Seeing, Knowing & Feeling Concept

Seeing , Knowing and Feeling are different ways to approach art making. Artists can employ any of these approaches when creating their works. In this unit you will learn about the concepts of Seeing, Knowing and Feeling through investigation of artists, research and practical art making activities.

Seeing in art is creating through careful observation, it requires looking and recording images accurately. It is often realistic and objective.

Knowing in art is creating from your minds eye and conceptual memory. It is often distorted, simplified and invented because it is not observed but remembered.

Feeling in art is expressing mood and emotion from within. It is often distorted, abstracted, spontaneous, lyrical and free from restraints.

Many art students do not realise that they often instinctively draw what they know rather than what they see or feel when responding to the world in visual form. Becoming an artists often involves learning to see well and how to express one's feelings.

Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Activities -

Drawing Exercise - Blind Contour Drawing

Draw and practice your observation skills.

  1. Get a lead pencil and choose a partner. One person will be a model while the other will draw - don't worry we will swap roles!
  2. Select a starting point on your paper, place your pencil at that point and without ever lifting the pencil from the paper, begin to make a contour drawing without looking at your sheet.
  3. Don’t rush, seek detail and draw BIG!
  4. Reflect: is this drawing task drawing what you See, Know or Feel? Write your answer at the bottom of your page.
Discussion: many people draw what they THINK they see and not what they REALLY see (symbols of trees, hearts, etc. rather than observational drawing) Blind Contour Drawing is a way to improve observational drawing skills.
Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Drawing Exercise - Drawing Upside-down

Draw realistically using the right brain.

  1. Get a pencil and an image from your teacher (Photographic portrait of Matisse)
  2. Place your image upside down in front of you.
  3. It really helps to place a border on your paper with the same measurements as the picture so do this one step before you begin. When you start copying, focus only on lines and their direction or angle. It's your choice where you start so choose top or bottom whichever is your preference.
  4. Keep your mind purposely blank and refuse to try to identify what you are portraying.
  5. When you concentrate on the distance between the lines and the border and their relation to each other, the image develops by itself. It's remarkable, really. This will eliminate the habit of drawing what you know rather than what you see.
  6. Don’t rush, seek detail and draw BIG!
  7. Reflect: is this drawing task drawing what you See, Know or Feel? Write your answer at the bottom of your page.
Discussion: When presented with an upside-down image as a subject to be drawn, the brain's left-hemisphere’s verbal system says, “I don’t do upside down. It’s too hard to name the parts, and things are hardly ever upside-down in the world. It’s not useful, and if you are going to do that, I’m out of here.” The dominant verbal system (left brain) bows out, and the sub-dominant visual mode (right brain) is “allowed” to take on the task for which it is well suited. This is learning to observe without interference of prior knowledge and it it good right brain training.
Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Drawing Exercise - Memory Drawing

Draw common symbols using a universal language.

  1. Grab a pen!
  2. When I says 'GO' quickly draw the items I say and stop when I say 'STOP'
  3. Draw BIG!
  4. Reflect: is this drawing task drawing what you See, Know or Feel? Write your answer at the bottom of your page.
Discussion: These common subjects are often portrayed as conceptual (remembered) symbols that people have carried through from a young age. This task usually results in stereotypical images. However an artist needs to develops their observation skills beyond stereotypes.
Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Drawing Exercise – Mr Squiggle drawing

Create a recognisable image from a Mr Squiggle Scribble.

  1. Grab a pen and a 'Mr Squiggle Scribble'
  2. Look thoughtfully from different angles and use your imagination to create one collective image from the scribble. Do not look at other students work!
  3. Don’t rush, seek detail and draw BIG!
  4. Reflect: is this drawing task drawing what you See, Know or Feel? Write your answer at the bottom of your page.
Discussion: This tends to create slightly abstract and unpredictable imagery as the artist must work with what they are given.
Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Drawing Exercise – Memory Map

Create a personalised map of your trip from home to school.

  1. Get some water colours, a paintbrush and water ready.
  2. Close your eyes and picture your journey from home to school.
  3. Carefully paint your journey as an areal map, picturing the landscape and the features along the way.
  4. Don’t rush, seek detail and draw BIG!
  5. Reflect: is this drawing task drawing what you See, Know or Feel? Write your answer at the bottom of your page.
Discussion: Aboriginal artists from the Central Desert depicted what they know; mind maps of country – these aerial maps record events and stories in the landscape over time – see Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Kathleen Petyarre
Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Drawing Exercise – Listen and Draw

Listen to music and respond with imagery.

  1. Get some water colours, a paintbrush and water ready.
  2. Close your eyes and wait until your hear the music.
  3. Listen carefully, and when you are ready open your eyes and begin to respond with visuals. Follow the mood of the music, collect and express the emotion it evokes.
  4. Don’t rush, seek detail and draw BIG!
  5. Reflect: is this drawing task drawing what you See, Know or Feel? Write your answer at the bottom of your page.
Discussion: Drawing to music is often simply about interacting with the music, the media, your conscious and unconscious mind, and your body.
Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling

Artists often combine notions of Seeing, Knowing and Feeling when approaching their artmaking and it is good to recognise these when viewing unseen works.

Seeing, Knowing and/or Feeling
Madeleine Jones

Credits:

Created with images by Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 3798 : Georges Braque, 1882-1963, L’Estaque, octobre 1906, dét., exposition “Georges Braque”, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, mercredi 4 décembre 2013, 15:40:37" • Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 5413 : Maurice de Vlaminck, 1876-1958, Les Platanes à Chatou, 1905, musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, vendredi 6 juin 2014, 16:35:58" • Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 3805 : Georges Braque, 1882-1963, L’Estaque, automne 1906, Musée national d’art moderne, exposition Geirges Braque, Grand Palais, Paris, mercredi 4 décembre 2013, 15:42:14" • Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 5714 : Maurice de Vlaminck, 1876-1958, Paysage portuaire avec une usine, c. 1905, musée d’Art moderne de Troyes, Aube, mercredi 19 juin 2013, 15:30:08" • ErgSap - "cezanne_still_life_1877" • Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 3777 : Georges Braque, 1882-1963, Le Port de La Ciotat, mai-septembre 1907 (Washington), dét., exposition Georges Braque, Grand Palais, Paris, mercredi 4 décembre 2013, 15:29:46" • Sharon Mollerus - "Cezanne Still Life with Ginger Jar and Eggplants (detail)" • Fæ - "Still Life with Herring, Wine and Bread LACMA M.2009.106.19 (1 of 2)" • sambedextrous - "Diamond Bozas Painting" • Renaud Camus - "Le Jour ni l’Heure 5714 : Maurice de Vlaminck, 1876-1958, Paysage portuaire avec une usine, c. 1905, musée d’Art moderne de Troyes, Aube, mercredi 19 juin 2013, 15:30:08"

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