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Drawing from Imagination and Photos

 "Jackson tried to remember why but the tiny people who resentfullly ran his memory these days (fetching and carrying folders, checking the contents against index cards, filing them away in boxes that were then placed on endless rows of grays Dexion shelving never to be found again) had, in all too frequent occurence, mislaid that particular piece of information. This sketchy blueprint for the neurological workings of his brain had been laid down in Jackson's childhood by the Numskulls in his Beezer comic and he had never really developed a more sophisticated model. Jackson supposed that the other people's small brain dwelling inhabitants ran their operations rather like air traffic controllers, always aware of the location of everything they were responsible for, never sloping off for tea breaks or loitering in the shadowy recesses of rarely accessed shelves, where they smoked fly cigarettes and kvetched about their poor working conditions. One day they would simply lay down tools and walk off, of course."Kate Atkinson, Started Early, Took My Dog

Drawing nature shapes from photographs.

Drawing nature shapes as I think they look.

5x8" moleskine, black gellyroll

And in case you missed it, I explored the garden the other day, drawing the interesting shapes and plants I found there. Here's the page. So that's drawing from imagination, from photos, and from the real thing!

Call it doodling, drawing, sketching, practicing, experimenting with a pen... but I draw more than you think I do. And I like to keep it all fresh and fun by adding new shapes to my repetoire. So I've decided that nature is my new source material! 

When I draw I don't always have a real garden or reference photos handy, so my thought is that I'll learn to draw new organic shapes from photographs and flowers and leaves and then take those sketches and refine + alter them into things I can use in my artwork. So the moleskine pages were a test, or perhaps research. In the first page shown above, I drew a bunch of mostly natural shapes using photos as a reference. Some from this Nature Mosaic, and some from my flickr favorites. I definitely like this set better; the lines are more elegant and interesting. But this was actually drawn second. The first test was drawing nature-inspired shapes from my imagination and knowledge {or lack thereof} of plants. 

The quote? As soon as I read this description of memory, I folded the page where I found this treasure in Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog

So I'll challenge you to pop over to the mosaic at flickr {link above} and get inspired by the nature shapes. Fav some photogaphs at flickr to use as drawing inspiration {including the ones in the mosaic} and draw some nature-themed shapes. You don't need to draw them perfectly because they are only the SOURCE material for doodles in the future, or curves in a painting, or a sketch on the edge of your to-do list. You are looking for photos with clear lines that represent what you want to draw. 

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Reader Comments (5)

this looks like a lot of fun! i may just have to check it out :)

07.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenteralice

tammy i like seeing the process. it's interesting how similar & different they both are. hooray for another inspirational idea from daisy yellow! :)

07.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterteddi

I feel kind of sad that you don't have a page for drawing directly from nature.
I love sitting down next to a tree or a bush and drawing from life. Just seeing how the leaves connect to the stems and the way they turn. Often I will also take a small twig or something I have found and take it into the studio to draw it.

I like both your pages.

07.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterZom

Zom, Not to worry my dear, I did indeed draw from nature this week! Here's the post: And just in case anyone else wonders about that, I shall add a link. Thank you!

07.5.2012 | Registered Commentergypsy

This has been one of the most useful things I have done in the past year to improve my drawing skills and doodling skills.

07.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

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