I started the book Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards a week ago. When I started drawing several months ago, I evidently tapped into my right side of the brain. The book gives a great overview of how each side of the brain develops the intellectual and psychological patterns of our life. As I have continued through the book, the exercises are evidently confirming my artist growth, since its been easier to draw.
The second exercise of the book asks that I turn a picture around and copy it backwards suggesting that I tune out any outside sounds and allow the left side to relinquish control. The instructions are to draw without distractions for an hour. The left side of the brain will see the upside down drawing as non-nonsensical and allow the right-side of the brain to take over to drawing. There are 2 drawings that I copied out of the book upside down: 1)Pablo Picasso’s, Portrait of Igor Stravinsky, and 2) Spiderman. I was not allowed to turn the photo around to check my progress, otherwise, the left-side of the your brain will try to make some sense out of the drawing, and interrupt the right-side of the brain’s process.
The book points out that many students feel conflicted when asked to draw upside down; obviously, the logical side of the brain wants to see the picture right side up. When I started drawing, I was tempted more than once, to turn the picture right side up. Surprisingly, once I turned over my drawing, I was amazed at the similarities of the two drawings (see below). It only took 10 minutes for me to draw, although, Betty Edward allows an hour to complete the drawing exercise. Not perfect, but not too bad. I ran out of room on my paper for Portrait of Igor, so I finished his head on the reverse side of my drawing paper. I included 2 pages from Betty Edwards book so you can see the comparison.
Challenge: If you are following the drawing challenge, find a simple photo or drawing and turn it upside down. Grab a pencil and paper, find a quiet room and take an hour to draw the upside-down photo/drawing. Do not get tempted to take the photo and turn it right-side-up. Once your are done, compare your drawing. Below is my drawing. Feel free to share yours if you decide to do the challenge!