I am in awe of people who have innate drawing ability.  I am not one of those people.  Drawing for me is hard work.  I have not taken a drawing class since the 70’s.  And like most everything else about the 70’s, whatever I learned I have forgotten.

I have just completed a 5 day drawing workshop based on the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards.   The workshop poses the question, what if you listened to the RIGHT side of your brain instead of your left side when you wanted to draw something?  The left side is the analytical, language based side, the right side is the creative side.  You are then  shown how to access the right part of your brain without all that messy brain surgery.

Now you may find this hard to believe, but both sides of my brain would NOT SHUT UP.  I finally got the left side to quiet down a bit.

Each day started with a lecture, a drawing demonstration by the instructor who just happens to be Betty Edwards’ son Brian.   He taught the workshop in his Soho, NYC (not London) loft.

One of the first exercises we did was to take a copy of a drawing that Picasso did of Igor Stravinsky, turn it upside down and then copy it onto our drawing pads.   Here is my version:

Picasso-Stravinsky

By turning the drawing upside down, all we could really see were lines, not hands or feet or noses or eyes.  By not being able to “name” the parts of the body or the chair or the glasses, the left side of the brain gives up and hands the assignment over to the right side of the brain.  Amazingly all of our drawings, though slightly different from each other and from the original, all resembled the original enough that there was no mistaking that each drawing was a copy of the Picasso.  We were all amazed.

Another drawing exercise was placing our hand on a piece of plexiglass, copying it onto the glass and then drawing our hand from the  image on the glass.  (We could also look at our hands.)

HandApparently the point of that was to use the right side of our brain to see a flattened 2 dimensional image on a picture plane, not a 3 dimensional hand which would then confuse the brain.  (My brain is always confused.)

The class was 7 people, most of whom I liked and one person I wanted to bludgeon to death.

3 more days to tell about.  But I don’t want to bore you all at once.

It was hard work, but very rewarding.

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