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


Hmmm, I’ve got some images ready but I don’t know how to resize them to the proper size (600 pixels width and a proportional height… Wich software should I use? Will Photoshop do the job?):shrug:



Hi there! :slight_smile: Yes, PS will most certainly do the job. Keep a full size copy of your image. Then duplicate the image, and rename it as filename_small. Go to Image > Image Size, and enter 600 pixels. Make sure that “Constrain Proportions” is checked in the Image Size dialogue box, and your proportional height will automatically be determined. Click ok, and your image will now be 600 pixels wide (by the proportional height, which PS will determine).

Make sure to save for web (Alt + Ctrl + Shift + S or File > Save for Web) and use the JPG format. Usually it’s best to keep images to under 200 KB for fast loading times, so reduce the image quality if necessary in the Save for Web dialog that appears (the KB size of the doc is visible in the lower left hand corner of the Save for Web dialog box).

EDIT: Also, if you are unfamiliar with posting images to a webforum such as CGTalk, take a look at this tutorial, which is a Sticky Thread at the top of this Forum: :slight_smile:

New to CGTalk? Learn how to post IMAGES here!

Let me know if you have any questions. :slight_smile:




Thanks for posting! Keeping the format of the book, I will not comment for now. The reason why you are asked to do this exercise is to have a record of your progress. The exercises in the book will teach you to see in a different way and this will make a big difference in the way you draw, so it’s nice to have something to compare with. :slight_smile:

Learning to draw with a tablet takes a little time, it’s like learning to draw all over again, from the beginning. The first week I had mine, all I did was draw lines. squiggles and circles to get a “feel” for the tablet pen.

I think it’s a good idea to stick with paper & pen for the exercises of this book, and meanwhile, if you feel like it, practise using a tablet pen without trying to draw anything particular. Just doodle and play around with all the brushes. It’s fun! :slight_smile:


Thanks for your answer Margie.

I´ve made the with pen&paper now, and here´s the result:


I think this one is better then exceptet!


This was REALLY hard for me. I was looking on the empty paper 5 minutes and had no idea where to start… It´s my brothers girlfriend, but it really looks not like her.

My hand:

Well… IMO ok but far away from good.

I found something funny! It´s my old selfportrait from March 2003. This is the selfportrait I made when I saw the book the first time. Uhhhh… This is really bad. :slight_smile:

That´s it! See you soon! :slight_smile:



Hi Michael,

You make it really hard for me not to comment. :smiley: (So I’m going to do it anyway)

First of all, it’s great to see the first and second selfportraits. I can see the improvement, even between the tablet version and the first selfportrait. I agree the pencilled one turned out much, much better.

Drawing from memory is one of the hardest things to do. It forces you to use the visual language you have learned so far.
Later in the book, it is explained why you draw that way and that it is not a lack of talent, but simply a lack of training.
Our schools are not very good in teaching youngsters to draw well, because art is still considered as “a past-time, a hobby, not relevant to the economy”.
Which is very strange considering that there is a huge entertainment industry (film, TV, games, comics, illustration) which could not exsist without artists. The game industry by itself is good for a couple of billion dollars per year!

People who can draw well from memory can only do so after they’ve studied a great deal of anatomy and trained their “artist eye”. In effect that means they have learned a different visual language, one that is more true to reality.

Hope to see more of your work!


Hello everyone. I was wondering if I can still participate in this thread. It seems that this drawing workshop has started long ago and I saw a 4 week time limit. I really want to join in and actually learn anatomy, but I am not sure if I am too late or not.


Hello Kami Z, welcome.

Yes, you can still join the workshop, it’s not too late. Just start with the first exercise and post your drawings.

Hope to see your work.:slight_smile:


Ok, I made the next exercise.

