BEGINNERS' Drawing Workshop - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain



I have the pleasure to announce this new thread for BEGINNING DRAWING STUDENTS ~ called:

         [b]BEGINNERS' Drawing Workshop - Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain[/b]

         [left] [center][b]The Format:[/b]
         1. You are asked to [b]purchase[/b] the classic book, [i][b][The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain]([/b][/i].
         2. In about [b]TWO WEEKS[/b], you will be expected to [b]have the book[/b] so that the Beginner's Drawing Workshop can begin.
         3. You will be given [b]TWO WEEKS [/b][color=PaleGreen](four weeks from now)[b] to complete an exercise[/b][/color] from the book formerly chosen by Stipick_S (now by Margie and myself). Once you post your work, Margie (and anyone else who feels they have advice to offer) will offer helpful comments and critique to help you to understand and complete the exercises.
     [/b] [left][b]Never posted an image to CGTalk before?[/b] It's easy! Learn how to host images and post them on CGTalk here: [[b]New to CGTalk? Learn how to post IMAGES here![/b]]([/left]
          [b]The RULES:
       [/b] [left]1. You must purchase the book, [i][b][The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain]([/b][/i]. You have [b]TWO WEEKS[/b] from today to do so.
       2. You have [b]TWO WEEKS [/b][color=PaleGreen](four weeks from now)[/color] to complete the first exercise. New exercises will then be assigned, and you will have two weeks to complete each new exercise.
       3. There is [b]NO LIMIT [/b]to the [b]NUMBER [/b]of posts an artist may make. However, we ask that you post only [b]your[/b] [b]BEST WORK,[/b] even if it is considered unfinished.
      4. Artists who post comments and critiques of other artists' work on this thread must be [b][color=PaleGreen]RESPECTFUL, POLITE, [/b]and offer [b]CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.[/b] [b]Flaming [/b]will be [b]NOT [/b]be tolerated, and constitutes dismissal from this and other threads.
  1. Margie (formerly Stipick_S) has generously offered her time to critique work; however, with a full-time job and a demanding schedule, she will not be able to answer everyone’s requests for assistance. She has agreed, however, to stop by the threads when she has time to offer comments and critique. I will also be offering the occasional comments / critique ~ however, the main focus of the Open Figure Drawing Workshop threads should be on Group Critique and interaction. :slight_smile:

    6.[b] ANY MEDIUM [/b]may be used: Traditional or Digital Drawing.
      7. Please limit the [b]SIZE [/b]of your [b][color=PaleGreen]POSTS [/b][/color]to[b] [color=PaleGreen]600 pixels WIDTH[/b][/color][b] x Appropriate pixel LENGTH.[/b] [b]No huge posts, please![/b]
    8. Have fun, enjoy, and learn! :)
     Thank you to Stipick_S for this great idea!!! :) 
 [/color] [center][b]Ok, Guys/Gals! Time to buy the book!!![/b][b]

EDIT: Roberto Ortiz has alerted me of the following:[/b]
  [b]The official website of the book is this one:[/b]
It has one online exercise, in case you would like a preview!




Exercise #1 Instructions:

                  1. [b]Read chapter one.[/b]
                  2. Spend 1 hour (longer if  you choose) and [b]complete the three exercises.[/b]  Post
         [b](edit) your portrait[/b] (which is part of the Exercise #1): which is found at the end of chapter 2 on pages 15,16, and 17.
                  3. The first exercise will have minimum critiques. The first drawings have
                  two purposes:
                  A) To get you drawing.
    B) They are something for you to look back on when all of this is done and will allow you to compare your progress.
                  [b][i]Optional[/i]:[/b]  For those of you who have the separately sold companion [b]work book,[/b] you can do the [b]"draw the corner of the room"[/b] exercise as well.
            [b]There are no wrong or right ways to do this ~ just do the best you can. [/b] Do
            not be afraid to post as there will be no critiques on your first attempts.
            We just want to get you drawing as much as possible! :)
           [b]P.S. [/b]~ If you have the time do some more drawings, draw your foot, an apple,
                  a box, etc.  Just [b]don't post these[/b] as we are mainly interested in the
                  results of the listed exercise.


Exercise #2 Instructions:[/b][/u]

         1) You have [b]1 Week[/b] to complete the exercise.
         2) [b]Read[/b] [b]up to page 50.[/b]
        a) In the next bit of reading  many of the questions to why we did the previous exercises will be  answered.
         3) Complete the [b]exercise on page 50.[/b]
        Time: [b]this exercise should  take 5-6 minustes[/b]
         Materials needed: Book (  you have to read the directions carefully), pencil, paper and vocal  chords.
         4) [b]Post your work [/b]and a small paragraph explaining  any problems (as explained in the book) that you might have had.

