An individual's ability to draw is... the ability to shift to a different-from-ordinary way of processing visual information – to shift from verbal, analytic processing to spatial, global processing.-Betty Edwards
Over my nearly 48 year life I have almost always considered myself a fairly "non-creative" person, especially when it came to things like drawing & other forms of art. I say that because I have always approached things in an analytical way, thinking of numbers and processes instead of letting my brain go into "free-flow mode". I never got above a "C" in art class while I was in school and later attempts at art or music were futile.
My thinking changed a couple of years ago when I set out to write a book. I managed to complete that project (look for my name on Amazon if you're interested) and in the process discovered that maybe I was a little more creative than I once thought. Then, last year, I got back into photography and found that I really enjoyed pushing my creative boundries. Looking through the camera's viewfinder has forced me to see the world differently than before. I feel that my creativity has improved a lot and I want to continue to get better. That brings me to learning to draw...
As I started looking for photographers to follow (and hopefully learn something from) I came across Trey Ratcliff, one of the most followed HDR photographers out there. His images are very "artistic like" and he believes in presenting photographs that represent what your mind's-eye sees, not necessarily what the camera captures. Trey uses HDR to communicate this vision of the world. I started reading his blog and came across this post from November, 2010 titled "10 Principals of Beautiful Photography". In this post Trey discusses his overall photographic philosophy and lists 10 "keys" to taking beautiful pictures. Number 9 on that list is "Learn to Draw", with the thought being that learning to draw will increase your ability as a photographer to see things like line, shape, light and composition. Initially, I was skeptical of that statement. How could learning to draw improve my skills as a photographer? I came back to that post a couple of weeks ago, after working on my photography skills for nearly a year, and all of a sudden it made sense. I guess I had tried enough things over the past year photography-wise (with varying degrees of success) that my mind was a little more open to new ideas. All of a sudden, learning to draw seemed like a great way to improve myself in a number of ways.
Time To Get Serious
So, over the long Memorial Day weekend, I decided to do something about it. I went out and purchased some basic drawing supplies:
- A "how to draw" book--Drawing for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Drawing
- A pad of drawing paper-Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad - 11 x 14 Inches
- ADrawing Board
- And some Drawing Pencils
Nowhere To Go But Up
- Learn more about shape, lighting and form
- Push my brain to do new things
- Improve to whatever level I'm able
- Be able to transfer this new skill into my photography
- Have Fun!