Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The drawing above is from my own sketchbook and was drawn in Burnett Park in downtown Fort Worth. Besides improving one's skill at drawing, what benefit is gained from drawing from observation? Why do architects and designers develop the practice of maintaining a sketchbook?

I can answer for myself - it helps me see more thoroughly and at a different level. By drawing, I am forced to study, not merely observe, the relationships between objects in space. The thought process required to draw is very different from what is required to take a snapshot. Drawing is an active way of thinking - and I now find it difficult sometimes to communicate an idea to someone without a pencil in my hand. I often take notes on my drawings as well. Things that I notice about other senses such as sound, smell, the feel of the wind, the warmth of the sun, etc. I once participated in a sketching exercise in which I made marks on my sketchbook page about anything except what I experienced with my eyes - a shorthand for sounds as I walked through nature. It was "eye-opening." There were so many sounds that otherwise would have escaped my attention.

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