Tag Archives: sketch

Learn to Draw in a Short Period of Time

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
  • Relax
  • 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.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Gregg Visintainer Finds an Emotional Outlet in Drawing

Figure Drawing Tips

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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Possibly the Rarest Art Form – Forensic Art

Possibly the Rarest Art Form – ForensicForensic artists play large roles on police procedural television shows like Law & Order and CSI. However, in real life forensic art may be the rarest art form.

It is rare for law enforcement units to have forensic sketch artists on staff. In fact, New York City has only three full-time forensic artists and the Los Angeles Police Department has two. Out of the entire FBI, only 11 agents are known as “visual information specialists.” Even in large cities like San Diego and crime ridden Washington D.C., no full-time forensic sketch artists are employed.

In many precincts, software programs are used to help police officers “sketch” victim-led descriptions of perpetrators. Unfortunately, at this time, such software lacks the capability to produce accurate imaging. They only make pre-loaded facial features available for an officer to piece together an image based on a victim’s direction. For instance, by clicking on a predetermined eye color and shape, it is added to a larger composite.

The Advent of Digital Forensic Art

Possibly the Rarest Art Form – Forensic 2Even though we live in the age of digital art, forensic software leaves something to be desired. Still, forensic artists are underemployed. Throughout the United States there are less than 100 full-time police designated sketch artists. The high costs of training and annual salaries seem to be the reason why this art form is becoming increasingly rare.

However, the artists who sketch robbers and vandals aren’t convinced that software will be an adequate replacement. Carrie Stuart Parks is a forensic sketch artist from Idaho. She claims that “[People have] been calling this a dying art for years… It may be changing, but with what we do, you don’t need to worry about technology and having computers and programs that go outdated within a year.”

Still, the bigger problem is lack of accuracy in software programs. When a new born baby was taken from a hospital in Texas, a digital composite of the thief was put on display in public. The only problem was that the woman, who was clearly black in the surveillance video, appeared white in the image. Fans of software programs like SketchCop tout how surveillance cameras should be enough, but surveillance cameras are notorious for capturing the big picture and leaving out critical details.

The battle between forensic software and forensic sketch artists might wage for years to come but forensic art will always play an important role in crime and rescue. As for the art behind the lifesaving technique, it might become obsolete. At the very least it will remain possibly the rarest art form.

Read more Segmation blog posts about sketch artists:

The Creative, Artistic and Inventive Mind of Leonardo da Vinci

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

Art Often Begins With a Pencil (www.segmation.com)

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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Join us on SegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com