Why do some people draw better than others?

From the very beginnings of man’s pursuit of art, one thing is clear – there are people who can sketch an object without difficulty, and there are those who struggle for hours to reach the right angles and proportions to the point where their image is faded and destroyed by permanent erasure.

What distinguishes a cartoonist from a non-cartoonist?

Recent research reveals the answer to this old question. It seems that the ability to draw realistically depends on several factors: the way a person perceives reality, their ability to remember visual information from one moment to another, and the choice of elements of the drawing object.

If you get stuck in a figure show, according to researchers at the University of London, the good news is that all these mental processes can be improved by practice. First of all, people who do not know how to draw do not see the world as it really is. When we look at an object, our visual system automatically misjudges attributes such as size, shape, and color, so some of the misinterpretations become drawing errors. Paradoxically, in other situations, poor interpretation will help us make sense of the world. For example, an object appears larger when close than when far away. Even then, the visual system uses a size constant to perceive one approximate size, regardless of how far the object is. The visual system knows that the distant object is larger than it looks and sends the brain false information about what the eyeballs actually see.

The people who have the most difficulty assessing size, shape, color and light may be the ones who draw the worst, says researcher Justin Ostrofsky and his colleagues at Brooklyn College and New York University. Those who draw better have a more developed ability to circumvent these visually poor observations and perceive what their eyeballs really see.

However, misperception of the image is only part of the story, according to psychologist Rebecca Chamberlain of London College. She and her colleagues conducted experiments exploring the role of memory in the drawing process. They believe that the skill of drawing is partly the result of the ability to remember simple relationships between objects, such as the angle between two lines, from the moment of perceiving the ulga to the moment of drawing. In addition, the drawing process seems to involve holistically proportional relationships but also a focus on the details extracted from the whole. Perhaps the ability to switch from one look to another is a good basis for a successful drawing, Chamberlain said.

Furthermore, Ostrofsky and colleagues have come up with considerable evidence that skilled artists are better able to choose the necessary elements to bring into the display of an object. Once the artist chooses which elements are important to him, he will better focus his attention on them and ignore what unnecessarily disturbs him.

But the devil is in the details so the researchers are still working on the interaction of all the factors that affect the accuracy of the drawing. However, they can be learned as well. There is no doubt that exercise is an important component of drawing ability, Chamberlain says. While some are predisposed to better perceptual accuracy and visual memory, others may use tricks to emulate it.

In a study presented a few years ago at Columbia University, Chamberlain found that exercise significantly improves drawing ability over time, which was evident in the people who participated in the study.

Based on these studies, psychologists recommend the following techniques for better drawing: focusing on the scale of the drawing to fit the size of the paper; an effort to place the object in its surroundings in a proper place in the space; a focus on the distance between the elements of an object and their relative size; focus on the size and shape of the negative space ie. the empty space between parts of the object. Lastly, they recommend thinking of the lines as they really are – the boundaries between light and dark areas.

What do you think?

Written by michael


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