Conceptual Contamination Drawing Exercise

As representational artists, we occasionally face those subjects that significantly test our draftsmanship. Something that we need to keep in mind is that our perceptions or concepts of particular subjects carry much more than just the “low-level visual data” that we are struggling to grasp. Often, it is impossible to parse the bottom-up data from the complex top-down contributions (visual perception is both!). However, we can sometimes try and consciously change our perception or concept to something that may carry less “conceptual interference”. For example, some may find the linear construct labeled “A” on the left harder to draw when understood as a three-dimensional, transparent pyramid. It MAY be easier to tackle that same construct if perceived as a “flat” kite in a slight perspective. Just like some of us were taught to use positive and negative shapes to confirm drawing decisions—we can try to consciously switch conceptual/perceptual assignments to see if we can diminish some of the conceptual contamination that is increasing our challenge. Give it a try and draw the two constructs labelled “A”. Attempt it once while understanding/perceiving it as a pyramid and then again as a kite (or vice versa). This often helps me quite a bit and I hope that it helps you.


Really interesting exercise!

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