Sure, you can draw without reference, but what about the actual act of drawing? That’s impossible, since drawing involves a physical and subjective act (as well as our bodies), which means that one’s brain may not be entirely accurate in drawing. But it turns out that drawing itself is not an entirely inaccurate process. In fact, there are some situations where drawing can be accurate to some extent.
Imagine a world in which no matter what you do, even if you want to, you will always end up looking like you’re looking down at the screen. In that world, there may be some circumstances in which it actually makes a difference whether or not you look “down at the screen,” but it remains unclear what those circumstances are. What is this “no-down-look” that you always want to avoid, and how can it possibly contribute to any of your other drawing skills? What’s the way to achieve it? And how can you actually avoid this “no-down-look” when drawing?
This kind of situation arose a lot in early physics, when experiments were performed on an invisible “surface.” There were no experiments in this world for physicists to observe, so the idea was that the “ground” was the only thing which determined your physical position in the physical world. When scientists tried to measure the “surface” in actual physics experiments, however, they found that the “ground” did not exist, but the “surface” was just a collection of very fast quanta that were moving very rapidly through the “ground.” If people took this idea and tried to apply it to a physical object, though, they quickly realized that the whole concept of “ground” was not really well-defined. You could not make a table move if the table was not on “the surface” at all times, and yet, what you could do was to draw a table on paper to “show” that the table had to move on that “surface.” The object was simply the combination of some physical variables that were used for a calculation.
The key here is not that the idea of a “physical object” is wrong, it’s just that the idea of having “no” physical states was, in fact, extremely misleading. The idea of the physical object is actually much narrower than most people realize. In practical terms, a “physical object” is the object you have as a physical object when you interact with a physical system – this is what people usually know of as an object. As we’ve