Bigger isn’t always better

21 Sep

We Europeans already knew that bigger isn’t necessarily better, and it really isn’t. This sketch started as a postage stamp size photo in a television guide and was blown up considerably as a sketch. This meant there was room for interpretation by the artist, but even better, there was little detail to get distracted by.

More caricature prep, part 11 (version 4)

Think about it. If you’re faced with a huge face, the temptation is great to draw every nook and cranny, and get lost in the details. If you either squint your eyes, or watch the photo at a large distance, you’re left with the outline and biggest features, the big picture.

So in a sense, to see big, you need to watch small. Or put in another way:

Think big, draw small.

I guess it also means that even if you know your skill isn’t good enough to draw something, that knowledge should never limit your imagination. Your imagination will often lead you to a good result, and on the long term improve your skill level (because you learn something by using your imagination and by applying it to something tangible, something in the real world).

A fuzzy, rough image is the spark that can fire your imagination, not because it is clear, but because it is not. On the other hand, you need clear images as references, to get things right. The roughs are to get you started, the reference material is to keep you going.

It also tells me something I hadn’t realized before. You watch with your eyes, but you see with your mind. It is what you know and have experienced in life that lets you see. The image coming from your retina is really not that high-def, but your brain, and because you live in a society, your mind (which is larger than your brain) makes you see it as such.

That is all.

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