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Is everyone capable of drawing?

December 20, 2019

It is clear that some people are born with more artistic ability than others, although many people have the misguided idea that only those born with natural artistic ability are capable of drawing. This is not the case, as even those who are not inherently artistically gifted can draw realistically if they practice. If one does not naturally draw well but wishes to, they shouldn’t give up! Practicing drawing is what will help achieve artistic goals. 

 Research suggests that the ability to realistically draw relies on a person’s perception of reality, how well they can remember visual information from one moment to the next and which elements a person selects to draw. 

When you look at something, your visual systems automatically misjudge an object’s attributes such as size, shape and color. People who draw well are better able to override visual misperceptions and perceive what their eyes are really seeing. 

Psychologists at the University College London have conducted research that supports the notion that people able to switch between focus on small details to focus on a whole drawing is what allows for success. 

Luckily, even if these skills do not come easy, researchers say these mental processes can be improved with practice. 

“There is no doubt that practice is an important component of being able to draw,” says Rebecca Chamberlain who is a psychologist at University College London. 

Research from Chamberlain and her colleagues found that practicing drawing immensely improved drawing abilities over time. 

To strengthen drawing ability, psychologists recommend focusing on scaling your drawing to fit the paper, anchoring an object in its surroundings by showing how it sits in space, focus on the distance between objects and the elements of that object, focus on the empty space between an object’s elements, think of lines as boundaries between light and dark areas and, most importantly, practice. 

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