Monday, November 25, 2013

Art and BRAINS!

Art has been a big part of my life since I was very young. I loved Paul Klee as a child because he drew a big lovely cat with a little tiny bird that I could copy. I loved the Disney cartoons and going to Disney World to see the art being created before my eyes.

Lately I have been practicing my art quite a bit because I will be doing storyboards. This style of drawing is unfamiliar to me. It is like the art in comic books. Much of my art is more freestyle and I have been self-taught for the most part.
From practicing this new style I realized that I am not excellent at perspective, and have been taking classes with Bob Budiansky of Transformer fame, and another comic artist named Daniel Rosa to help me with my weaknesses.

To say the least, these guys are amazing.

Daniel recommended a book to me called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I had my doubts about this book because it seemed like many other art books I had do these lessons and copy this picture and you will get better at drawing. But this one is different. The lessons, at least in the beginning, are focused on helping the artist to wake up and use the right hemisphere of the brain.

The left side of our brain, once considered the dominant and more important side, is the verbal, analytical, logical and linear side...and can get in the way of the intuitive, holistic and nonverbal right side when drawing.

The book tells us there are ways to shift from left brain thinking to right brain. The first way told us to draw a picture upside-down. To be exact, to look at a picture that is upside-down, and to recreate it starting at the top of the page, which would actually be the bottom of the image. Here is the picture from the book; a drawing by Picasso of Igor Stravinsky:

Here is my drawing turned right-side up:

Another method to induce the shift is to draw with your left hand. I am slightly ambidextrous so I had a bit of an advantage with this one:

The final shift-inducer was to draw a picture of your hand without ever looking at the paper. The urge to peek is almost overwhelming at times...your left brain is trying to straighten things out. Here is my hand drawn on a taped down piece of paper...and I did NOT peek.

These lessons are taught to help us improve our art and to draw with more ease and freedom. Then just when you can feel that shift happening on its own when you draw, you need to in corporate that linear left side back in for perspective.

Looks like I need all the help I can get.

If you do any of the lessons please feel free to post them or send them to me, I'd love to see them!


  1. What an interesting lesson plan. I cannot imagine drawing upside down or with my lesser dominant hand! I can hardly doodle with my right/dominant hand. Amazing!

  2. I love this really is interesting. It has also helped me realize that there are some things I have to actually LEARN...just the things that I have avoided. Hope it all helps :) Do one of the tasks Brooklyn, I want to see!

  3. Dude, those are some pretty nifty exercises. I'd make a mess of 'em all, as I'm no good at making pretty things with my hands. :-)

    1. Cool, right Mina?? My sister says the same thing...she says she can barely write her name in script...I think everyone has their own creative thing. I wish I had the talent to decorate my house so it doesn't look like a little bit of every single thing that ever existed. I guess we all have our strengths...

  4. When I took a watercolour class a few years back, I did the above drawing of the man, only starting at his head....I thought starting at his head seemed like the logical place to start because if I were drawing it right side up, I'd start at the, for perspective reasons, it worked better for me. And, actually, I didn't do too badly. It was funny to see how everyone's turned out...each one looked the same, but different, too! I'm no drawer though. I prefer to have something to go by, and with very little detail. I can do a drawing of something from behind (I drew a pic of my daughter when she was about 16 months old or so, then painted it in watercolour)...and just recently, I (traced) a pic of a couple walking down some railroad tracks...then painted it in watercolour...that's as far as my talent goes. You are sooooo amazing! The ink drawing you did of my two cats is the best...I love the drawing. I think you don't need too much I said, you're an amazing drawer, painter, and story-board maker!

    1. Thanks Beth! I think that painting you did of the couple on the tracks is great. I did the upside-down pic starting from the bottom because I wanted to do it line by line, kind of not knowing what piece was what so I would be surprised when I was done. The only parts that were very obvious were his fingers and facial features...otherwise it was just a bunch of lines. I loved that one. You should try the no peeking one...OMG. Frustrating.


I would LOVE to know what you think. All spam or comments with links will be deleted.