        [u][b]Exercise #3 Instructions: (posted 11-11-05)[/b][/u]
       [b]NEW INSTRUCTIONS:[/b]

So far, the goal of the exercises has been to (re)discover the state of mind (R-mode) that is better at observing/drawing. There is still one to come, and a very important one to prepare for the core of the drawing exercises. After that, the book begins with practising the basic principles of drawing. I’d like to take a big step forward by working up to the point where we can begin on basic drawing principles in the next set of instructions.

       It's quite a lot of work, so I'd like to extend the time to finish these exercises to:
       3 weeks.[/b]
      [b]Exercise #3:[/b]
       [b]Chapter 5[/b][/i]
  1. Please read this chapter as it helps you to understand why you draw the way you do and that it’s not a shortcoming or lack of talent, but a stage in the natural development of artists.

     2. If you have kept any of your childhood drawings or decide to draw one from memory, please feel free to share them. :). That would be really great!
     [i][b]Chapter 6[/b][/i]
    3. Read to page 98
  2. Exercise page 89: Pure Contour Drawing. Not a “spectacular” exercise, the objective is to experience pure observation, draw exactly what you see. No more, no less. In a very real way, it’s a form of zen-meditation. Instread of “just sitting”, it’s “just drawing”. Live in the here and now and that sort of stuff.

  3. Reread “drawing materials” (page 13) and make the picture plane and viewfinders if you haven’t done so already. This is really crucial to learn to draw realistically quickly, so please take the time to make them. If you want to work digitally, using guidelines on a separate layer works just as well as an alternative for the picture plane in the later
    exercises, but you will still benefit from the viewfinders and doing the next exercise with the picture plane…

    6. Exercise on pages 96/97/98: Trace your hand in forshortened position through the picture plane.
    I'm looking forward to your drawings. Have fun!

[b]Exercise #4:

[/b] [left]Exercise #4

Almost halfway through the book!
From now on the exercises focus on the basic principles of drawing as
mentioned in the book: edge, shape, relationships, value (light and
dark) and gesture (gestalt).
There’s only one exercise left in chapter 6, but I think it’s a very
important one and I strongly recommend practising drawing edges from a
photo or from life as often as you can, using the viewfinder/guideline
method before moving on to shapes/negative space.

Some great photo references to practise on can be found in these threads: (15 minute sketchathon) (Reference for
Anatomical ansd Figurative Art) (OFDW008)


Exercise #4 instructions

  • Read page 98 to 104

  • Modified Contour Drawing of your hand on page 105 to 110. Copy the
    tracing you did from the previous excerise.

Step 7 of this exercise is especially important. It takes a lot of
practise to judge the length and angle of a line accurately without any
I hope the story of Vincent van Gogh on page 103 has convinced you there
is nothing wrong with using a few tricks in the beginning. In time, you
won’t need them anymore.

        [center][u][b]Exercise #5 Instructions: (posted 12-16-05)[/b][/u]

The next chapter - chapter 7 - deals with two prime concepts of art. Or
three actually, because they are closely related.

These concepts are:

  • shapes
  • negative space
  • composition

Instead of seeing edges (which most people do when they first begin to
draw), the exercise now concentrates on shapes, but in a whacky way.
You’re going to look at everything BUT the subject you want to draw.

Most people “overfocus” on the subject. Because the subject is
meaningful, especially when the subject is a fellow human being,
everything else becomes unimportant. And here’s an almost mindboggling
paradox: if you focus on the shape of the space around or outside the
subject, your drawing will represent the subject to perfection!

Learning to see negative space takes practise and… the non-judgemental
state of mind you’ve come to know as the right side of the brain. Forget
about the subject that is so compelling, try to focus on the surrounding

Now for the exercise:


Exercise #5:

  • Read chapter 7
  • Drawing exercise “the chair” on page 127
  • If you have the time, also try the drawings of “child seated in a
    wicker chair” by Homer and the study made by the Flemish painter Rubens
    on page 135. The trick is NOT to focus on the idea “oh, I’m copying a
    Rubens!” but only pay attention to the spaces between the drawn subjects.


Note: I will post additional information in the thread.

Above all: Have fun!


      [i][b]NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS:[/b][/i]
      [b]Please feel free to join in at any time you like. [/b]There's no need to wait for the next workshop. Start with exercise #1 above and post your work.
  Also please note that prior to an accident, Shaun / Stipick_S was singularly dedicated[/b] to this Workshop. While he is fine, he will, for the time being, be unable to continue to host this Workshop. Margie has graciously agreed to step in.
      ~Margie and Rebeccak


Hey everybody,

Anyways, I will be helping out wth this one. Rebecca, let me thank you for this opportunity. Let me also thank CGTalk for this excellent resource for which i am eternaly gratefull.

