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What do you think of this book?

"The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards.

Has glowing testimonials like: "I have a degree in commercial art and learned more about drawing from this book than I did in four years of undergraduate instruction. If you practice everyday what Ms. Edwards teaches you will be drawing as good as any professional artist in six months. This really is the best book on drawing ever published!"



I think one of my undergrad drawing teachers incorporated elements from this book in her lesson plan, but I've never read it myself.

It strikes me that different people need different approaches to learn how to make the mental shift. The very fact that it's a right-brained thing means it's impossible to give someone a process. You can explain it at a meta-level, but I think the only thing that really produces the desired result is some sort of suggestive technique--like a koan.

One of my artist friends has always told me that 'Drawing is about learning to see.'

I am starting to believe him. Since I do fantasize about being able to pull out a sketchpad in a public park and draw convincingly and/or do caricatures, I've ordered the book. I feel like I can be open to a non-traditional approach.

Just ordered the book along with another book I've always wanted to get 'Impro by Keith Johnstone'

Reading the article, I couldn't help thinking of parallels to drawing and particularly that book (well, the original -- I haven't read the "New" one).

Contrary to the expectations of most people, life drawing is largely a mechanical process that can be learned. It is very much a matter of learning to "turn off" the part of the brain that interprets images so that you can concentrate on relatively unimportant lower-level visual details, such as the angle at which the contour of a nose intersects the contour of the cheek behind it. The exercises in the book -- copying upside-down pictures, copying pictures in a grid, concentrating on negative space shapes, etc. -- all help do this.

The physical left/right brain distinction, by the way, is speculation on the part of the author; apparently people with damaged right brains are also capable of learning life drawing. It does serve as a useful metaphor, however.

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