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4.3 out of 5 stars
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
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159 of 162 people found the following review helpful
I am a painter but my drawing is something else entirely. (I have managed with basic outlines and leaving out details) but draw as many other adults do like a child.
My friend lent the book to me because she knows I paint. Although it held no interest to me initially (because I can't draw) I thought I would read it.
Well I couldn't believe what I was drawing within minutes on the first day, and the second day was even better. I am on the third day now and although not the greatest artist I am certainly a hundred times better than before. I see things differently and in detail and I would now draw even the most complex item or scene with no worries.
The trick is not to learn how to draw with this book. The trick is to SEE by turning of the left side of your brain which usually tells you what you think you are seeing. This is easier than it sounds with some simple tricks to fool your brain into letting the right side do the work.
When you can SEE things you can DRAW them. So you don't need to learn to draw at all. You always could. Believe me and the book. You will definitely improve in hours and may find that you have a talent you didn't have before.
Highly recommended. I only wish I could show you my before and after drawings.
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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2003
I have to admit this was an impulse buy - browsing, the title caught my eye. The claims were amazing, but any change to my drawing ability would have to rate as an improvement, so off I went with the book.
Rather later than sooner in a way-too-busy schedule I finally went on a long business trip - I'm still on it, in fact - and put Drawing On The Right in my case. After three weeks I was taking digital photos of the results and annoying friends on e-mail going 'will you just look at THIS?????'. I couldn't bring myself to add the rest of the features to one picture of a face, I was so afraid I would detract from the effect of the eyes I'd just drawn.
It is necessary to take time and work at the exercises, as well as properly read the text - it's not all drawing instruction, there's background information and student showings too. The 'how to' part is startlingly small, in fact.
Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain took me in less than a month from drawing as I did when I was about 11, through a freeing-up process, drawing outlines, perspective, profile, head on and three-quarter facial proportions and shading to a point where I can fade out at my desk after a hammeringly busy day and lose twenty minutes happily doodling a recogniseable picture of a collegue, a realistic chair or a banana skin from lunch and be completely awed at what I've just produced.
I found Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain a great place to start learning to draw - something I thought completely beyond me. How to improve and move to other styles and ways of seeing is a different matter, but now there's a basis and confidence that I will not be completely wasting my time I can hardly wait to investigate further.
If you can take the time, it's well worth the effort
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131 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2002
I bought this book in February 2002 and started applying the techniques on 6 Feb. At first I was sceptical, but after doing the exercises (upside-down drawing, negative space et cetera)I decided to do a drawing every day. Within three weeks I had copied exactly the picture of Stravinsky by Picasso, sketched hands which look real. The book is unbelievable, really. Betty Edwards unravels any mystique that you previously thought existed in art. It was so good I've bought one for a friend and will buy another in September for another friend's birthday. It is not about practise it is about connecting shapes. Read it and see!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2004
This is the first book I bought to do with drawing. I've never taken lessons before but always wanted to learn. Betty Edwards makes an excellent teacher. Her simple steps, tips and examples can take you a long way. You do need to devote some time to drawing in your free time and gradually you'll notice the difference in your drawing skills. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who feels they could perfect their skills and to those who are pure beginners.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2006
Quite simply, this should be the first 'teach yourself to be an artist' book that you buy. It addresses the basic reasons why people go wrong, and teaches you how to overcome the problems in a very clear way.

For example, tables normally have four legs of equal length, colour and shape. But drawings which depict tables like this are usually unrealistic and confused. You need to draw what you see - and not what you 'know'.

The book starts off with too much theory, and there's a lot of repetition. Lots of pages that you can skim over. But the improvement in one's results is astonishing.

I got the bug to start drawing and painting, and soon had bought 10 books and borrowed another 10 from the library. When I opened this book, I realised that I only needed a couple of technique books to supplement it. So, many of my purchases are now on their way to eBay...
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2006
I'm an artist and, when drawing in public, people often tell me "I wish I could draw". When they do I immediately recommend they try reading this book. I find it's a book which is very accessible for people with no background in drawing or painting. The main reason I recommend it though is because it focuses on teaching people how to look properly (rather than drawing what they think they see) - which is absolutely vital for any drawing to be effective.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2003
As someone who has studies 'art' for many years, I found that I always understood the principles, but that they never worked for me. Reading this book, I realise that despite everyone telling me to 'look' at things, I never really did. In a remarkabley short period of time I have transformed my abilities, to the extent that my friends and teachers have no idea what has happened.
This book may be pushed as a source for ground breaking, revolutionary theories, but really, it just teaches you how to draw. Everyone I know who has seen this book has found it beneficial, regardless of their ability, or interest levels.
Fabulous. It can also be used as a flick through reference, if there's not enough time to read it through - the index is comprehensive, even though if you read it chapter by chapter, it's not hard to get through.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2004
This is a truly inspirational book. I read it all the way through in record time as I couldn't wait to get started on the exercises. I think my drawing skills have improved immensely as I now really 'look' at what I am drawing and not draw what I 'think' I see. Betty Edwards has a very easy style, she gives loads of encouragement all the way through. It is obvious she knows her subject. Even if you think you 'know it all' you will learn something from this book. A must for any artist's book shelf, in my opinion. I have sent for the workbook now and The Artist Within. I am encouraging my son to read this book also.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2003
Before I read this book the extent of my drawing prowess was badly drawn stick people. Within a couple of days, having learned to turn off my extremely dominant left brain, I was drawing unbelievably well. Through this book I have discovered that I too can draw, and it has given me a hobby which is not only enriching but life enhancing.
I cannot recommend this book too highly! If you buy it you really won't be disappointed.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2004
This is an eye-opening book that can change your life.
Like many, despite so-called "art-classes" at school I never learned to draw beyond the level of child-like scribbles.
This book was a revelation. I had no idea that even "talentless" individuals like myself could actually learn to draw, and to a pretty decent standard too. By following the exercises in this book, you progress with astonishing rapidity from "can't draw" to "can draw". Not only that, you learn to see differently which can transform your appreciation of the world around you.
I think this is an all time classic book that anyone who would like to draw should have. The results are truly remarkable, not least because you see real progress on day one.
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