Seeing what we think is something we all do, but it’s not as common as one might imagine to see something as it truly is. Most often in life, we fill in the blanks from our memory and experience to “color” what we see.
This is especially visible when it comes to drawing.
People believe they cannot draw because they unconsciously draw what they THINK instead of what they actually see, even when looking directly at something or someone. Below is a wonderful example by my six year old grand nephew, Jasper. Because it interested him, Jasper simply looked carefully at the car and drew precisely what he saw, hence the correct perspective. The street was a different story. He probably figured the drawing needed a street as an afterthought, but rather than looking at the subject again, he drew what he knew. When we think of a street, we think two lanes equally divided. So it becomes a flat symbol.
The ability to “see” like this is something I believe everyone has but rarely taps into, especially at such a young age and without instruction. Learning to see can be taught very quickly to virtually anyone. It’s actually more a matter of unlearning some habits that limit one’s ability to see. To illustrate this, here are some random examples of before and afters from a senior level figure drawing class I taught at the University of the Incarnate Word. The class met twice a week for 12 weeks. The results speak for themselves. Despite the fact that I am the one teaching this, the outcome never ceases to amaze me. More…