It's true that not every artist is interested in making artwork that attempts to convey a realistic appearance--an abstract expressionist may find life drawing an inhibition, but many other non-literal forms of realistic image-making are deepened by accumulating a storehouse of natural-world observation drawing and painting experience. Constant recording of the reality around you trains your mind and hand to quickly discern the essence of your attraction to a subject, which filters down into your subconscious and creates a rich source of information that will help you invent convincing characters and scenes from imagination.
Here are a few recent quick sketches I made during a trip to Disneyland, in celebration of our daughter's 13th birthday. Occasionally I would pass on a ride, find a comfortable spot and relax by drawing for a few minutes, in a 5" x 7" sketchbook.
Indiana Jones Adventure ride. People were streaming
past constantly so I had to choose paused figures to
include and scrawl them down fast.
giant cartoon grizzly bear figure. I intended to include people
for scale but it was too early for much traffic, I guess. The wall
behind the bear in the lower left of the frame is around five or
six feet high. It's a BIG bear!
as we waited for the shuttle to run us back to our
hotel for a short late afternoon nap, to strengthen us
for adventures in Disneyland After Dark.
Without a large store of observed natural information to call upon
I could never have satisfied my ambitions here--most of the
personality-revealing elements of the drawings are direct
caricatures or distilled, carefully composed exaggerations of
gestures and expressions I've logged away in memory.