Sunday, 20 January 2013

What Can Drawing Teach Us About Perception?

When drawing, we do not take in everything as a whole in the manner of a camera. We do not 'see' the whole arranged in every interconnected detail as one complete mass of unified information but rather we scan across the scene, picking up on specific details that capture our attention or that seem salient to the overall impression. So whilst we may form an overview, and can even sketch this in rough outline as a guide, in order to proceed it is necessary to work on each detail individually, even if we deliberately flit back and forth across the drawing, building up the whole through a skein of accumulating detail. In order to do so we work from impressions towards increasing complexity and our observations record a deepening perception of each detail as it corresponds to the overall scene. Detail doesn't arrive all at once, neither as representation nor as perception but emerges only through scrutiny.


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