Monday, January 11, 2010

Drawing on the right side of the brain - pure contour drawing

Yes, pure contour drawing is HARD. Not so much in the doing, but in the letting go. Letting the left brain go. We have been educated and trained to favor the left brain: numbers, writing, organizing, being tidy, following rules.

In right brain drawing, there are no rules, no words, no plan to follow. The left brain hates that and will give you many reasons why you shouldn't do this exercise: it's stupid, dumb. My back hurts. It will look ugly. Drawing's not so important anyway. etc I'm sure you can add your own.

Pure contour drawing is where you have the most chance to experience then practice the shift from left brain processing to the right. The slowness of the drawing pushes the left brain deeper into silence, or 'off'.

Some people's left brain is determined to maintain control and avoid the fear of the unknown. You must reassure your left brain, talk to it. Really! As Betty Edwards writes on page 87: "Tell it you're not going to abandon it, that you're just going to try something."

Further, she writes: 'Make sure you don't permit your left brain to ridicule your contour drawing, saying critical things. Soon, we'll be putting everything together and your drawings will be better than ever.'

Another pure contour drawing you may try is something intricate: crumple up a piece of paper and draw the lines. Or draw your hand holding an intricate object. Put a pair of shoes with laces where you can see it and do a pure contour drawing.

Next, we will do a modified contour drawing, and this is where this current practice will pay off.

You do NOT have to post your pure contour drawings. They are YOUR marks, Betty Edwards calls it a visual representation of the insides of your right brain!

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