Artist's Back to Basics

Drawing What You See

In this article I want to explore one of the all time and most important golden rules of freehand drawing, which is “draw what you see, not what you think you see or want to see”. It all comes back to your own perceptions of reality and gaining a deeper understanding of what you are doing and why as you develop a freehand drawing. There is a very large difference between just seeing, and looking at the entire world and everything in it as an artist. Everyone except the profoundly blind can “see”, very few indeed look at their surroundings as an artist, nowadays it seems even fewer again look at it as a freehand artist. Your perception of the actual abstract shapes that make up all the objects and arrangements of objects in your compositions is a big part of deciding what you will be drawing in the first place but you’ll find that as your observational skills improve from the experience you gain from drawing

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