Easy Memory Drawing Challenge for Beginners

by Zamali
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This easy drawing from memory challenge is for beginners and also more experienced artists. The purpose of it is to inspire you for new drawing ideas and improve your artistic visual memory.

What’s the Drawing Challenge?

Drawing Challenge is a new series by DrawingIdeas.ART intended to help you get into the habit of drawing regularly, improve your skills and provide you with inspiration and a challenge when you need it.

Origin of the Easy Drawing Challenge

I remember when I was in 4th grade, my classmate challenged me to draw a character from the series Transformers. I was obsessed with this anime – despite not being interested in art classes, we were drawing anime and cartoons all the time. 

So my friend challenged me to draw Ginrai from the show. I remember that drawing very vividly to this day.

I’m still amazed how at that age we challenged and expected each other to draw a subject from memory, and I’m even surprised how later – when I watched the show again – I could see more details than ever before. And when I did the same drawing again of the same character, my drawings were much more detailed and accurate after that challenge. 

I believe as children we are way more creative, but especially more daring. Today I sometimes struggle to sketch a live building that I’m looking straight ahead at from across the street, and at times I get nervous during a life drawing session to draw an object like still life.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Step 1: Avoid photos and pictures and certainly no tracers or devices

Ok this is a bit divisive I understand – and not everyone would agree – but the reality is; you can never really learn drawing unless you learn to observe.

And you can never learn to observe by looking and drawing from pictures, because learning to the observer from life is at the heart of this very art.

“Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint.”

– Arshile Gorky

Step 2: Find a simple subject or object to draw.

A Banana, Pear or an Apple are perfect for this. Take it easy here, the challenge is hard enough for drawing a simple object. You are going to draw this from memory, so keep it simple.

Step 3: Use a timer and draw the object from life in 2 minutes only

This is not the end but at this stage, we are trying to capture a fresh image from the subject directly and also to warm up for the next step.

easy memory drawing challenge for beginners
Fast 2min sketch

Step 4: Draw the same object from memory

Draw the object again from memory. Don’t look at the drawing of the object – the idea is to see how much your brain can recall and how well it can interpret your visual memory to your motor skills to create what you see in your memory. 

easy memory drawing challenge for beginners
Drawing the same object from memory

Give yourself more time but not too much. The idea here is not to overthink but to trust your imagination as much as what you see.

Step 5: Finally Draw again the same object from looking at it directly

In this last step, I want you to again draw the same object under the same conditions, light, angle, position…

Here are some more helpful tips for this step:

  • Every drawing starts with a sketch and sketching is fast
  • Trust your first look, your eyes, then your memory
  • Do not overthink the process – this is a drawing, a sketch; not a photo
  • Remember that when you look at the object for too long, your eyes will tire, and it will only get harder the longer you spend on the drawing.

Notice now how much easier it is going to be and how much more detail you can see.

Let us assume that you have found a subject that moves you and that, being too fleeting to draw on the spot, you wish to commit to memory. Drink a full enjoyment of it, let it soak in, for the recollection of this will be of the utmost use to you afterwards in guiding your memory-drawing. This mental impression is not difficult to recall; it is the visual impression in terms of line and tone that is difficult to remember. 

Harol Speed – The Practice and Science of Drawing

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