Here are the images:

Well, I made 2 drawings from each pics, but I don´t feel something different between my “Left Side” and the “Right Side”…

Betty writes in the book: “While you draw the pictures, you should feel the right side and know this feeling now. Next thing is to control the switch between left and right side”

That´s my problem! I don´t feel any difference when I´m drawing. :shrug:
I know the feeling when I´m driving on the highway or reading a book… daydreaming (like she writes in her book), but when I draw the pictures, I´m still thinking and can´t “turn it off”…

Anyone else got this problem or a solution? :sad:


PS: I love the pictures anyway, cause I never thought I can do it like that. :smiley:



I don’t really feel such a strong change when I’m drawing (it’s more obvious when I’m reading or driving), and most certainly my “left side” doesn’t get as quiet as Betty Edwards suggests, but judging by your drawings, I think your right side works pretty well! If you don’t get the exact feeling described in the book, don’t worry, maybe your transition is more subtle or maybe your mind works just fine using both hemispheres simultaneously even when your drawing. And if you surprised yourself with the results of the exercises, don’t you think your visual perception has improved and helped you to draw?:thumbsup:

I finally got some work scanned, (only the first assignment - I’ll be posting more next week).
Something I’d like to say is that, when I’m drawing, specially creatively, my minds goes a bit insane - while I focus primaly on the action of drawing, my “background” thoughts become a mess of music, song lyrics, ideas, invented conversations with people I know and lots of stuff that should, IMO, belong to the “left”, verbal, side of the brain. On the other hand, when I focus on realistic drawings, the left side shuts up almost completely - specially on places particularly difficult to draw, and I can feel more clearly that transition mentioned in the book.

Sorry for the long post everyone!

Self-portrait >> Done about a year ago

Self-portrait >> Done last week (Maybe I’ll put the mouth later)

My girlfriend (she asked me “Who’s that?”) >> Drawn the same day I did the 1st self-portrait

My Left Hand >> drawn the same day of the 1st self-portrait

My right hand in two different views >> drawn some weeks ago
Sorry for the huge post, I’ll edit it if necessary!:hmm:


hey guys! glad to see this workshop flourishing! and kudos to margie and ms.k for their great work! :thumbsup:

great stuff so far, keep them coming! this workshop is where i first started posting too, and going through all the betty edwards exercises helped me a lot! (i didn’t get the chance to post anymore though) i’ll just pass on some advice given to me, this is encouragement from one learner to another:

:slight_smile: the 2nd most important thing to do is to practice everyday. make exercises for yourself, observe the things around you, draw even for just a few minutes. it might not seem to help at first but water doesn’t boil immediately even when the fire’s at max does it? it takes a bit of time and hard work so practice smart, practice often and be patient. it’s worth it. don’t worry about the “bad” drawings in your sketchbooks, those “bad” drawings get you from one good drawing to the next, then to the great and then to the spectacular. :smiley:

:slight_smile: the most important thing to do imho, is to nurture your love for what you’re doing. just enjoy the process, because learning takes a lifetime. don’t expect that you will someday reach the top of the hill and people will pin a badge that says “artist” on your chest. you are an artist now while you are on the uphill climb :slight_smile: even if your patience runs out, you’ve worked your butt off and you’re frustrated enough to choke someone to death, your love for what you do will be the only thing that will keep you going, and it will always be more than enough reason to keep at it.

don’t worry, i assure you the people here at cgtalk make learning art less of a burden and more of a rollercoaster ride :thumbsup:

whoops. sorry for the extra Long post. :scream:




I would just like to announce that this Workshop will continue indefinitely, but that the moderation may be a bit less frequent ~ I would like to transition this into being one that’s self~sustained by group~interaction, which you guys are already really good at, :slight_smile: and group support. :slight_smile: I will definitely be checking in to see what’s going on, but I think the book is really the primary guide, and having a helpful community here whose members are responsive to one anothers’ posts I think should be sufficient to keep this thread going. Considering that (hopefully) new people will continue to find this thread and to find it useful, and will be starting from the first Exercise at their own pace, I think it’s best to allow this to be a self~sustaining thread. :slight_smile:

Hopefully this makes sense and is agreeable to everyone. :slight_smile:

Cheers, :slight_smile:



Hello all. My New Year’s resolution is to learn to draw, or go down trying. I got the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for Christmas and I’ve enrolled in a beginner drawing class at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan which starts later this month. Should be an interesting case study to see if I, a 48 year old man with absolutely zero drawing skills, can learn to draw. Already did the first self portrait exercise and I must say that the results are simply embarrassing, much too much so to think of posting it at this time.



