Drawing – Overwhelmed by Detail?

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As a person who draws, I am sure you’ve probably experienced times when you have been absolutely overwhelmed by visual stuff….meaning detail, detail, detail of your chosen subject.

Above is a picture of St Barbara Kirche (church), Baernbach, Austria.  It featured a collaborative design with one of my favourites, Austrian artist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  The church was made for all major world religions in the spirit of ecumenism, tolerance and togetherness.

Enough about that, I loved the place and set out to make a painting but where to start?  I was bogged down by detail.  The last resort, “squinting”.

Squinting works well to simplify the detail and have you focus on the major shapes. This in turn, makes the whole thing completely manageable.  Most artists use this technique and I myself close my right eye and squint at the same time?  (Not a good look!)

Go ahead try it, you may be in for a complete surprise, and if you usually wear glasses, try taking them off.

Below is one of many sketches of the subject and a finished study in gouache.  I have yet to make the major work in oil and it is coming soon – 8 years after I first saw that church.

Posted1007December 2009 100

How do you filter detail?  Please comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.


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