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Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain


From: Marian Colman (colmans1_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 31 2004 - 02:42:39 PST

I have used bits and pieces of Betty Edward's book to teach drawing in
my high school classes. I give them an overview of Left-Right brain
theory and then they do the upside drawings and move into contour
drawing. This year I purchased the video which I highly recommend. It
is divided into segments so you can pick and choose what you show the
kids. My students think she is very dry and they make fun of her, but
she is very clear and explains each problem so they can understand what
they are attempting to do. I tell them that learning to draw is a result
of mastering 4 basic visual perception skills: edges, negative spaces,
relationships and light and shadow. I made a clear picture plane
viewfinder for each student. ( Photocopied from the Drawing on the Right
Side of the Brain workbook) They used them to draw a foreshortened view
of their hand and also to record one negative shape as they began their
chair drawings. We set a ground for both of these drawings and erased
the lights and darkened the shadows. The results were fantastic and the
kids felt really good about their accomplishments. We move from that to
learning to sight to measure proportion and angles, Next we work on
shading simple geometric forms ( toilet paper and paper towels and a
white box). Lastly, the gestalt; that is, putting it all together and
showing their new found skills by creating a charcoal still life on
tinted paper. In their reflective writing, the students stated that
practicing and mastering these 4 perception skills has taken their
drawing to a new level.