Welcome aboard! :slight_smile:

Imo, it’s never too late to learn something new…I really think that talent counts for a lot less than hard work and committment in the long run, and, while the going may not be easy at first, if you stick to things, eventually things will click and you will find that you are enjoying yourself. :slight_smile:

If you have not already done so, definitely check out the following links compiled for Beginners:

Resources for Beginners:

And feel free to post here whenever you wish. :slight_smile:

Looking forward to seeing your work!




hi all!

haven’t been able to post for some time. i had to move back to europe a few weeks ago and am now preparing to move to canada, so i didn’t have much time. but i got everything sorted now so i think i can post the new exercises soon.

just to let you know that i’m still following this thread :bounce:




Good lord, that’s a lot of moving! :eek: Looking forward to seeing your stuff when you’re all settled in. :slight_smile:




Whew! End of year really took a lot of my time and I had nothing left for drawing until this last week. Here is exercise #4, and I must say that I am getting more comfortable with seeing the edges instead of seeing “fingers, fingernails, etc.” and that is starting to extend to noticing edges on things, even when I am not drawing.

But, that said, I found this exercise particularly difficult in that I couldn’t get the shading to work as I wanted. Maybe the location I was working did not have had the best lighting. When I looked at my hand, I couldn’t see obvious shadow areas, and just decided to add shading to some selected edges I had drawn in.

I will try again with tablet, instead of paper/pencil just to see if its the medium, or truely my inability to judge shadows at this time.

Here is #4 in pencil.


Hello there!
Quite new to this site but finding it very helpful and just generally awe-inspiring. I’ve never been that much of an artist but always wanted to improve. Just before Christmas an ex-colleague published a book called The Lost Art (Christian Furr) that is essentially a watered-down version of Drawing on the Right Side…
I thought if it’s no good then at least I can give it as a present to someone :slight_smile:
It was however quite interesting and in the book Chris mentions that the next logical step is Right Side so I got a copy on Saturday and found this thread yesterday!
So to business; I’ve managed to do the hand and self-portrait pictures this evening and will do the face from memory later on this week. (Busy busy busy).
Thanks to the mods for giving up the time to monitor this thread and crit the work. Big respect.
I don’t have a scanner so I used my digicam (the autofocus is going so they’re a little blurry…but it does hide a bit of the messiness :slight_smile: ).

[left] [/left]
[left]I’ll give the face from memory a go later this week.[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left] [/left]



Good to see you back! :slight_smile: With respect to the shading issue, may I suggest trying the same drawing a second time in better light? I agree that of course lighting can affect your perception of form quite significantly ~ particularly if the light is too low, or too bright.

Look forward to seeing your Wacom studies as well! :slight_smile:


Welcome aboard! :slight_smile: I’m glad that you found this Workshop. It is pretty informal here, so it will be great if you guys can comment on each others’ work and help each other out! :slight_smile:

No biggie, but if you could copy and paste the URL’s of your images into the EDIT POST text editor / picture icon, which is the yellow square with the mountain and sun, we will be able to see your images instead of links. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Nice sensitive linework in your drawings ~ particularly in that of the hand. Really strive for that!

Looking forward to seeing more of your work! :slight_smile:




I tried using the insert image icon originally but it just displays the link. When editing, just after entering the url , it tries to download the pic then shows the broken pic icon and I end up with the links only :frowning:



Try going back to your original Photobucket account and recopying and pasting the URL from there, and pasting it into the picture icon ~ see if that works. :slight_smile:

Cheers, :slight_smile: