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!
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.
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!
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!
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!!
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:
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!