The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
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The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  61,866 ratings  ·  383 reviews
When Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was first published in 1979, it hit the New York Times bestseller list within two weeks and stayed there for more than a year. In 1989, when Dr. Betty Edwards revised the book, it went straight to the Times list again. Now Dr. Edwards celebrates the twentieth anniversary of her classic book with a second revised edition.

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Paperback, Third Edition, 291 pages
Published August 30th 1999 by Tarcher (first published 1979)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Fiya
This book is a double-edged sword: On one side you have this immediate almost magical improvement in your drawing, on the other hand it's not good for long term improvement.

My first drawing after reading just a few chapters, blew my mind away. It was a self-portrait and I could not believe that I had drawn it. After all, it takes months of practice not reading of a few chapters from a book to improve drawing, right?

The downside is that you only learn to copy what you see in front of you. You don...more
Robin
I've had several abortive attempts to learn to draw and paint over the last ten years. Part of the problem is that I become frustrated at how difficult it is to draw accurately and in proportion, and invariably put away my pencils and sketchbooks after a series of failures. And then, a year or two later, I try again, with a new how-to-draw book and vigor, only to repeat the process.

Recently I unearthed my box of accumulated art supplies and drawing books, and noticed the orange spine of Betty Ed...more
Trevor
I’ve just finished reading a A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future – essentially a series of book reviews on books the author found interesting and in which he hopes to be able to draw together ideas in those books into a bit of an overarching theory. He wasn’t quite successful, but he did remind me of this book and that has to be a good thing.

I read this book about ten years ago at a dark time in my life when I had just separated and moved out from the ex-wife. I had never b...more
Garrett Zecker
I can't believe that I am going to say this, but there is a chance that after reading this book and doing the exercises that I can draw a little bit. I mean, really. My drawings at this stage without too much more practice resemble the album covers of emo-teens with acoustic guitars, but I am certainly doing much better than Napoleon Dynamite. Big time. I think the approach to art that it presents is really intriguing - that we are primarily hammered into left-brain dominance through the acquisi...more
Parka
Coincidentally, one week before I bought the book at the bookshop, there was a student asking for 5 copies. This is a very popular title that frequently pops up when people ask for recommendation on books that teach drawing. Reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive, which is not a surprise.

This book not only teaches you how to think (and not think) when drawing, but also teaches you the techniques to draw. In short, it teaches the approach and the techniques. Drawing on the Right Side of th...more
Firman Widyasmara
Masih takut menggambar? Atau tidak percaya dengan term kebisaan menggambar itu sendiri? Jangan khawatir :) Bahasan terpenting dalam buku ini adalah: SEMUA ORANG BISA MENGGAMBAR. Idenya seru, dan dengan teknik yang juga seru. CUma modal satu hal: latihan. :D.

Bocorannya tekniknya: instead of latihan menggambar wajah orang dengan modal cermin atau selembar foto dengan cara konvensional, hari ini coba latihan sketsa dengan modal selembar foto wajah siapa saja di tangan anda. Caranya? Ambil kertas, p...more
Teri Anderson
This is a workbook that goes with the main text, The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain . It has more exercises than the main text (40 exercises, in fact). This workbook has minimal explanation compared with the main text-- the latter delves a great deal into brain hemisphere function and ways to access those parts that are best for drawing, whereas the workbook only focuses on actual drawing. So I think of the main text as the "teacher text," this workbook as the "student text," and the...more
Teri Anderson
My son and I are currently working through this with the accompanying DVD and workbook. I've never drawn from life before (only from two-dimensional photographs), but already a few lessons in, I've been doing so (see images below, which were done in an 8-day period)! Progress is impressively rapid with this method. I've never had more fun with a book! We're using this as a homeschool art curriculum and will continue to use it through the 2012-2013 school year.

I think of this main text as the "te...more
Yoby
I had an art class that used this book as one of the textbooks. It immeadiately changed the way I viewed things. It was one of the pivotal books of my life (I ought to include that as a tag.)

When I home-schooled my then suicidal teen daughter and sat her down with this book, she flipped through it for 15 minutes, and started drawing as if she had been taking lessons her whole life. She found a talent she didn't know she had (and several others, but not because of this book.)

