Sunday, February 4, 2024

The Conscious Decision to Draw


You probably think I’m obsessed with drawing dogs and cats lately – from photos and now from memory. I’m not really obsessed; it’s more that animated things seem to be easier for me to recall than houses or trees. It probably helps, though, that I’ve been observing a lot of pups and kitties.

Most of these are not much more than the animal equivalent of stick figures, but in several cases I didn’t draw until a couple of days after seeing the animal, and very briefly at that, so I think they aren’t too bad. For me, the key seems to be in making a conscious decision to draw from memory later. For example, if I just glance at a dog without the intention to draw it, the image of it disappears fairly quickly. But by making the decision to draw, even if I don’t have more time to study it than the same glance, my brain must go into “observational drawing” mode, and I retain more. Something like that?

Or maybe I’m overthinking this (as usual), and I’m really doing nothing more than what children do all the time: draw from a combination of memory and imagination. In any case, my latest sketch journaling attempt has turned into a fun yet challenging exercise.

This young dog sat for quite a while, looking at the attached human,
who eventually gave the pup a treat. That's when I realized training
was taking place. Who's a good boy! 

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