Friday, April 02, 2010

Figure Friday -

Getting back into the swing of 'real life'. Trying to reassert the feeble beginnings of routine and 'balance' (life can't be all about gardening. Or can it...?)

Today, a couple of my POBL cohorts came to my Life Drawing session - I was especially interested in a recent technique that the awesome Kathleen Kemly has been working on the last 6 months or so.

She's been drawing from life with her left hand (see? photographic evidence! and yes, she is normally right handed) - to great effect!

(drawn by Kathleen)
There are a couple of reasons for this - first is to bypass all the drawing 'habits' and the visual shorthand that comes from them. Since your hand doesn't know what to do out of habit, you are forced to really *look* again -

(drawn by Kathleen)
- and secondly, it helps to de-lateralize your brain. Easier to get right into the right hemisphere. Ones' non-dominant hand may not be as facile as the other, but see how lyrical ones' lines can be?

(drawn by me)
So here are my first, tentative attempts with my left hand. So hard! And amazingly exhausting!

(brain dead -back to the right hand)
It sooo fried my brain that after about an hour of that I was reduced down to only drawing feet...


Rima said...

Hello Tara, hope you are well :)
These are great! So free and strong. Left hand life drawing is hard isn't it but so interesting what it does to your brain.

moreidlethoughts said...

Yes, it's a wonderful exercise (I first came to it through hearing about stroke patients re-learning after they lost right arm movement)and so uninhibiting!Of course, if you can draw in the first place it's easier!

And "Hello, Rima!"

Jennifer Rose said...

I'm practising with me left hand just in case I loose feeling in my right, it does feel like work tho when I am done lol

you left handed drawings are great, would have never guessed they were drawn with your left hand.

Anonymous said...

I think the drawing looks great. Its interesting to think why we go into the left brain, it's easier!


Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

these are great tara! i draw with both my right and left hands simultaneously, but mostly my right. i just hate having to pick things up and down, maybe i'm lazy, so i usually keep another charcoal pencil in my left or a paper stump or something else useful. but i never thought of trying to draw completely with my left hand. will need to give that a try.

Wendy Wright said...

Great blog post Tara! You did great! I have never ever thought of doing this. I will have to try. :)

ruthie said...

Tara, these are wonderful, and so intriguing too. i recently undertook to do a piece of writing with my left hand, the exercise was to write about myself, the idea being that as the brain cannot easily work the thinking part & the writing part at the same time (if not usually lefthanded) it is supposes to reveal interesting facts one thinks about oneself, without the thought being filtered!!! Mine was very interesting! x

Anonymous said...

A friend told me about your site. Being curious I had to check it out. I’m so happy I did. I don’t follow blogs, but I take art classes and my instructor likes to use those huge newspaper print pads like you have in the Figure Friday section. You have some great ideas for mulch and saving the environment. It’s good to see what other artists are doing online. My classes are for still life not life drawing. Being a novice artist I wonder how you deal with nudity. I’m afraid I’d be so nervous I’d start to giggle. My friend has been an artist for life and sells her work throughfine art dealers . Jackie told me that after the first few classes it gets old hat. I guess you get so involved in the shape, the size and position of the model that nerves go away. Just looking at the quick sketches has helped me figure out the best way to draw a person. When I get my nerve up I may just look into a live drawing class.