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[Drawing] From Within
February 21, 2009

Have you heard about shutting down the academic part of your brain in order to access the artistic side? The intelligent side is called the left brain. Most of our creativity lies within the right side of our brains.

The left brain has become very dominant through constant use and it tries to tell us how to draw. This is where most beginner artists fail. When you are learning to draw, you have to establish a routine to override the dominant brain before you can draw successfully.

I do a lot of drawing so I don't have any hassle switching over to my creative side. I instantly recognize the peace that it offers.

If you need some handy hints on how to accomplish this "shift", I have a few ideas that you can try:-

1. Draw your other hand. Don't look at your paper, just do a blind drawing like I describe on this page ...
Blind Contour Drawing

2. Or, you can try doing an upside down drawing. Both of these exercises force your left brain to stop thinking. If you haven't seen it, I wrote about upside down drawing on this page:-
Upside Down Drawing

3. Try drawing evenly spaced vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines. Then, practice cross-hatching by drawing all of these lines together in one square. It doesn't hurt any artist, no matter how experienced, to continue to practice drawing lines freehand.

4. Do an outline drawing of anything near you. It can be as small as you like. Once you focus on the outline, all manner of thinking should disappear.

When you finish your warm-up, you'll be ready to start drawing. Don't worry about how good any of those drawings were, the sole purpose is to put your left brain to sleep.

The left side of your brain has the ability to tell you that you can't draw, that you're not an artist. It's time to triumph over any limitations that we have.

Make sure you like your routine. If you don't really like any of these suggestions, find something similar that you know works for you. If you just want to hop straight into drawing, by all means do just that. If you put obstacles in front of yourself, you'll never get around to drawing.

It has to be fun, an adventure that you can't wait to start. Do everything in your power to keep your enthusiasm alive.

Tip of the Month

Practice sketching quickly. This simple action will improve how you see, how you capture what you see, and it increases your understanding of line and form.

Surprise yourself to discover that you can draw quickly. If you practice this trick, you'll find it's no trouble to start a drawing, your mind will shift over to artistic mode without you realizing it!

, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this issue, I really appreciate it.

You are welcome to reply to this email if you have anything you'd like to share with me.

Kind regards,


"Contour drawing helps you see that the things you are drawing aren't things but rather shapes that intertwine and connect." - Charles Reid

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