Looking and Seeing

The American artist Janet Fish once said ‘I feel as though I haven’t seen an object until I actually start painting it.’ What she meant by that is that we go through life without really seeing things – we just look at them as we go by. You all know what a peacock looks like but could you draw one?

  • Creating art takes practice, just like any other skill. The more you do it, the better you get. Taking the time to see things properly, to examine them in detail, will help you to draw or paint or sculpt them better.

When you were a very small child you had to learn how to use a knife and fork. But now you’ve done it so many times that it’s easy! It’s the same with art. If you draw a cat very day you’ll soon be brilliant at drawing cats!

What does a cat look like? That might seem like a silly question! We all know what a cat looks like. But, if you want to learn to draw one, you need to SEE the cat. How big is its nose? How long are the whiskers? How many whiskers are there? What colour are its eyes? What patterns are there in the fur?

Images (left) by AVG Culture and (right) by John Ray Ebora on Pexels

How often do you look up? Next time you’re in a town look at the roofs of the shops. You’ll see all sorts of interesting things like fancy chimneys, unusual shaped windows and maybe even statues!

Artists see things that many other people don’t because they are interested in shapes and colours and structures.

Learn about seeing from this video:


Seeing things

Get yourself a simple everyday item from your house. A fork, perhaps. Or a cup. Or a shoe. Now turn it over in your hands and SEE it. Observe it from every angle and study it.

1) Now draw the object from different angles – from the side, the top, the bottom.
2) Now put the object away and try to draw it from memory.

I bet you drew it better after SEEING it properly!

Photo by Hermaion on Pexels.com

Fun fact: The French artist Claude Monet (1840–1926) had a pond in his garden that had a little Japanese bridge over it and lots of water lilies. Monet painted the pond so many times (over 250 oil paintings!) that he could still paint the pond even when his eyesight started to fail!

Make your own ????!

You could use an old sock and fill it with newspapers or old packaging or whatever you can find.

You can go to the previous PostcardsFromArt secret pages by clicking the places below.