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The three things that most people understand about a drawing - detail, content, and fame


I've been a Graphic Designer all of my life, but it wasn't until I started teaching drawing that I realized what most people are seeing. I call this a "reference point" - those things that are recognizable to most people, what they see, and what they comment on.

The top three things that I see that most people understand in a drawing are 1) Detail 2) Content 3) Fame.

1) Detail. This is the one that everyone understands. It's the number of lines in a drawing, or the number of shades, number of colors, etc. It's what's known as a quantitative, not qualitative, evaluation. Yes, everyone can do the math. It does create a puzzle for people who see that the drawing at the top of this post, by Pablo Picasso, which is a drawing done with one (1) line. And that leads to...

2) Content. It's a drawing of a dachshund. Again, this is something that everyone can see. Often the comments that I hear that reveal the understanding of content go something like this: "I just love dachshunds!" Or it could be that someone dislikes the content, and they would say "I prefer German Shepherds myself". Of course there's...

3) Fame. If the drawing done by someone who is famous, everyone can recognize that. This drawing was done by Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous modern artists of all time.

And that's where most people stop. And it's enough for artists to sell their stuff, and become famous. But if you're interested in seeing more, and learning more, you will need to go past those things. It starts by taking a drawing class (may I recommend your local Community College?) Of course, not everyone in class will get it. When you do, it's astonishing.