Right Brain Drawing
The Art of Color
Right Brain Drawing
Right Brain Drawing
Right Brain Drawing
Right Brain Drawing
The Art of Color

Which School to Choose?

 

 

There are so many Pravopolusharnoe Risovanies on the Russian internet now. How many? Well, it has become like a virus; after 50 pages of Yandex search, I stopped counting. Where did that term come from? Here's the history of it. Back in 2001, I tried to translate Betty Edwards's name for the method, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" into Russian, but it does not translate well. Risovanie na Pravoi Storone Mozga sounds really strange in Russian. So my wife Liudmila thought up Pravopolusharnoe Risovanie (Right-hemisphere drawing) to make it clear what we wanted to teach. We did not patent the name, because it is just two Russian words.

But now, many, Many schools are popping up and using that name because it sounds good, but teaching something else. What do they teach? Painting, mainly, but without the necessary foundation of conscious analysis of forms, and light and shade, and perspective that comes with real drawing.

It is useless to start painting a real object before you can draw it. Of course, they can show you how to dip a brush into red paint and make a convincing poppy. But then what do you know? You know how to do a flat poppy symbol. Symbols, by the way, are part of how the left brain works, so that lesson is not right brain, and not drawing. For real drawing, you have to look at a real poppy, and consciously see its shape, understand why the parts farther away look different from the parts that are closer. To draw or paint the sea, you have to be there at the beach and look at the sea, smell it, hear it, feel the spray, not copy someone's symbol of the sea done in blue paint.

They teach what they call "Intuitive drawing" (painting), which means they don't teach conscious looking: you end up drawing what you think is there, instead of what is really there. Or they teach "Emotional drawing", again painting, which gets even further from reality, and looks even less like the object you are trying to draw. How can you tell if you are on a "Pravopolusharnoe Risovanie" website that teaches something entirely different? If you see brushes and paint right away, or reference to "Intuitive", or the "Emotional side of the brain", it's not the real thing.

So what do we teach? We teach real drawing, with pencils, which is basically conscious looking at real objects, and consciously analyzing their contours, their empty spaces, their perspective, their light and shade. We do also teach painting in color, but that is an advanced course after you can control the forms, and the light and shade.

On several "Pravopolusharnoe Risovanie" sites, they say the method was developed by American psychologists. It wasn't. It was developed by an artist and art teacher, Betty Edwards. When I studied the teaching methods with her, she emphasized that we who teach it are NOT psychologists, NOT therapists, but teach only drawing. I teach people to draw. To consciously look, to know what they are looking for, and to draw realistically any object they see. That means that since they understand why their drawings were successful, they can repeat that success with any subject, even subjects which no one has shown them how to draw.

So who in Russia really teaches "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", (Pravopolusharnoe Risovanie) as Betty Edwards taught it?

I do.

And a couple members of my family to whom I have passed on the technique and rules, do, Liudmila Lester and Alexandra Groznaya, her daughter. As of May 2013, I am training one more person, who will soon be teaching.

Nobody else in Russia.

Most of the few teachers trained by Betty Edwards are in the United States. One, Kristin Newton, is in Tokyo. Betty's son, Brian Bomeisler, teaches once a year in England, the rest of the time in New York or California.

Our course is pretty intensive, but you learn to see and to draw. If you are not ready yet to put in the effort it takes (40 hours of drawing), but would like to relax and have fun for a day, make a handful of pretty pictures, then by all means, there are at least 50 pages of schools in Yandex where you can do that. But you won't learn to See…