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Why some people are good at drawing and others aren’t

Those unable to draw are not seeing world as it is – and simply need to work on their visual skills.

Written by Agencies | London |
April 27, 2012 10:32:10 am

While some are born with natural talent,anyone can learn to draw well and the only catch is that ‘like all difficult skills,one probably needs 10,000 hours of practice to become really proficient’,scientists have said.

Researchers at University College London believe those unable to draw are not seeing the world as it really is – and simply need to work on their visual skills.

They say our preconceptions often cloud the way we perceive objects,leading us to distort them when we put pencil to paper.

Good drawers have a more refined way of perceiving objects and putting them on the page.

“Most people probably don’t become proficient because they don’t practise enough,and also they are put off by early failure – ‘It doesn’t look anything like it’,” Rebecca Chamberlain,a psychologist who led the research,said.

Chamberlain and her colleagues conducted experiments investigating the role of visual memory in drawing.

They believe skill results in part from an ability to remember simple relationships in an object such as an angle between two lines.

They also found people who could ignore an object’s surroundings and focus on detail were able to draw more accurately.

And those who were able to ignore their preconceptions and view objects with a fresh eye also created better sketches.

“Surprisingly,it might be harder to draw something very familiar,such as a face,than something very novel,about which one has no preconceptions,” Chamberlain added.

Those taking part in the experiment found their skills improved with time.

The study was presented to a US conference in a paper written by the researchers.

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