Art: The Transition from Observation Based Drawing to Drawing from the mind

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  1. #1
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    Question The Transition from Observation Based Drawing to Drawing from the mind

    Hello everyone here at Conceptart.org,

    I have a frustration that just seems to keep nagging me and I can't seem to get rid of. I've been drawing since I was very young and now having been in the Fine Art Degree at University for 2 years I have been drawing extensively.

    Needless to say, though I am always learning, I have found I am very comfortable drawing regardless of the subject matter. Unfortunately I find I am wholely bound to observation from real life. My frustration comes from the fact that when I sit down with my sketchbook with no reference in front of me and intending to draw, my mind freezes up, and whether it be that I have no ideas or I just can't transfer the ideas in my head to paper, my drawing sessions end in disappointment.

    I am wondering if there are any ideas, methods, excercises, techniques or anything that you more experienced people out there might have used to make this transition from observation based drawing to drawing from the mind? At this point I can use references from life and draw just fine but as soon as I sit down to draw, my mind draws a blank.

    Thanks for the help and hopefully me asking this question helps others that may be in my same predicament.

    Cheers,
    Dave

    Check out my Website! http://www.davehiemstra.ca------------------
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  3. #2
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    When I'm ready for bed, there are times when it's hard to sleep. Can't force it to happen, just let it happen. Drawing with purpose can be the same way. If only there was a pill for that too .

    I think if you do more incidental sketches, it'll come to you. Relax and just make marks. Doodle. Think with a pencil and don't worry about making it like "work." Free your mind and your pencil will follow.

    -DBC

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  4. #3
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    You don't need a transition. Artists who are good at working from imagination and actual observation started out copying/studying works by other artists. This is how they increased their visual vocabulary. I suggest you do this too. I also suggest you read Andrew Loomis' books, particulary "Figure Drawing for all its Worth." This book teaches you how to draw the human figure without any reference. ALl you need to do is copy his illustrations and read the text. Do a search in this forum to find a link for downloading.

    Once you have the knowledge, everything falls into place.

    Last edited by Dizon; January 27th, 2006 at 09:14 AM.
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  5. #4
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    Do you have problems drawing something you don't see so it doesn't look right or do you have inspirational problems? I think it is the latter.

    What are your favourite subjects to draw (when you have a reference)? Try to draw what you have drawn in your last drawing session when you used ref. Then make small adjustments. For instance if the model was holding a pole, make her holding nothing, if she was nude draw her with some clothes. Know what I mean?

    It's just a suggestion, I hope it's of some value. I just thought that up so I don't know if it helps but it sounds fun right?
    If you can't get anything on paper perhaps you are forcing yourself too hard.Draw something when it comes to mind, don't try to force something to come to mind but let it come by itself.

    Good luck

    -I am my imaginary friend.

    - omg ftw teh sketchbook -Updated 28-01-2005- w00t pwn3d
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  6. #5
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    I agree with the above posts. You cant force a transition.
    If you have ideas but cant transfer them to paper, try doing lots of thumbnail sketches. That way you have to keep it loose and gestural until the idea comes out without worrying about finer details just yet.

    Nikola Odic
    sketchbook
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    you got them purty lips, boy
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  7. #6
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    Thanks so much for the quick responses!

    I really agree with all the replies. I think the problem is that I'm putting too much pressure on creating amazing things, and trying too hard to force things out that just dont want to come out.

    I think I just need to loosen up and really just let my drawings happen and not force them. I've purchase a mini-pocket sketchbook that fits in my pocket. Now I carry it and a pencil where ever I am so I can draw whenever the inspiration hits me.

    Thanks for the help, and if anyone else has advice feel free to keep up the responses

    Cheers,
    Dave

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