It occured to me yesterday that the girls and I seem to have inadvertently set up what can only be described as an unofficial online book club. We all know that once a blogger hits the publish button, the fun does not really begin until the first comment arrives. The conversations, feedback and recommendations that a post can initiate is one of my absolute favourite things about blogging.
Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain is a book that Annie recommended in response to this post. My interest in it was initially piqued when I came across it on Sam's blog but I had since forgotten all about it. It claims that everyone of us can draw if we could only train our brains to accurately transmit the shapes we see in everything and everyone around us. I consider my drawing skills to be adequate but I do have a tendency to rely on artistic license rather than reproduce precisely what I see. This can be fun in itself and often produces whimsical results but I wanted to explore the Betty Edwards approach.
The process begins with three pre-instruction drawings. First up , was the self-portrait. I find that I get bored and/or frustrated whenever I try to depict hair or ears realistically so I chose to draw certain aspects of my features anatomically and reinterpreted the rest.
Next, I was required to draw a person well-known to me - or a photograph of said person - from memory. I chose to draw one of my favourite photos of my daughter as a baby.
The purpose of drawing from memory is to show that we all use the "symbol system" of drawing - using a collection of tried and trusted shapes (from as far back as early childhood) to represent the subject. I didn't realise it at the time but, according to Edwards, certain "symbols would be repeated in my self-portrait and memory drawing and, with the benefit of hindsight, I agree.
As you can see, once again, I relied on what I previously described as artistic license (the symbol system) for the hair and ears.
Finally, I faced my worst nightmare - drawing my own hand. Quite frankly, there's nothing I loathe more than drawing hands and feet. There are far too many angles and perspectives for my brain to cope with and I usually draw a suggestion rather than an accurate representation. I was, however, consoled by the fact that as long as I persevered, it would never be that difficult again.
I'm excited to see how my drawing will change when I move on to the instruction phase and whether I will be any faster at it.
What do you think? Would you ever consider retraining your brain in this way?