Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – workbook

For Christmas I received a copy of the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workbook by Betty Edwards from my parents, which I have started working through and have been posting progress photos on Tumblr.

I started with the first few exercises at New Year, which involved doing some pre-exercise drawings, which I spent no more than 30 minutes on for each. I found these quite difficult, and these pictures don’t quite show the amount of time I spent erasing lines and shading that didn’t look right!

The next exercise involved making some marks on paper in the style of various artists. First I made some some of the marks with pencil, but then switched to pen, in an attempt to get comfortable with a medium that I couldn’t erase easily!

Exercise 5, the ‘vase/faces’ line drawing was something I found quite daunting at first, but once I stopped hesitating, I found that the line flowed a lot better, and was fairly accurate! I had a similar problem with the upside down drawings for Exercise 6: once I stopped hesitating and second guessing myself, the marks I was making on the paper became a lot more accurate.

I thought Exercise 7 was one of the most useful ones for me personally to do – as it involves not looking at the marks you are making, which took a lot of self-discipline!

I found it quite difficult to try to draw while staring constantly at my left hand – the most difficult thing for me was not looking at what I was drawing! The exercise involved timing myself, and I made myself do it twice, partly because I kept sneaking looks!

Exercises 8, 9 and 10 were centred around drawing my hand – firstly by using a plastic drawing pane to trace the outline and the main lines of my hand with a dry-wipe pen; secondly setting a ground by rubbing graphite on to the page in the workbook, and finally drawing the hand onto the grounded page.

As I’d noted in my Tumblr post, one of the difficulties was posing my hand the same way as the original drawing – probably a reason why I should not allow so many days to pass between the exercises!

My lines look a lot less confident when drawn onto a darker background – this is something I hope to work on! This also could be because of the HB pencil that the workbook suggested using though…

Overall this does look like a useful book, and I will continue to work through these exercises when I have the spare time, as it’s interesting seeing development throught the finished drawings.

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