Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Author and artist Betty Edwards wrote the book " Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".
Two Ways of Knowing
Betty Edwards has used the terms L-Mode and R-Mode to designate two ways of knowing and seeing - the verbal, analytic mode and the visual, perceptual mode - no matter where they are located in the individual brain. You are probably aware of these different characteristics. L-mode is a step-by-step style of thinking, using words, numbers and other symbols. L-mode strings things out in sequences, like words in a sentence. R-mode on the other hand, uses visual information and processes, not step-by-step, but all at once, like recognizing the face of a friend.
"You have two brains: a left and a right. Modern brain scientists now know that 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, composed of ‘whole things,’ and does not comprehend reductions, either numbers, letters, or words."From The Fabric of Mind, by the eminent scientist and neurosurgeon, Richard Bergland. Viking Penguin, Inc., New York 1985. pg.1
Most activities require both modes, each contributing its special functions, but a few activities require mainly one mode, without interference from the other. Drawing is one of these activities.
Learning to draw, then, turns out not to be "learning to draw." Paradoxically, "learning to draw" means learning to make a mental shift from L-mode to R-mode. That is what a person trained in drawing does, and that is what you can learn.
Go to the Gallery to view the drawings. Please click on the images to enlarge.
Instructions: Today you will look in the mirror and create a self portrait drawing using pencil. This is a pre-instruction drawing like the image on the left pictured above.
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