I’m learning how to draw. It’s amazing that drawing doesn’t take years of art classes. Betty Edwards, in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, says that we already know how to draw. We just have to get our left brains out of the way so that our right brains (that part of us that knows how to do it) can go to work. She writes:
“What prevents a person from seeing things clearly enough to draw them? A part of the answer is that, from childhood onward, we have learned to see things in terms of words: we name things, and we know facts about them. The dominant left hemisphere doesn’t want too much information about things it perceives–just enough to recognize and categorize. The left brain, in this sense, learns to take a quick look and says, ‘Right, that’s a chair (or an umbrella, bird, tree, dog, etc.).’ Because the brain is overloaded most of the time with incoming information, it seems that one of its functions is to screen out a large proportion of incoming perceptions…But drawing requires that you look at something for a long time, perceiving lots of details, registering as much information as possible–ideally, everything. The left hemisphere has no patience with this detailed perception, and says, in effect, ‘It’s a chair, I tell you. That’s enough to know. In fact, don’t bother to look at it, because I’ve got a ready-made symbol for you. Here it is: add a few details if you want, but don’t bother me with this looking business.'”
These are the drawings I’ve done so far, after reading the first five chapters of Betty’s book. I’m hooked.