Simplifying Form

YouTube decided to pop a pretty old video on me today and the concept was around turning a figure 8 into a boat and that got me thinking about the whole simplification of form concept.

When it comes to drawing, I hear a lot of different tips ranging from the useful to the, well, useless. One tip that we often hear is "draw what you see!" That sounds simple, on the surface, but is often easier said that done.

In addition, the question in my mind is are we trying to faithfully capture a scene or are we interpreting it? Are we looking to create something that doesn't exist or always stay true to reality? It depends on the artist, really, but even if you are looking to capture realism, being able to see the simple shapes in a complex form has a lot of power.

Take a simple boat... It took me a second or two to see the figure 8 in it, but once you see it, you can see how you can turn that to your advantage when drawing boats in perspective from an angle. That's kind of the point of it, from simple to complex.

Now, just because I felt like it, I coloured it in with some Derwent Graphitint pencils. Not really the best medium for this paper surface (it was just sketch paper), but I actually like the result.

So, anyways, I'm trying to get better at visualizing the simpler forms in a scene. I'll let you know how it goes. 😉