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Question: Anyone have any tips for drawing from direct observation!?
I can handle drawing from a picture, and drawing from my own imagination is what I usually do when I draw/paint/etc!. So normally I avoid drawing from direct observation if I can help it - it's my weak point!.

I'll be applying to colleges in the coming months and a few of the schools I'm looking at require a portfolio submission since my intended major is Graphic Design!. Every school also requires that, in the portfolio, I include a few drawings from direct observation!.
I'm trying to get these drawings done now, during the summer, since I have plenty of time!. Unfortunately, none of my drawings are up to my (personal) standards - and my standards really aren't that high!.

So does anyone have any general tips for drawing from direct observation!? Is there anything I can do to improve, really, or is this just something you can or cannot do!? Should I include a little note to the colleges in my portfolio explaining that I just suck immensely at drawing what's right in front of my face (haha, this isn't serious!.!.!. I think)!?

Thanks! =)Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
I am going to suggest that you let go of using your mind at all!. !. !. !.and draw only what you see!

One method you could try is sight-size drawing!. This is where you set up a size relationship at your easel to the item you are drawing!. Check out some of the articles here on this classical drawing method taught at ateliers around the country - I think these will be helpful to you: http://drawsketch!.about!.com/od/sightsize!.!.!.

Another way to improve more quickly is to carry a little sketchbook and a pencil with you everywhere! A 3x5 or so book with decent paper, and an Ebony pencil is all a local court room artist carries with him for daily sketching!. !. !. and even though his career has spanned a couple decades, he still draws from life every chance he gets! So what you do is any time you have 5 minutes to kill you sketch !. !. !.not complete drawings, but maybe an ear, and eye, a mouth, a hand!. !. !. !.and if you have more time, learn to block in a figure using gesture drawing or blocking in just shadow shapes!. You will learn to assess and rough in a figure or an object quickly this way!. !. !. because you will leave detail to another day or another sketch!

And I would shoot for some figure, landscape and still life work no smaller than 11 x 14 !. !. !. and maybe even some 18 x 24 once you are doing figures more!. Large, energetic gesture drawings will set you up for later learning how to add tonal work to suggest form and volume!.

Good luck!. I sure wish I had gone to art school when I had the chance!. !. !. way back when! It may not be easy, but nothing worthwhile is, is it!? Www@QuestionHome@Com

Try not to draw exactly what you see!. Although you are drawing from direct observation, that "observation" can be interpreted differently than reality!.

Many people can draw!. A school is going to look for innovation and creativity!. you want to grab their attention for the split second as they are flipping through your portfolio!. You want to make them look a little longer!.

Dont copy, but look at how other artists interpret what they see!. Www@QuestionHome@Com

vision the picture in your mind then draw itWww@QuestionHome@Com

Drawing something that is real and has to remain real within your own drawings is incredibly hard, and first you have to come to terms with the fact that it probably won't be exact, or perfect!.

You could try briefly sketching the outline of your object or subject, then work on it from there!. A big thing examiners and art teachers appreciate is proportion - so get everything on your drawing well proportioned, even if it isn't exact to your subject!.

Once you have this, work on you shading!. Notice where the light and shadows are on your subject or object and keep the light source the same for your whole picture, and involve a level of consistency within your shading and tone!.

To make your whole drawing look more realistic, add texture!. For example, if you were drawing grass, use a sharp pencil and create small flicks, some darker in tone than others!.

The old saying "practice makes perfect" really applies here - keep trying and if it doesn't work the first time, stick with it!.

Good Luck!Www@QuestionHome@Com