The Successful Tips for Drawing From Observation

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Observation art is easily defined as drawing or painting from life. Examples would include sketching a bowl of fruit (still life), drawing from a model (figurative), or drawing a street scene (landscape). The objects to be drawn in an observational drawing are not taken from a photograph or the artist's imagination but from real life observation of nature. Traditionally the subject matter is rendered as accurately as possible. It involves the making of a critical and serious observation of things in nature such as trees, animals, mountains and hills and depicting them on paper. Typically most observational work is done pencil, charcoal or other drawing mediums. The basic mistake that many students make while engaging in observational drawing is that they attempt to draw things that they think they should look, rather than what they actually do look in reality. Looking at the source of information is the only means by which an artist can give the correct rendition of objects in nature on the surface of paper. The artist's eyes must constantly dance from the piece of paper to the object constantly.

The artist has to examine closely each of the parts of the object in nature that he intends drawing. For instance, if he is drawing a tree, he has to closely observe the arrangement and direction of the linear patterns of the branches, leaves, roots etc.

Also, he has to seriously observe the texture on the surface of the tree, its trunk, the shape and colors of its fruit etc. If these critical observations of the things in nature are made by the artist before he engages in the drawings of them, he will be able to draw them as accurately as possible. However, the amateur artist or student must remember that it takes decades of practice to perfect this ability and generally all artists will continue to practice and develop this skill of drawing from nature.

The senses of perception are very relevant when we are drawing from observation. These senses include the sense of sight (eye), sense of smell (nose), sense of hearing (ear), sense of touch (skin), sense of taste (mouth) and sense of movement (muscles). The artist has to co-ordinate the six senses so that he can critically observe and put the observed scene on paper. Usually, for the drawing to be easy for the artist, he / she has to begin by drawing familiar and single objects. Then he gradually shifts to the drawing of the complex and unfamiliar aspects of the scene and objects.


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