Aim: To make you aware of how your brain works when you’re drawing.  Change your sense from sight to touch.  Translating your touch of an object into a three dimensional representation of the object.

Method: Choose a smallish object with a fairly distinctive shape.  Place it on a table with you drawing pad alongside.  Close your eyes.  Touch and feel the object, with you eyes closed then make a record of it on your sketch pad – still.  Make several studies until you feel that you’ve arrived at something interesting.

Reflection: How far were you recording the sensation and the act of touching, and how far were you trying to use touch as a replacement for sight?


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I set myself up as noted in the exercise brief noted above along with an A3 cartridge paper pad.

In order to totally remove my sense of sight I used a sleeping mask, essentially a pair of cloth goggles handed out free on some long haul flights.

Then feeling a variety of objects I ‘drew’ them several times.

These are for the most part pretty Indiscernible, except for the single drawing of each using my sight.  This is to put the scribbles into context of what they are, as there are no clues in the blind drawings.

The various objects utilised to produce drawings for this exercise were:

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  • clay pipe
  • pepper pot
  • cream jug
  • clothes peg
  • sea shells
  • paper clamp
  • Stanley knife
  • Ink bottle
  • Phone handset
  • Empty jar

Along with several scribbles done blindfold, there is a reference sketch done with sight.

Reflection

How far were you recording the sensation and the act of touching, and how far were you trying to use touch as a replacement for sight?

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I was able to get a sense of what the object I was handling looked like.  It was possible to judge the size – dimensions, weight, texture and across more than one plane of the object.

It was not possible to judge the colour of the object and though from the texture it was possible to feel how smooth it was it was not possible to say how shiny, matte or dull this object was.

However, translating this object which you had formed in your minds-eye onto a sheet of paper in front of you proved very difficult.  My main difficulty was to judge where I was in the drawing.

A sense of dislocation is present when trying to produce a drawing without sight.  The drawings of some appear longer one side than the other where they should be regular.  For some of the drawings I felt that I should nearly draw the object with a sense of Cubist structure to it.

By this I mean that by feeling all the planes of the object allows you to ‘know’ the object more completely than viewing from a single point.  The object could be represented with several of the objects planes drawn together to represent the form of the object.  This was Cubists such as Braque and Picasso did in their cubist still life works.

 

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