      Quick background on myself:

I have a BFA in drawing and painting from The University of the Arts located in Philadelphia and another degree from the MMDC lab where I was taught digital mediums such as maya and after effects from Papa Georgio of Digital Tutors. I currently work in motion graphics and life in the industry has been kind and generous. I prettty much stopped drawing out of frustartion several years ago. The school (university of the arts) had a very contemporary program and I was desperatly seeking a traditional approach. When I could not teach myself what I needed to know, I pretty much gave up. A short while ago I purchased 3 very important books which I am very proud to include in my library. One was Don Seegmiller’s, “Digital Charater Design” which inspired me greatly and was the catalyst for my artistic rebirth, Anthony Ryder’s "Figure Drawing and Betty Edward’s “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. Using these books and the great forums here, I have been able to reinvent myself and my drawing abilities. I am by no means good, but just like everyone else who will join this thread I am learning (in many ways all over again) what I originaly wanted to learn in the first place.

The first place to start, logicaly would be the most basic place. Where is that? Well, the brain and our eyes. We need to learn to see, train our cognitive visual abilities. That is where “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” comes in. Along with you I am going to relearn (or learn the first time) what I desire so much to posses… decent drawing abilites! Hopefully with lots of practice and peristance I (and you) will begin to see a difference.



Space Reserved For Internal Thread Links


Cheers, Stipick!



Remember that in TWO WEEKS the lesson will begin. Stipick_S is in the process of selecting the perfect exercise for y’all and will be posting Instructions for the First Exercise shortly. However, [color=PaleTurquoise]it is imperative for this thread that you do buy the book.[/color] Hence the two week run-up time to the kick-off of the first Exercise.

Thank you in advance for your participation! :slight_smile:

[left]EDIT: Roberto Ortiz has alerted me of the following:

The official website of the book is this one:

The site has the first exercise, which you should preview to get a sense of this excellent book. However, they’re not stupid enough to post all of their exercises online, so I highly encourage folks to buy the book. It will be a great resource for years to come. :slight_smile:

I read the original back in the day when I was a young tadpole, and it was great!



Hi rebeccak & stipick_S

This is a fantastic Idea and I will do my best to take part in it over the next few months.

I purchased the book a while ago and began to read it. Due to general life getting in the way i never managed to complete it. I did manage some of the exercises and I could see a vast improvement in my drawing in very little time.

I am looking forward to this exercise as it will give me more of an incentive to complete the exercises and with all the help and comments from yourselves and others, i am looking forward to seeing the results.

For anyone else reading this and thinking “i’m really not good enough for that kind of thing”, please reconsider. This is a great book on it’s own and with the professional help being offered here, you would be missing out on a great opportunity to learn to draw.

Thanks again for this opportunity and I look forward to the first exercise.




Yay! First customer!! :slight_smile: ~Thank you for your support! Stipick_S deserves all the credit for the idea, and he is the prime on this contract, eg, he’s the captain of the boat ~ he’s a great guy, and a super enthusiastic person who has already contributed a great deal to the Anatomy forum!

Thanks again, and look forward to your posts! :slight_smile:



Ok, folks, Shaun has just sent me the INSTRUCTIONS for EXERCISE #1 ~ they are listed above in post #2.




This sounds great!:thumbsup: - just ordered the book off amazon…

Well done Shaun!


EDIT: Hell I need this!! - you seen my drawings on the figure drawing workshop?!! They were horrible… :eek:


Yeah! Default.rol / Mike rocks!!! :bounce:

EDIT: rah, rah, rah, I’ve also seen your Rubens copy…no excuses!!! :slight_smile:



This is going to be exciting! I would love to have as many people who have never drawn as those who have. If you have ever wanted to just give it a shot and are a little bit intimidated by the talent here at cgtalk. This is the place for you. In this thread we are all beginers!


Becca Becca Becca… Thanks a bunch.

I am trying to order this from Alibris. bwaaaaaaaaa I doubt it’ll get here in two weeks. :frowning: :frowning:



I always respond differently to a direct challenge! :stuck_out_tongue:


Being a vetern of Betty Edwards book I think this is a great idea for all the beginners out there.

You can learn a lot here, guys! :thumbsup:


Never mind my other post. I think I can make it. I had purchased one of her videos before. I"ll watch it until the books come. This is gonna be fun fun fun.



Nice new avatar, wheredja get that? :wink:


Please note that there has been a slight change to Exercise #1: when you post your work, please post your portrait as done for the Exercise #1[b].

[/b]Thanks! :slight_smile:



Rebecca- She changed her avatar because she has my brushes on and is trying to rule the underworld.:thumbsup:

I wish I could have bought the book. So I could have took part in this.:cry:


A certain tireless art teacher has sworn to make me an artist. So she made me draw and draw and draw until I came up with something that looks like more art than I’ve ever drawn. In case you are interested, you can find her here

Oh by the way, Shaun …Big big thanks


I would just like to say thanks stipick_S and rebeccak, this is a great idea! im new here :smiley: and this will be my 1st post but i have kept an eye on CG Talk and ordered many books from them. I would say im average at drawing but very bad at drawing realistic faces or self portraits!!

I have ordered the book and thanks to this forum, i will definately be showing the exercises as the weeks go by so count me in :thumbsup:




Awesome! Welcome to the forum. :slight_smile: