I wondered if anyone would care to comment on the results of my "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" exercise #1 results.
I appear to have received exactly the opposite expected areas of conflict/error in the illustration. I did the exercise twice, with specific different thought process.
EDITED to add:
The fascinating thing about Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is that it exploits several different neuroplasticity phenomenae that we have only just begun to recognize in the last few years of neuroscience research.
In illustration #1, drawing #1 was done "without thinking about it", just looking at the shape of the profile to copy; drawing #2 was done while trying to see both the profiles, and the vase at the same time, as distinct, different shapes. The error lines are preserved, no eraser used.
In illustration #2, drawing 1 was done "without thinking about it", just looking at the shape of the profile to copy; drawing #2 was done while actively thinking about the anatomical features, their function, placement and structure, naming them and mentally-verbally describing them as I drew.
This appears to produce the opposite expected "conflict"; in the book, the author states that the result I get from Illustration #1, Drawing #2 is the result I should expect from Illustration #2, Drawing #2.
Can anyone comment? What's wrong with my brain?
Last edited by PantherModern; February 3rd, 2013 at 01:31 AM.
This question is difficult to answer, I will see if I can help; I believe the book is trying to help you learn to see things either on page, on a screen,or in life for not only what you know them to be summed up into one or two words, for example like plant, or nose, or face, but to see the subjects in terms of shapes in relationship to one another within their space, and how you can use that to study from subjects either from documents or life and draw them for what you see them as.
for example looking at that image in the book you are looking at ink on a page, within the space of the page how is that ink spaced, each line how is it related to the other lines,
you may not be able to help thinking about the anatomical structure of what your drawing no matter how hard you try but you now also know that your not just drawing a face but your relating shapes within space with your pencil.
You may just over-understand the book. I hope any of that may help.
Sorry, that wasn't what I was trying to say; I meant that I found it to be easier to draw when I thought about the specific anatomical features I was drawing, and the bone-structure, etc. - In the book, she described that this is where people "trip up" and their brain shuts down, recommending that people "don't" do that. I've done several other experiments since then, specifically thinking each time about the thing I'm drawing, in both words and mental images, and each time I've had an easier time drawing "what I am thinking about" than "what I see".
I think the idea behind not naming what you're drawing is that naming something evokes a symbolic representation. For instance if you say "eye", you might just draw the typical child-like eye, an outline of a fish shape with a circle in it... In my case, I know my symbolic system is very strong and overrides what I know, with what I think the thing should look like. This is mostly a problem with me when I try to draw from imagination.
I think the whole idea is to just get you thinking more about shapes and less about what you think something should look like. I think Betty's book has been criticised quite a few times for giving over-simplified or false information about brain functioning and how that connects to drawing. The basic idea behind the whole exercise is to just get you to think differently about things that you have been seeing before. There is no right or wrong and definitely no one method for anything. The book definitely gives some great exercises for beginners, whereas your mode of thinking seems to be more advanced, anatomy comes after the ability to identify features as objects and shapes so perhaps your skill is simply too advanced for the exercise
Now to what you said, there's nothing wrong to fall back on, or let anatomical, or any kind of info, guide you when drawing as long as that information is correct. I've been drawing for 14 years and when I draw or paint live models I fall back on years of information, but that's information learned from an artistic point of view, it's a foundation that is based on true information and not an over simplifacation of the truth. But every day I'm learning to see new things that I just couldn't see before. I'm always amazed at how interesting stuff can be now that I see it and when I meet other artists they often point out stuff that I just hadn't noticed before. Now I'm so far gone that I often wonder what normal people see, I always ask my girlfriend what she sees when I finish a painting or drawing. It's fun how much mistakes I can clearly see that they just don't pick up
I completely agree with the seeing part. I hadn't drawn a single thing in my life until I was about 21-2, nor was I ever interested in visual arts. I remember being on a bus, reading a book about painting, and I read about how tones give the illusion of three dimensionality... I never, ever before understood that, nor did I ever see it, because I just didn't know about it. I had a sort of coloring book mentality of things just being a certain way... and that's about it. To this day I still have preconception about colors, things just being a certain color, not considering value or chroma or even what I'm actually seeing. My brain just overrides it and I have to spend some time just stopping myself and then starting over and looking closely, through the filter of previous, false beliefs... And every time I think to myself - I'm going to draw a human, I completely switch from analytical to symbolic. If I just don't think "human" though, or head, or eyes - then I'm ok...