Learn to Draw - The modes of thinking in drawing




Modes of Thinking

Why is it that your friend is "artistic" and you are not? It may be because your friend is using a different part of the brain than you are. Your friend can "see" things differently than you can because they are interpreting what they see in a different way than you are. They're looking at the world in terms of shapes, lines, colors, and the relationships between these things. With this website, what we'll be doing here is trying to get you to see things in this way. It's not like you'll be seeing things better or worse than you do now, but you will be seeing things in a different way. This way of seeing is the way visual artists see, and it allows them to translate the three-dimensional world around them into a two dimensional drawing. Hopefully, after looking through this website, you'll be seeing like an artist and drawing what you see in a way you enjoy.

Have you ever noticed that when you get into doing something that you really enjoy time just seems to slip away? "Time flies when you're having fun?" For example reading a good, compelling book, or listening to your favorite music? This happens because you're in the "visual" or "creative" mode of thinking. This mode of thinking disregards time and converts what you see into pictures and feelings in your mind. When reading a book, your visual or artistic mind takes the words that your logical mind sees and translates them into a picture that you see in your minds eye. This may be the reason when finally you see the movie based on your favorite book, you're somehow disappointed with the movie. It may be because the actors playing the characters do not look how you pictured them in your minds eye while reading the book.

Would you say that you're better at math than drawing? This may be because you're more comfortable with the logical, step by step, time centered, areas of your mind. Every normal human being has two modes of thinking: The logical, symbol mode and the visual, artistic mode

We use both modes all the time. We use each mode separately, and we use both modes together. We use each mode to interpret the other mode. Your logical mind cannot put to paper a self portrait because it keeps telling you "This is the ear, draw the ear." and "here is the left eye, draw the left eye" Then "No! That does not look like the left eye!" happens. What your visual mind will do is "Here is a sweeping curve that intersects with this shadow." and "These two shapes combine to create a certain shape in the negative space". The fact that it's a left eye doesn't matter to your artistic mind. Your visual mind doesn't see a left eye, it sees lines, shapes, and lights and darks that combine to make a whole picture of a left eye. In order to "draw what you see" you will have to learn to draw lines, shapes, and lights and darks that combine to make a whole drawing. Your logical mind, that labels everything it sees, will not be a part of the drawing process.

Infant scribbles.

When you were a child, you had fun drawing because you were able to put marks on a piece of paper that represented something to you. Or, to a very young infant, drawing doesn't represent anything at all. As an infant, you were fascinated with the fact that this long stick in your hand makes marks on this paper. As a young child it was all in the interpretation of the drawing. It didn't matter that what you drew didn't really look like what you were seeing, all that mattered was the act of representing a favorite object or person that you saw.

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