphanies. I'll always remember a few as well...my favorite was realizing (with the help of a hole cut in a card) that a distant mountain of dark green pine trees was actually lavender/mauve.

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    One I remember, and it was awhile ago, and since my understanding ha grown to make this nearly an obsolete break through, was once when I was trying to draw shadow on an object.
    It was a simple drawing with simple shadow, and it was troubling me none the less. As I began placing line (or was it color, can't remember the image just the breakthrough) I thought, look at that all of the shadow is going away from the light. Then I told myself "it's as though the shadow is trying to run away from the light". After realizing that light and tone has become one of my favorite areas of experimentation and work.
    It is such a simple concept, but actually visualizing the shadow as though is is a swarm of people trying to get away from the light really helped me. As I said, as I get more in tune with greater understandings, (reflected light, secondary light sources, color, reflected color, observational color, irregular forms, etc) this concept becomes more and more moot, yet that breakthrough allowed me to progress to the point where I am now.

    aren't those breakthroughs great?

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    My conscious 'breakthrough' would be the this, a very recent one. William Maughan explained in his book how shadows work; the difference between form-core and cast shadows and how it works. I 'ran a bunch of tests'.

    And my mind was blown.

    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/
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