Episode Eleven

Another significant period between posts. The positive is that I did follow through and revisit the Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain preinstruction activities. 

This was something I had planned to do pretty much since the inception of this blog. I thought it would allow me to compare and track my progress in a fairly quantifiable manner for each twelve month block as I (hopefully) continue to draw and develop.

Of course, it was also fraught with danger. What if the improvements weren’t as profound as I hoped? What if my perception of how much I have improved wasn’t reflected on the drawings in front of me? What would this do to my motivation? Would something this benign be the end of me before I have even really begun?

Thankfully, no such negative outcome so far. I mean, sure, I’m not drawing quite as much as I would like to lately but that is simply life getting in the way and hopefully it will resolve in the next handful of weeks. Am I disappointed with my progress? To be honest, at times I am but only when comparing myself to others- some of the ‘motivational’ progress checks on line are anything but. Perhaps that is simply ego talking or some weird sense of competition that really isn’t necessary for what I am trying to achieve. When I stand back and consider where I started, my circumstances and just how erratic I can be at times when it comes to consistency if nothing else these drawings prove to me that I just need to trust the process, embrace the grind and keep trying. Despite the fact I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near a competent level it does reinforce that with enough time and investment of effort I will continue to get better.

The three exercises, for those unfamiliar, include a drawing of your hand, the famous upside down Stravinsky and a self portrait. On to the pictures:

Self Portrait- preinstruction:

Self Portrait- one year on:

While still not a good drawing, and certainly not my best effort, the difference between these two is undeniable. I’m not a complete loon- I know this is largely due to what a complete shit show the first effort is! I kind of cheated here too. Instead of using a mirror, I’m using a photo from my ID card which is bloody tiny. I wonder if this is holding me back and lean towards this being the case as evidenced by just how frustrating this was to complete.

Hand- preinstruction:

Hand- one year on:

I raced through this, and in some respects I feel the first one is better. What was I saying about commitment?

Upside Down- preinstruction:

Upside Down- one year on:

I know some will question the validity of repeating an exercise like this and I guess that is fair. Instead of the goals of the exercise as per the book, I used it as an opportunity to assess my ability to judge size and placement by eye. Obviously the first one has a critical flaw in that it has no border which does complicate this. While the second effort is improved it isn’t perfect- and any time I saved on the hand was burnt epically in just how long I laboured over this.

Overall, I’m glad I took the time to do this and think it was valuable in gauging just where I am. Sure, it took a while for me to actually post but hopefully I’ll sort that for next year!

Thanks for looking and if anyone has any advice or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



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