This week’s Memory Drawing Prompt image is a painting by the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The painting is titled, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 though it is more commonly known as Whistler’s Mother. The image is heavily cropped, mostly from the bottom, so as to fit the format of the exercise.
To make use of the prompt you’ll need some paper, ideally cut or ruled into a 3″ x 4 3/4″ rectangle. You’ll also need charcoal or pencil, and an eraser.
- Have your rectangle, drawing instrument, and eraser ready.
- Click the ‘Look’ button.
- While the image is on screen, stare at it.
- Initially think about the simple shapes that define the image.
- Squint, and try to see two to five main values.
- As you’re doing both, pay special attention to how the shapes, and values relate to each other.
- Once the timer’s duration ends, begin your memory drawing.
- Keep your drawing simple.
- Lightly draw the main shapes first.
- Then flatly mass-in the main values.
- After you think your memory drawing is complete, click the ‘Show’ button so that you can compare your attempt to the source image.
Whether you do the prompt only once in a given week or more often is up to you. Again, the intent is to exercise your visual memory rather than to memorize an image for the long term.
If you’re ready, let’s begin.