question about observation + memory

10:51 PM, Wednesday March 8th 2023

when learning and drawing textures im not sure how to exactly do the observation and memory part? for example if i wanted to draw fish /fish scales or textures on a fish how would i do that? or what would the process be like. i feel like im copying and not doing this properly and "understanding" my textures. my main issue is that i regularly forget all the details of what I'm trying work on so what I draw always falls apart/ looks weird. when i look at a curve or line its just a line or a curve what else could it possibly be?

if somebody could explain it in more detail thatd be great! (link to the part im talking about)

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11:05 PM, Thursday March 9th 2023

The observation/memory section is more talking about generally how we all have a tendency to work from our unreliable memory, rather than looking back at our reference regularly. All it's really saying is that we need to force ourselves to keep looking back at our reference to ensure that our source of information is fresh and accurate, not stale recollection of what we may have seen minutes ago.

In regards to the bit about understanding your textures, feeling like you're copying, etc. that relates more to this section about understanding your reference instead of copying them. In essence, this is saying that you are not simply looking at your reference and transferring it over onto the page, line by line, shape by shape, etc.

Your reference is a source of information. Your goal is not to copy it directly, but rather to look at it and identify the individual little textural forms that are present there. In the example of fish scales, each scale is a separate textural form. Don't blindly copy what you see, but look at each individual form and ask yourself what kind of shadow it would cast on the surfaces around it - then draw that specific shadow.

At each moment, you're focusing only on one textural form, and the surfaces immediately around it, in order to determine how you should design every individual cast shadow shape. You do this for every textural form, looking at them one at a time. It's very, very time consuming and requires a great deal of patience to avoid just trying to take shortcuts and draw what you see, or to draw random/arbitrary marks to try and get a general impression of that texture. Specifics are important here, so give yourself lots of time.

And lastly, keep in mind that like much in this course, it's not going to be something that we can do simply by having it explained to us. We try, we make mistakes, but we get introduced to the idea behind this. And then we continue practicing it as we progress throughout the rest of the course. Over time, and in combination with the other exercises throughout the course (all of which similarly focus on understanding the relationships between forms in 3D space, just as we're thinking about the relationships between the form casting the shadow and the surface receiving it), it will gradually come together - but it's not going to be something that comes quickly, or in a few pages of exercises.

2:15 AM, Monday March 13th 2023

ah okay thanks for the clarification! im still a little bit confused about the understanding bit.

"Understand. Use the information your reference provides - through its cast shadows, its form shading, and any other visual signs you can pick up, to grasp how each textural form sits on the surface of the object and how it relates to the surfaces around it."

like when you say "grasp how each textural form sits on the surface of the object and how it relates to the surfaces around it." what does it mean or what exactly is the point of doing this

4:50 PM, Monday March 13th 2023

It may be easier to think of it in contrast to just looking at your reference and drawing what you see. It's not about "I see a shape, I draw a shape". It's about taking in the visual information the image provides and thinking about what it's telling you about how each individual bump (as an example of a textural form) exists in space. Is the bump tall, is it short, is it wide, is it pointy? How are the bumps arranged across the surface, are they arranged in clusters and groups or uniformly?

A mistake many students end up making is that they try to find the cast shadows in the reference image, then draw exactly the shadows they see. This does not allow them to rearrange the texture, to apply that texture from one kind of surface to another, because they're fully reliant on the photo reference as dictating every aspect of that texture, and end up limited only to copying it as they see it. What the texture exercises in this course get into however is being able to "unwrap" that texture from one structure and apply it to another, to move the light source around as needed to suit their needs.

That's why it requires us to understand what the reference is telling us about what exists in 3D space, not merely replicating it exactly as we see it.

2:38 PM, Saturday March 18th 2023

ohh okay, that makes a lot more sense. thank you so much for clearing that up! :)

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