Why I Place So Much Emphasis on Observation

Straight to the point, beautifully articulated write up on observation drawing. thankyou Phil. Food for thought

Phil Sylvester / The Drawing Studio Blog


My teaching relentlessly emphasizes observation. Why do I consider observation so important? Why isn’t it equally legitimate to just make stuff up from one’s imagination or to just do abstract or action drawing? My first answer is that, of course, it is equally legitimate to do any of those kinds of drawing. However, I do believe that every form of drawing is enhanced by the practice of observation based drawing.


When I attended Berklee College of Music, all students were required to take two years of coursework in sight singing and ear training. The classes never addressed vocal technique because they weren’t about becoming an excellent performance singer. They were about ear training as a way of analyzing other people’s music and singing as one of the most efficient ways of sharing musical ideas with other musicians. Berklee couldn’t care less whether their instrumentalists had good voices or…

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About Andrew Farmer

I am an Artist creating in South Yorkshire in the UK. My work is mainly inspired and painted directly from nature, timeless and traditional.
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