In the beginning, there was a line

First Exercise

This is the first exercise I did from Drawing from The Right Side of the Brain.

I drew the right facing profile first (left side of the vase) and then completed the other side by mirroring. When I tried to verbalise “this is the nose, this are the lips” I found it more difficult to draw. But when I just drew what I saw, as a mirror image, it was easier and I did not face much conflict in the process.

The left brain specialises in language, verbalisation and logical thinking. The right brain’s strength is in spatial relationship and wholeness.

According to the Ms Betty the left brain tends to dominate and overide the right so that we draw what we think we understand an object to be, rather than what we actually see.

This is my self portrait. Very amateurish, as expected.

Self-Portrait Prior to Instruction

Next exercise, I had to do a self portrait. Portrait drawing is so difficult! I was a little afraid to start, lest I draw something ugly and spoil the pristine white paper, as surely would happen. But once I got the overall shape, it became a little easier. I tried to remember to just draw what I see. I just did not know what kind of “strokes” to use.

Portrait from Memory

And then, we are to draw a face from memory. Oh goodness! This one is horrendously difficult, so I chose the very iconic figure of Marilyn Monroe to make things easier for myself.

Drawing a face from memory. All I can do is draw from symbols I can remember.

I remember her bob hair, mole and the pouted lips. When I began to draw her eyes, I really did not know what to do. So I decided to draw what I could remember of the my self-portrait earlier  (and I thought oh dear, Marilyn would end up looking like Monica. It would be better the other way round, haha).

The Learning Points

The purpose of the self-portrait is to record the baseline when we start, to show how (poorly) we draw before instruction so that we can appreciate our progress later.

As for the drawing of a face from memory, it was to show that we draw “symbols” from the recesses of our memory. And these are symbols of eyes and lips we used to draw as children. Our left brain progresses as we mature and we learn to speak and write with greater complexity and sophistication. As we live in a world where language is the main form of communication, most of our right brains have become somewhat of a retard as a result! So our drawings are stuck in childhood symbolism and has not progressed beyond.

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