Another way to develop your artist’s eye is to focus on the spaces between things instead of the objects themselves. Pay special attention to the shapes of the sky between the leaves of a tree for example. Notice the shapes between branches. See the spaces between trees. Look around you and study all the in-between shapes. It can also be helpful to observe the outer forms of groups of objects. Perhaps that bouquet of flowers is roughly triangular in form. You’ll find this will help immensely when drawing or composing your paintings.
Try turning a picture upside down and drawing it. Use a complex line drawing for this. I find coloring books useful for this exercise. If you haven’t drawn well in the past you will probably amaze yourself when you turn your drawing upside down and compare it to the right-side-up picture you were copying.
As you try out these tricks of Seeing, be aware of how you feel. Chances are you are experiencing a slightly altered state of conscious. You are shifting into right-brain mode here. That is the state of mind that is best for drawing. It is characterized by a sense of timelessness. You may stop thinking in words altogether. I find this state of mind both relaxing and energizing.
I suggest you read “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and “The Drawing on the Right side of the Brain Workbook”. There are many more exercises to help develop your ability to See in that special way in both of these books. Remember this. Whatever you can See, you can paint. All you have to do is paint what you See.
"Painting embraces all the 10 functions of the eye; that is to say, darkness, light, body and color, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest."
Leonardo da Vinci