Wednesday, November 16, 2016

5 Tips To Train Your Artist Eye

People don’t see detail like a camera, and yet as a scribe detail is penultimate. We anticipate what we think we should see therefore we miss things. Our logical brain gets in our own way.
My first SCA art teacher, M. Gillian of Dragonsley, showed me a way around this, at least for my then novice brain. To draw an image from a picture, she had me turn my source image upside down. It worked.
This trick stopped my brain from identifying objects and helped me see scenes as collections of lines, shadows, and shapes. My drawing improved dramatically. Without this trick, I was only drawing image icons, not the item itself. 
Since then I've discovered other tricks to help improve my drawing. These include
  1. not naming the item I'm drawing  
  2. closing one eye
  3. squinting
  4. drawing the negative space
  5. turning my source picture upside down 

How you see the detail in an image you want to recreate is important. With practice, you will learn to see more and more detail. 
When painting a recent scroll I snapped some pictures that included missing lines. See if you can find them. It's a game called "What's missing?" like we did as a kid.
You can find more information on The American Psychological Association's web article How Artist's See.