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 In Design Matters

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Using your hands to sketch can teach your eyes to really see.

Most of us use our eyes to avoid bumping into things; we probably are only using 20 percent of our visual ability. I had a student some years ago at Rowden Workshops who had a history in the special forces. “I’ve never drawn in my life,” he said in a deep, dark, threatening voice. Yet within six weeks he was a highly competent draftsman, putting down accurate lines that described what he was looking at. His visual accuracy was trained on the battlefield. He had used his eyes to stay alive.

Twenty Minutes a Day, Four Times a Week for 50 weeks

Sketching notes. A notebook goes everywhere with David Savage, who insists that students learn drawing as part of their furniture making courses at Rowden Workshops, his Devon, England, school. While waiting for a doctor’s appointment, he wrote a job list and sketched two drawings of his right shoe.


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