Tag Archives: Betty Edwards

February drawing challenge

Last month’s meditation challenge with the 10% Happier app went pretty good, so I decided to try another challenge for February—this time drawing. I purchased a copy of Betty Edwards’ book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain which I read over twenty years ago when I was in the habit of sketching more frequently. Early on, Edwards suggests working on three preliminary drawings:

  • your hand
  • a self-portrait
  • a person from memory

Day 1: I sketched this while helping Maya with her Math homework one night on a loose white sheet of paper using a Ticonderoga Noir pencil. I didn’t intend to start then but it went pretty quickly, and it didn’t come with the nervousness that I usually feel when starting out in a brand new sketchbook.

Day 2:

Here’s a sketch of Juan for Day 3. (I have yet to draw a person from memory!)

Edwards talked about using a drawing board (using one larger than the one shown). I used a board Maya had stored on a shelf which takes some getting used to as I usually write in a notebook on a table or on my lap. I used a purple color pencil & sketched this in about 5 minutes.

On Day 4, I took a photo of my boots & traced the image using Procreate on an iPad and using an Apple Pencil.

I don’t know how I feel about photo-tracing yet—plus it’s probably outside the logic of using the Betty Edwards book where the purpose is to shift to R-mode when drawing. But on my sub-list of learning to draw is also learning how to use Procreate, Adobe Sketch, & Illustrator.

Day 5 was this vase-face exercise & Day 6 was working on replicating this line drawing of Picasso’s Portrait of Igor Stravinsky—while it is upside-down.

Edwards suggests taking 40 minutes alone without interruption to work on this—in silence if you can. I worked on it for ten minutes and had one interruption. As you can see, I ran out of space for his head!

As of today, I’m a couple of days behind and have some work to do.