Is it possible for someone to learn to draw in a short period of time? More specifically, can one learn to draw well in a matter of weeks?
Dr. Betty Edwards would say, without hesitation, yes.
Can a Book Quickly Teach Someone to Draw?
In the 1970‘s, Edwards authored a booked titled Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Since the book’s release in 1979, it has sold over 2.5 million copies. The book’s popularity is due largely to the fact that its exercises garner results that any aspiring artist craves: the quick acquisition of skills necessary to draw beautifully.
Targeting the Right Brain is Key in Picking up Artistic Skills
The theory behind Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is simple: tapping into the right side of the brain via practicing certain exercises can increase a person’s ability to swiftly obtain the artistic skills required for drawing. Concerning the right/left brain theory, scientist and neurosurgeon Richard Bergland said, “…your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words… your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures.”
Because the right brain thinks in patterns and pictures and is non-verbal, it makes sense that primarily using that side of the brain when learning to draw would increase the chances of successfully gaining artistic skills.
This Simple Exercise Can Help You Learn to Draw
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is packed with tools that target the right brain and teach drawing skills. Here is just one exercise that can help you begin your journey of learning to draw; the exercise is called “Breaking Up Space”:
- Only draw vertical and horizontal lines
- Do not think in terms of words
- Draw at a slow to medium pace
- If you run out of space just retrace the lines you have already drawn
This exercise “helps put the left side (of the brain) to sleep and exercises the right side.” It’s important not think in words while practicing this. Using this technique is a first step you can take to begin to get your right brain accustomed to being used somewhat independently of your left brain. This creates an ideal mental environment for learning to draw.
Besides her book, Dr. Edwards also offers other materials that foster right-brained learning of artistic skills. These resources include DVDs, workshops, and more.
Are you a natural when it comes to drawing? If not, have you always wanted to learn to draw? Has intimidation discouraged you from trying? Share with us in the comments box below.
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I used the book, and my drawing skills improved remarkably in a very short time (maybe a month). Although I haven’t done any serious sketching in years, I am working on resurrecting those skills, again using Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain.
As you know – you looked at a post I did following advice in the book you mention – I did the upside down Igor Stravinsky. Difficult. But I believe that book helps a lot. And I never thought I could draw anything more than a stick figure.
I’ve always wanted to draw, and while I don’t think I’m that bad if I sit down and actually try to do it well, I’m definitely not great when it comes to drawing. We actually have this book in the library where I work and I’ve noticed it several times in passing, might have to take it out next time.