This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

April 2, 2010

Draw what you see, not what you know

I was fortunate to have a high school art teacher, Mr. Shauer, who told me to draw what I saw, not what I knew. Because I didn't know much - and I still don't. He told me to spend more time looking than drawing. If you draw what you know, you will be severely limited. If you draw what you see, you can draw anything.

There is no better example of this limitation than when an artist goes to draw a face of a type he or she is not familiar with. Yes, I am talking about someone who is a different "race" than you. Unless you grew up in a very diverse environment, most of the people around you looked like you, and were the same race as you. And it would be reasonable to say that is what you know.

If you've ever felt this limitation, I say, forget what you know. Look. Find faces to look at - most people have one, and they are everywhere. Find reference images on the internet.

Let what you see guide you.

"Two-Legged Thinking" copyright Joel Weldon and Associates.

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