Improving Visual Memory

18 minutes
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All right, let's talk about improving our visual memory or visual library. I've got this great lesson for you. And it's based on conscious learning as opposed to unconscious learning, which is probably what you've been doing, for the most part up till now. And when you're unconsciously learning, you're holding yourself back because you're not able to spot your mistakes and fix them as quickly as if you were consciously learning. And when you're consciously learning, you're taking things and breaking them down into smaller pieces. And then you can spot the mistakes, faster, easier, and then you move down the road quicker.

So a couple things that you've got to do, we all have to do to become better artists is to know our tools and to improve our visual library. So that's what this is going to be about. So I have some reference here. So what I'm going to do is start In my reference, make some mental notes and then try to reproduce it on the page. So I'm looking for average angles, and I'm comparing proportions. And I'm squinting down to look at light and dark puzzle pieces.

So here I go. That's the trick. I'm going to turn it off and get that gesture for the neck. I know he had some tall hair. I know that ears somewhere in the center. So just knowing that those basics is going to help me block this thing in and get it onto the paper.

Okay, so let's see. Light and Dark puzzle pieces. I remember him I sock it was kind of like a triangle. He had some big hair. Alright, these are just my impressions of what I tried to you know what I'm trying to recall from my visual memory here. Okay.

So let's see how I did call it back up. Okay. And I can see where I missed stuff on the neck. Right? This caller was a lot higher. He's turned to Lately off profile towards us.

So the ear was farther back, and that hairstyle is like a, a real S curve or swoop. Alright, so I'm just gonna try it again. You know, I can put that head in there anyway, the Circle Triangle, one big triangle. Anyway, I need to get it on there. So remember the color was higher up is turned slightly to us, I know the eyes in the center. I know I'll see just a little bit of his other eye there.

And I've got the nose which is like the basic prism. So if I put that on there with my basics Okay, that hair was kinda like this curve I think in the ear was further back than what I had it in the beginning, but it's still in that. That third right to third of the way down in that middle third right there. That's where the ears gonna be. And then we've got the chin. I'm trying to remember light and dark puzzle pieces, average angles.

How far out it is chin go. See it back up there just a little bit. So this is this is a real challenge. This is a hard one. But like I said, once you start to address this directly, you're going to supercharge your process. visual memory is going to get bigger, better and faster.

And then, you know, the idea is to not need photos as much. Right? So when you start to do this kind of training, then you're weaning yourself off of that photo reliance and that is a really good thing. Let's see what let's see. What happened this time? I guess it was better than the first one.

Right? So a little more sculptural. I could definitely improve on that eye socket. I got the neck, Adam's apple. The nose is a little bit rounder, and the space between the nose and the upper lip was bigger. So he's got more of an angle of the nose like that.

Mine was a little bit more flat. Okay, so let's try it one more time. And try not to take too long on on this step. Just, you know, give myself a snapshot. Get that average angle of let's say his gaze. Alright, let's get the neck in there and I can go back and look at my the previous one and just say okay, where did I get it wrong and remember from that one kind of use that one as a gauge.

Okay, the eyes are kind of in the center. Put the nose in there, remember it Hannukah up turn. It was roundish and there was more space between the bottom of the nose and that up And what's so cool about this exercise is that you see your progress frame by frame right in front of you. So it's measurable progress that makes you feel kind of excited and encouraged and it cuts down on all that wasted time of unconscious learning. And I don't remember what happened with his chin. I guess no clothes just rounder.

Definitely is a good one to do in Photoshop. I think that you can do it with pencil too. Okay, so remember, his eye socket was kind of like that. It was definitely in shadow. came around like that for the lower lid and then out to the side. Okay, the ear was back in that middle third somewhere.

Let's get it back there even further towards the back of the head that I have on the previous one. Putting a C letter C inside letter C. See, I think this right here the space between eye socket and the start of the nose. I'll give that some space because it never starts that close to the eye. That close to the nose. eye socket. I mean Notice that S curve, remember it was an S curve.

Those kind of things can help. Just the general angles, gestures, s curves. His hair was pretty big at the front. Each time hopefully it's getting a little bit better. Alright, let's check that one out. Turn, turn this one off.

Okay, so we could see obviously, there's room for improvement. Right? The chin was rounder seem to get the throat okay and there's That little step there shelf of his hair then the S curve was more of a wave and kind of went this way. Okay. And then it was a gesture here, gesture against that. And then here and then it flattened out.

So all that stuff I missed in my head got really narrow so I could add something to the back. Just a little bit. There was a shout out there. And I definitely could have Yeah. Got that shadow under the chin, the lips, okay. And the nose Could be a little bit bigger.

Okay. So you can see how that goes. And you can see how challenging it is. But I would encourage you to go ahead and jump in and start doing it because it'll only get better, not worse. Right? It might seem like it's too hard to do.

But just let it, let it be. Let it be hard. But you know that when it's something's hard, at least you're not standing still, you're actually in the process of learning. You know that because of the pain. So the pain, there's redemptive pain and good pain, right? That all pain is bad.

It's that kind of pain that doesn't produce anything, is the kind of pain we want to avoid. And that's sort of like the pain of Staying stuck, right? not producing anything, not having anything to show. Okay, so you can see I'm not perfect. And if you don't have photographic memory, like I don't, you won't be perfect either. Okay.

So, therefore, thus the conscious learning visual memory builder and I would suggest, you know, you can start from, you know, the side position and then the next one maybe move to like a three quarter position you know the next time you do it, and then go for a front another time because those are going to be increased in difficulty. So, the side position could be the easiest, then three quarter a little bit harder and the front will be You harder still. But you're going to start to get, you know, basically the average angles of things. And what I mean by that. Let me see here. I mean if you fill in this silhouette, you're going to see some things here that I want to point out.

Right you're going to see the average angle of the front of his face overall. Okay, the back part of his head. That's what you're trying to get and record and remember. And then you have this gesture, right of the neck. So this gesture of the neck and the back is generally kind of this direction. It's not straight up and down.

It's not horizontal. It's at an angle. If you remember what angle that is, right. Those things you can record and then you can go into the next smaller refining facet. Right like some darker like puzzle piece, or remembering. Like say the puzzle piece the dark puzzle piece of the eye socket and under the nose and system to A space in place what you can remember, and then build on that and keep building.

You can do it, you know, I've got this template here for you, that'll be in the lesson. And you can, you know, do it a bunch of times, right six times three times whatever. And you'll notice that you'll start getting better and you'll start getting better at noticing the average angles. Don't try to notice the details right away. Right? Notice the big shapes, the overall silhouette and the gestures and then notice the next largest detail, and then go to smaller and smaller refining facets until you're, you know, drawing the upper lip or the nose hole or something like that.

So there's kind of a hierarchy of descending shapes, right. You start with the big ones and go smaller and smaller and smaller till you finish

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