Design Focus Friday – Form

 The latest book I am reading to continue my learning journey into design is Dynamic Color Painting for the Beginner by Diane Edison. As I was trying to come up with something else to say about form, I was struck by what she wrote about making a preparatory sketch for a painting. She suggests that to make a three dimensional drawing that you draw the value patterns. When you look at your subject you need to look at the shapes that the values make. You need to notice every tone and shadow and what shape each makes and draw those. She says that as you draw the shapes you will see that the patches of color follow the contour of the object, and so including them in your sketch will help you create the illusion of three dimensions.

 But what really struck me was her use of the term “visual trust”. Diane states that “Drawing in this way, following the shape of the colors as well as the outline of the object, is much like a puzzle requiring visual trust. I describe this the term ‘visual trust’ as accepting what you see, without question. By this I mean that sometimes the first thing you see without question is most likely correct.”

 Diane reveals that many times our brains tend to name things in a sort of intellectual interference and we tend to disregard what we really see and instead try to self correct as we draw. But this isn’t the way you should draw. To draw well you need to rely on what you see, not what you think you see or expect to see.

 Diane infers that to paint or draw from observation demands a willingness to believe the unbelievable. This means that you are seeing a different point of view, one that you can not easily imagine.

Do you trust what you see when you draw? I find it really takes practice to see those small value changes as shapes and to draw those shapes. You can’t think your drawing into existence, you have to look closely and trust your pencil or paintbrush to draw or paint what you really see.

What do you think? Do you have “visual trust” when you draw? How does that apply to your fiber art?

Coming up in February, we’ll be talking about texture. Yippee! This is one of my favorite elements of design and it’s why I love fiber. So let me know what you think about “visual trust” and how that affects form in your work and I’ll see you next week.

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