March 31st, 2003



Your March 31st, 2003
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Howdy folks!



In today's e-zine Upside drawing - getting your language driven brain
out of the way and seeing your hidden drawing powers come to life



We're continuing our review of the entire book these days - in the newly dubbed
"Starting from the Top"
series. You'll find this new "quick reference" guide and
section within the archives. And as promised you'll be seeing all related links and
references to and within previous emails. The Archives link will be the home to this
new section (look right at the top of this section).


Last issue (the one before the Tommy Franks caricature) we looked at the first two
lessons of the book the classic "Vase-Face" exercises where the object was to actually
call up, invoke, rally the conflict so you could experience the right brain / left brain (or
modes) in a tug-of-war. Experiencing this conflict first hand and then resolving it by
completing the second half of the vase/face ran you through the complete cycle of
drawing observation, conflict, resolution, production. Something like that -).


The take home message of lessons One and Two

The take home message being this given the right kind of exercise, you could experience the switch of brain modes. Awareness of how this actually felt can lead to greater control - i.e. conscious control of this shift.


Upside-Down Drawing

Today, rather than calling up the conflict, the exercise you're going to do will remove the conflict. How the heck do you do that? By drawing upside down. Yep. This amazing step discovered by Dr. Edwards is truly astounding. When she first flipped a drawing for her art students she had no preparation for the kind of positive results and drawings they would be producing.

That she effectively circumvented some kind of perceptive obstacle that blocked students when they accessed the artistic part of the brain was the only conclusion she could extract from this experience. Time and time again, beginning drawing students are shocked at the quantum leap in the quality of their drawings in this one little lesson. They're as equally shocked at the confusion they re-experience when they tried to draw something right side up. Clearly, something magical happens during upside-down drawing


What's the trick?

It's very simple the brain has no problem naming something familiar (like a face), when it's viewed right side up. But naming something invokes the language dominated part of your brain - just what we don't want to do. Flip a face upside down, and instantly it's hard to recognize. This, in computer-ese, disables or better, relieves the language driven side of the brain of taking over the task allowing the R-mode -- the in-the-now-artistic-brain -- to easily complete the job.

BTW, hope you didn't feel discouraged above when I said students backslid when they returned to right-side-up drawings. The rest of the Foundations of Drawing Lessons (i.e. the DRSB - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain lessons) concentrate on delineating the five skills of drawing. (If you didn't know this I'm a certified DRSB instructor and you can see my diploma at -) So you'll certainly be the benefactor of that training.) And you WILL get this stuff! - especially after you see the upcoming flash lessons -). 

On with the show

OK. So here's the lesson. Classically, Picasso's famous Igor Stravinsky drawing has been the subject for this exercise. 

Here's what you'll need to do this

1) A drawing pad,

2) a drawing pencil,

3) the Stravinsky drawing (click on link below to download it):

4) and about an hour of drawing time.

The lesson in the book doesn't incorporate the Stravinsky drawing because of copyright issues. BUT you can find the drawing here

Print it out. -)


Here's the actual assignment in a nutshell

First draw Igor right side-up. Yep, right-side up first time around. This will be your comparison. Don't worry that your drawing doesn't look perfect. Just do it and set it aside. When you're finished with the whole assignment you'll be in for a very pleasant surprise -)

Now, take the original Igor Stravinsky drawing (the one you printed) and flip it upside-down right next to your drawing pad. Start at the top of the picture (his head is now closest to you so start at the other end).

Focus on a line in the original and draw it on your blank drawing paper. After you've drawn that line, go to the next adjacent line on Igor and draw it on your drawing paper. 

Then go on to the next adjacent line and draw it. Then the next line or shape, draw it, etc. When you come across the more difficult parts of the picture - (like the h - a - n - d - s or the f - a - c - e avoid naming them. Try to focus on these complex groups of lines as just, well, as just plain old lines and shapes, one line or shape at a time.

Work your way through the entire picture like that and resist the urge to flip it over. Don't spoil the "wahoo!, yehaa!" feeling you're bound to be in for when you flip the picture after you've completed it.


Proof there's an artist idling along inside you!

So what will you have done when you're done with this assignment? Simply, you'll gain the insight you've got an artist in you - it's just been idling along there in the shadow of your language dominated brain. Man, this is exciting!


Do these assignments! -)

Regardless of what level of drawing you're at, DO THIS ASSIGNMENT! And do it only if you've done the assignment from last month. Even if you're charging along in lesson 12, 13, 14, it's great review. To see all of Lesson Three, the whole assignment along with an instructive animation (one of the old fashioned animations - not the Flash stuff....sorry), just click here


Other relevant, not so relevant (and possibly redundant) Archives 

But it's always worth reading them because you might catch a nuance that opens a whole new way of looking at or understanding a topic...not a whole lot on upside-down drawing in the archives's what I can find


somewhat related

1) Getting into r-mode Art, Science, and Accurate observation 
2) Warm-up exercises...


Dive on in!

Alright! Go for it. I'm going back to the drawing board right now (literally) to keep the progress rolling on the next Flash Interactive exercise - The Picture Plane. This solves a particularly hairy step in drawing (understanding the picture plane that is). But it'll be one of the most useful and satisfying techniques you'll ever learn. Promise. (This should be ready two lessons from hang in there.)

Next months lesson will be Pure contour drawing - immersion into your right brain. Be fearless! And keep on drawing -)






Jeffrey O. Kasbohm 
Executive Director

Kasbohm & Company Strategic Multimedia
home of http// and

(952) 544-0657

1351 Hampshire Ave. So., #127
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"