Open Up Your Eyes

It is the unexplainable thing in nature that makes me feel the world is big far beyond my understanding—to understand maybe by trying to put it into form. To find the feeling of infinity on the horizon or just over the next hill.

—Georgia O'Keeffe, 1976

So just how do you learn to open up your eyes and see what's around you? Let's start by talking about filters and frames, two imaginary sensory devices that you use every minute you're awake.

When you look at any given scene, you filter out all that isn't important to what you're looking at. You don't read every word on every billboard as you're driving down the highway, for example; this would pull your attention away from the task at hand—driving. At the same time, you pay little attention to the traffic on the other side of the highway median. This is framing what you see, and ignoring everything that's outside the frame.

In Chapter 5, "Finding the View," we'll be introducing you to the viewfinder frame, a device that artists use to do just this. What's important to remember now is that filtering and framing are already parts of the way you see every day, so you've already taken the first step to learning to draw.

Artist's Sketchbook

Filter is the word we use to describe the process of noticing only what we need to in any given scene. A frame is a similar sensory device, where we ignore what's outside of what we want to look at.

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

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