The Gallery of Life

In Appendix A of this book, you'll find a list of materials you'll probably want to have on hand as you read this book. But to begin, even if you have none of the other materials, at the very least we'd like you to have some blank, unlined paper and a pencil. In fact, go find those now. Are you back? Congratulations—you've just taken the second step in learning to draw!

Chances are that, right now, you're sitting in a room in your house, reading this book. Look up from the book. What do you see? Use your paper and pencil to sketch that image. Don't worry that you know nothing about learning to draw—just do the best you can. (Note: We realized that making a list was very left-brained, so replaced this with a more right-brained endeavor.)

What did you see? You probably noticed the furnishings in the room, the pictures on the walls, maybe the titles of some books in a bookcase, or some houseplants that you know by name. That's good; you're seeing what's in the room you're in. But now, look again, ignoring all of the things you just drew above. That's right—look beyond the books and plants. What do you see now?

What did you see this time? Did you notice a place that needs some touch-up paint on the wall? Did you see the pattern of your rug or carpet, which you haven't really noticed since you first bought it? Maybe you saw a face in the wallpaper that isn't really there, or your own face, reflected in the television screen. When you start seeing these details, you're beginning to see like an artist. Pretty exciting, isn't it?

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