Drawing from Creative Side of the Brain

Drawing is an acquired skill, not a talent. I’ve seen many who were willing to tap into their hidden artistic abilities to learn many secrets of sophisticated drawings, painting, and illustrations. It is easy now to learn techniques and step-by-step instructions for drawing everything from simple spheres to apples, trees, buildings, and the human hand and face.

Brain activity in Drawing

As we know, the left side of the brain excels in logical tasks such as verbal, analytical, rational. In many studies, the left brain is considered the dominant half. The left side of the brain takes over most of the time, using words to describe and define, figuring things out step by step, drawing conclusions based on facts and logic, and thinking in a linear way while it failed to perform well in those tasks.
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Now, the right side of the brain is completely different. It relies on nonverbal cues to process perceptions. It is our creative part of our brain. It is good at tasks requiring the ability to see patterns and things as how it fits together as a whole, creating ideas and insights in the spur of the moment.

According to Dr. Betty Edwards, a respected art educator and author of the best-selling book, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, you can actually make a mental shift from what she refers to as the “L-mode”–the verbal, dominant form of thinking–to the “R-mode,” which relies on visual cues. It’s possible to get the right side to kick in and take over the task of drawing.

Tricking the left brain in Drawing

The left side takes over tasks unless it finds a particular job undesirable. If a certain task takes too much time, is too detailed or slow, or simply too difficult, then the left side gives up. So, the trick is presenting the task–in this case, drawing–in such a way that the right side is allowed to jump in.

This happens a lot with words. When we try to describe something verbally and find it too difficult, what do we do? We rely on gestures. Just try to describe a spiral staircase without using your hands.

Dr. Edwards teaches people to draw by presenting them with images that are upside down. This puts the left brain in a state of confusion so that it can’t easily decipher shapes, assign a top and bottom, attach labels, and categorize them to match stored memories. When presented with a confusing image, your left side gives up. We should literally turn things upside down in an effort to thwart the left brain’s control and let the R-mode take over.

The idea here is that by intentionally putting ourselves in a state of mental conflict, our right side of the brain will have a chance to sneak in and holistically come up with a solution that seems to have come “from nowhere” and enhance our creativity.

The key to jumpstarting our right brain lies in shifting our perspective. Grab a pencil, turn the picture upside down, and start drawing using your creative side of your brain!

 

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