But then actually I never wanted to accurately depict what I saw. Yes I'm a figurative artist (it's hard to call myself an artist, I should retype that to say that I like to draw in a figurative style) but I'm a secret megalomaniac who wants to manipulate the world around me. I remove backgrounds to make things stand out. I remove objects that are slap bang in front of me that I don't like the look of, lamp posts, cars, furniture, people. When I draw I make a snap decision whether I like you or not, if not you're out.
Drawing is about thinking and seeing. I've just read Andrew Marr's A Short Book about Drawing which failed to make the connection between drawing and meditation because he felt that drawing is an active and difficult process that requires effort and concentration. I've tried to meditate and I can tell you that meditation isn't easy either. Drawing is about being really present in the world and really seeing not just glancing at something and filling in the gaps.
I like to see other people's views of the world whether photos or drawings. It's the only way to step inside somebody else's head and get some idea of their personal view of the world. I don't think it is surprising that for me the most striking image of the atrocities in Paris was Jean Julien's Peace for Paris Symbol which rose above all the awful images.
References from Andrew Marr;
David Hockney's favourite drawing by Rembrandt
William Gillies simple drawing of trees
Phil May detailed beautifully observed
Piranesi architectural drawings
Katherine Kollwitz etchings