Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
A quote says, "They have ears, but they
cannot hear. They have eyes but they cannot see."
Following this line of thinking these five
skills are listed in order to help us learn to see or perceive.
These are not drawing skills. They are skills
to teach us to see.
1. Learn to SEE edges
2. Learn to SEE spaces
3. Learn to SEE relationship of objects
4. Learn to SEE light and shadow
5. Learn to SEE the whole or gestalt (the
unified whole, in this case picture)
The left brain is dominant and has been
"educated" to see what it believes to be correct. It often
decides without our conscious awareness; it alters, and changes, even
trashes, some of the raw data that hits the retina. This editing can be
put on hold by using tricks to put the right brain into action. These are
the exercises following the above five steps, remembering the fifth step
grows out of having learned the first four steps.
Over the years in teaching art, the greatest
reward is not seeing the student's accomplishment, but knowing the student
has come to a greater understanding and appreciation of the world around
them. They often for the first time actually are able to see and this
alone reduces many insecurities. They must acknowledge they have gone
through every day not having actually seen the beauty and the richness of
life around them. Time passage, awareness passes away, the artist is
alert, free of anxiety. The endeavor is pleasant and there is almost a
mystical activation of the mind. The artist at work has a mind centered to
see things, they, even as an artist, might not have seen before. Some
artists feel transported, "at one with their work," seeing
things and grasping that which could not have been opened up before. It is
by conscious volition this going "to the right side of the
brain." Once you become skilled at shifting into this right mode you
will be able to consciously control this. It is a wonderful freedom. There
is nothing to compare as to the use of the mind.
There are deep mysteries about the brain.
These above five things I myself have just learned in the past few years,
although I, probably, being self taught, have always used these methods.
Even without having the advantages of formal teaching, I simply taught my
students as I had learned and many of them have done great things with
their art, far greater than I have done.