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Question about memory drawing

1128 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  pencils
Hey everyone!

I'm more or less a beginner: I've been studying drawing for about a year - year and a half, and I've seen tremendous results in my ability to draw from a live subject in front of me. That being said, if I am not literally staring at my subject while I draw, I'm unable to draw at all, period. I'd love to be able to draw from my imagination, and so I realize that being able to tap into 'memory drawing' - that is recalling a subject after I have seen it - is crucial to my development.

Here's my question: What sort of thought process should go into looking at a subject in order to retain visual information? I've been trying to set a kitchen timer to about five minutes while I look at a model, and then to turn away from the model afterward and try to draw it from memory.

The problem I'm having is that during those five minutes while I stare at the model, I'm just staring. It's like I don't know what to do in order to remember what I'm seeing. Is it bad if I use words? Such as: "This is twice as long as that; the eyes form this kind of shape.." and so on. I'm hesitant to use words because it seems like its counter intuitive to being visual, but I just don't know how else to retain what I'm seeing.

Advice would be appreciated. Thanks guys!
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Drawing from memory and drawing from imagination are not the same. If you want to draw something specific as a certain person, then you will need to have to draw more accurately than you would for something generic. If it is from your imagination, It's your creative baby. If you're not getting anything remembered from starring, don't worry about it. Maybe you are not at that skill level yet. Work on drawing from photos.
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