Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Right Side... Upside Down

A few years ago (or so I thought), my sister sent me the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.  Yet another nudge from my family.  I recently paged through my stash of books, deciding which one to tackle, and found the original message she sent along with the gift... in 2001.  "Are you kidding me?!"  (I said out loud to my ever-present pets.)  Yet another reminder to stop putting crap off, er, I mean, stop procrastinating.  Criminy.

So, last week I sat down with the accompanying workbook (which I found on sale sort of recently and yes, it was sort of recently because the copyright is 2012), anyway, I grabbed that and the book and began.  Drawing on the Right Side is aimed at people who think they can't draw.  I know I can draw, I just want to get better.  At first I was reluctant to share that I was working my way through this "beginners" book - kind of snobbish of me don't ya' think?  Oh, what the heck.  This is my journey and that's what I'm doing now and you know what?  I'm actually appreciating how it's helping me understand my artistic struggles.

The first assignment is to draw a self portrait - to later compare with the one you do at the end of the book.

The book instructs to add notes.  I did so and included the fact that I sketched this right after a haircut.  It's going to be like those makeover commercials:  Before is sad and pale and flat.  After is happy and bright and fluffy.  Well, we'll see if the after is happy.  As noted, self portraits tend to be rather solemn.

A few pages later, the assignment is to copy a drawing upside down.  I mean, you are right side up and the image is upside down.  This photo is not upside down.  Well, the image is, but it's supposed to be like that.  The workbook is right side up.  I feel like I'm going into an Abbott and Costello routine here.

Starting at the top (upside down bottom) and drawing line by line, you aren't looking a what the image actually is.  This disengages the part of the brain that wants objects to be recognizable.  It becomes easier to draw without the pressure of making the lines immediately look like something.  Other than my Picasso man being slightly wider and longer, it worked out well.

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