Monday, October 18, 2010

Learning How To Draw

Drawing 007

I have always wanted to know how to draw.  I just wasn’t born with that as a talent although there are several people in my family who are very artistic.  My Dad is very talented and I remember him drawing and painting when I was growing up.  My brother also seemed to have the art gene that I was missing.  And then a couple of years ago for Christmas, my Mom sent me a framed drawing that she had done of our kids with dog.  It was taken from the photograph I had sent in our Christmas cards a year earlier.  It was incredible and is one of my favorite possessions.  My Mom told me she had met a woman who told her that she could teach her how to draw and she did!

Drawing 002

I never believed that drawing could be learned.  I thought either you had the ability or you did not and I sadly fell into the “do not” category.  Well, not too long ago I was reading a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and she wrote about how a class that she took and a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain  by Betty Edwards helped her learn how to draw.  I was shocked at the improvement in such a short amount of time in her drawings.  I immediately went out and found myself a copy of the book and while my husband was away for several weeks on a business trip this past summer, I set about teaching myself how to draw with the help of this amazing book.

Drawing 001

There are all kinds of reasons why drawing is difficult for so many people.  The book explains that different parts of our brains affect the way we interpret the things we see and that the logical side our our brains which is also the left side is dominant.  The books teaches little tricks and gives different exercises to try to “fool” the left side of your brain into “letting” the more artistic  right side take over for the task of drawing.

One of the exercises in the book asked me to draw something upside down.  I know it sounds crazy but the assignment was to take a picture and turn it upside down and then draw it.  Your brain has difficulty interpreting what it is seeing when it looks at something upside down and so it turns the task over to the creative right side of the brain and you simply draw exactly what you see.  It was amazing!!  Here are some of my first drawings…all done upside down!

    Drawing 014  Drawing 004

Here is one of my first assignments.  Draw this upside down picture.  So I did and when I turned it right side up when I was done I couldn’t believe my eyes! I actually drew a picture of a man sitting in a chair!

   Drawing 011  Drawing 005

My next assignment was to draw this knight on his horse.  So, I turned the book upside down and got to work.  Darn if it doesn’t look just like a knight on his horse when I turned my finished drawing right side up!!

Drawing 007 

Then a bit later I started getting a little bit cocky.  :)  I have loved this magazine photo of Rebecca Romijn holding her two twin baby girls in this “Got Milk” ad.  I said to myself…I can draw that! (upside down of course.)  Here is the result:

Drawing 009

Now I realize that my drawing of Rebecca looks nothing like her.  BUT, at least you can tell it’s a real woman holding two babies!

So my drawing efforts are clearly a work in process.  But I am inspired to keep working from the book to see what else I can learn and eventually I hope to be able to draw things right side up!


Alicia said...

This is so cool. I've always wanted to draw also. Please keep posting your progress!

Three Points Vintage said...

your picture made me smile and giggle a little! You did WAY better than I can do!

Laurie said...

Nice job! I took a drawing class a few years back and one of our first assignments was drawing that same man upside down! By the end of the six weeks I realized I could actually draw!

Anonymous said...

I do okay with buildings... they have right angles, but drawing a living being has never been my forte'. You did a heck of a lot better than I would have. Congratulations! You can draw!!


Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That is amazing, Lisa! I am the same way and both my parents are really pretty good. My Dad now paints and draws in his retirement. I made a calendar up of his art last year for Christmas. Anyway, nice try on the Rebecca Romjin one, too. Although I might have made her look that way on purpose! ; )

sissie said...

I have a brother and a sister who can draw and I have always dabbled in cartoon type art. I'd say you are a budding artist on her way to success!!


foxy said...

I have to say, I'm really impressed! I've never had the ability to draw well, but I've always really wanted to learn. Perhaps I should pick up that book?

Debilou~Mississippi Mama said...

oh my I am definitely impressed even if the last picture made me laugh a little. But still very impressive. I want that book now. I've always wanted to draw too but unfortunately cant draw a straight line.

Jess said...

wow! very cool! new to your blog...a few minutes without the kids around, a couple of clicks and here i am!!! i too have your side posts on your experience!!!

Ti said...

You are pretty good. I can't draw at all. There are times where I wish I knew some basics, but those moments are few and far between.

Chelsea said...

Very cool! :) I have been fortunate to have been "blessed with the art gene", as you put it. Over the years I've tried to teach others how to draw - it is a skill I think anyone can do - it just takes alot of time, patience and practice (and being a perfectionist helps, too!). I never knew about the whole drawing-upside down thing - it's incredible! Perhaps a part of that is that it also forces you to simply draw lines and shapes instead of overwhelming you with the whole image? Either way, pretty cool! I'd love to see more on your progress with drawing!


Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

That is cool. Your first drawings are great. Rebecca looks a little scary, but it is a lot better than I could do.

Anonymous said...

I truly love that you have decided to learn to draw. I would like to learn too, and may consider getting the book. You are doing wonderfully.

And may I say that that last picture just really drew me right in. I was just skimming in my reader this evening, and that one made me completely STOP AND READ the entire post.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Impressive! I wish I could draw as well...good for you for doing it!

Anonymous said...

Impressive! I wish I could draw as well...good for you for doing it!

Melanie said...

Good job. I want you to take that painting class! I want to see some hanging up in your house:)

I have always loved that photo of her too. Her babies are so cute!

Karen said...

I'm the same way, Lisa--I think I will try this "drawing upside down". If nothing else, it has to be a great brain activity!