Why Most People Can’t Draw

Draw what and only what you see. Couldn’t be simpler, so why is it so difficult? We all have an internal visualisation of what the reality around us looks like. Unfortunately I believe that visualisation contains a lot of information that simply doesn’t equate with being drawn on a two-dimensional surface. I’ve practised turning off all that extra information and concentrating on what needs to be drawn. I don’t remember what it was like before I could turn it off, but I do know that adults can learn to do it and children do it very quickly. An artist enjoys the process. My daughters are great examples. The oldest is an artist but the youngest has very little interest in it. I think they are both equally talented but it surfaces in different ways.

I think the best way to practice this is to draw a glass. I did this with my daughters and it was interesting because one of them could do it well almost immediately and was very interested. The other one just couldn’t be bothered. The interesting thing is that the uninterested one did an excellent job of the exercise later on her own. An empty glass forces you to paint only the reflections and what you see through the glass. The shape of the glass shows up in distortions in objects viewed through the glass.

An Artist’s internal visualisation is modified in such a way that it equates to drawing. It may have been naturally that way or developed over years of practice. An artist can draw a chair in 3D and others will be amazed. I’ve done this; it’s a very simple thing. I’m surprised when others find it so astonishing. I don’t understand how it can be any other way. This is something that can be developed so keep drawing.

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