Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seeing RIGHT!

I hate when people look at something I’ve drawn or painted and sigh and say, “Oh, I wish I could do that…but I can’t even draw a stick figure.” They feel that drawing is a talent you either have or don’t have. But that’s not true!

If you’ve ever wished you could draw, and thought it impossible, I would recommend the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It will change your whole outlook on art; it did mine. The premise of the book is that the ability to draw depends on the ability to see.

Most people use the left side of their brain (their logical side). When they're told to draw a person, instead of seeing that person correctly, their left side says: A body has a head that’s round, two eyes, a nose, a mouth. A stick figure is created with these preconceived notions that we know are there. A hand has five fingers, so we hurry and draw them without truly seeing the miracle of what is before us.

This book has great exercises to teach you how to make the switch from left to right side thinking. If you’re like me, you’ll be amazed by all you come to SEE as you draw a hand using the techniques from this book (all the wrinkles, contours, shadows, texture). These things, which the left-side dismisses, form a hand of substance when put on paper.

Even if you’re not into art, learning to use the right side of your brain is important. Everyday items and people become more beautiful and wondrous, instead of taken for granted. I'll never win an art contest with these doodles, but even now, 5 years later, I look at them and feel more emotion from them than any photo because of the few minutes or hours I invested in truly SEEING the setting or person.

Everyone has a right side of their brain; we just aren't used to using it very often. So unless you’ve had brain surgery and had a big chunk of your right side removed (for which I'll excuse you), then try it out. School and society push us to use our left side almost exclusively; but the right side is there and your life will be greatly enhanced if you learn to use it to see RIGHT.



Jessica S. said...

I read a couple of pages of the book and was surprised by how much I learned!! It actually makes me want to start drawing again!!!!:)

Get Hooked said...

Wow Charissa! I'm intrigued. I may have to pick up that book. I've always wanted to be able to draw. As my kids get older they are not nearly as impressed with my drawing ability.

Deborah March said...

GREAT hints!

Megan said...

great post. I also believe that drawing can be learned/trained (at least at a basic level). I am currently enrolled in a community college art class to learn how to draw.


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