A tracing aid

I’m bad at drawing. To make it easier, I created a drawing aid. The principle is simple; one eye perceives the scene to be represented while the other simultaneously looks at the notebook. With a bit of concentration, one can superimpose both images and literally follow objects in the scene with a pencil.












The experience of using the aid was highly uncomfortable. Every change I made in my eyes’ focal length altered the perceived position of the objects on the notebook. In turn, this started causing me to adjust the position of my head to get the position of the superimposed drawing to correspond with that of the objects being represented. Whenever I would switch my focus from the light post to the buildings just behind it, my eyes would fight for focus. The drawing was produced mirrored on the horizontal plane on my lap. The process at first was highly counter intuitive as tracing vertical elements necessitated drawing in the other direction. Once I only focused on tracing and not thinking about what I was drawing, it became much easier. Ten minutes worth of work produced a fairly accurate outline of the contours. Soon after, exhaustion prevented the further detailing of the drawing.


Comically enough, after completing the drawing, I struggled to draw the conventional way again. It didn’t seem natural to be able to perceive a scene and reproduce it without measuring, or tracing. I felt prevented from beginning the drawing by a sense that something was missing. My confidence in conventional drawing was momentarily, yet completely, shattered. Drawing felt clumsy and unnatural. It took another fifteen minutes to regain control from the exercise.