I highly recommend it...more
Sarah

هذا كتاب باللغة الانجليزية رااائع جدا ،،
يحاول أن يجعل المرء يتصل بالجانب الأيمن من دماغه ،وهو الجانب المعني بالفن والإبداع ،،
رحلة عبر العقل ومحاولة لتعلم طربقة التفكير في الفن ،،
فيه تمرينات ممتازة لبعض الرسومات والتقنيات الأساسية في الرسم مفيدة جدا خاصة للمبتدئين ،،
أنصح به لكل مهتم ،، وهناك نسخ الكترونية على الشبكة ،،
Jose
Great book for beginners and people that "think" they can not draw. Whether it's the right side or the left side or your knees that do the thinking, its quite irrelevant and I wish the author didn't put so much stake on the dubious inner workings and preliminary science of the mind. What is useful is the series of exercises that allow students to disconnect from the symbolic and verbal way of thinking when taking a realistic approach to drawing. This goes for painting as well in many aspects. I...more
Sarah
Oct 15, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: People who feel they can't draw
Recommended to Sarah by: Art teacher
This is the book my art teacher used to teach us when I was in my early teens. It's actually got some good ideas in there, with alot of jargon that I didn't understand (and didn't really care to, you don't miss much). Looking back, I appreciate some of the lessons I learned from it. Even if you think you can't draw, give this a chance! Forget that you think all your drawings look like a kid's, and try it, it really was good for me.

The main idea seems to be that we draw what we THINK we see, not...more
Randy Lacelle
Apr 03, 2008 Randy Lacelle rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who has failed at drawing before
Recommended to Randy by: found it in a bookstore
Shelves: art-books, drawing
This book was very helpful to me when I began to really draw. Betty convinces you that you can draw no matter what... maybe part of it is that placebo effect but that never worked for me before :P

Anyways she has alot of good information in the book, she also has some exercises I found helpful in forcing your mind to study a image and each part of it in concordance with other parts to attempt to more accurately depict your drawing. In other words it helps your image stay as close in proportions t...more
Timothy
An excellent book for anyone interested in art; most of the focus is on perception and is beneficial for all skill levels. It took me a while to read since I followed all of the exercises, to get anything out of this book I recommend doing the exercises (otherwise I'm not sure any of it would make sense)

One could make a strong argument against the "R-mode" and "L-mode" naming conventions, however, the very proven pedagogical basis is hard to fault. Call it "accessing your visual cortex" if you d...more
Louisiana Levy
This is probably the best book you could read to improve your skills at drawing. The key being that this book teaches you how to 'see'. In order to draw with accuracy it is necessary to let go of your preconceived notions about what things 'should' look like and using symbols to represent features rather than observing what is actually there. This book is an amazing tool for learning how to work with your own brain and become really observant and powerful artistically. I have seen it make a huge...more
Kat
I found an improvement in my drawing after reading this book and doing the exercises. If nothing else, the idea that drawing is not a matter of manual dexterity (according to Edwards if can write decently, you can draw), it is a matter of how you look at objects and interpret it on paper was a boon. It made me stop thinking that I couldn't draw, and I couldn't learn to draw. I mean you must be able to learn to draw; think back to the days when an "accomplished" lady had to be able to speak Itali...more
Richard Haddad
I’m still going through this book so I will write up a more complete review in time but I will comment on what I think of it so far.

Betty Edwards seems to express herself quite well in the way she teaches and the methods she uses to bring an absolute beginner from nothing to actually having a chance at art. She focuses so much on activating the creative side of the brain, or the right side of the brain. In order to do that, she teaches you how to train your eyes to see properly and then drawing...more
Monica
The reviewers are right. This is a wonderful book in teaching you how to see, and then how to draw. Essentially, to be able to draw is not about the skill of the hand but the ability of the eye to see.

The exercises help you learn to see:

1)edges (contours)
2)negative space
3)perspective and proportion and using a basic unit as measurement
4)light and shadow
5)wholeness

I think it is important to do all the exercises as it did give me a little more confidence. These are 5 essential skills, and as we m...more
Thomas Luca
I actually picked this up because of the title, yeah I was deeply focused and involved in the basics of drawing in those days and sometimes still am, so I thought this would be an interesting read? As it turns out I was right and glad I bought it too, it is amazing!
Betty wrote it very clear, concise and simple to understand especially for the beginner in mind. I like the fun little exercises inside too. And you know what? They really work! Know keep in mind I was just a beginner then and when I...more
Heather
This book was recommended to me by an art teacher.

Yes, I was fascinated by art, love photography and crafts. But felt I was unable to competently draw. I had given up even trying to draw, even though I had enjoyed art and drawing as a child.

I love the realization that everyone, even you and me, has the ability and talent to draw - to be artistic. This book will help you to connect with this side of yourself that is often dormant or hidden.

This is a wonderful journey into the brain! Read the boo...more
Wesley Harney
I was impressed at first by the book, and I certainly have seen some improvement in my drawing but I think that after I read some critical reviews of the author and how "it is just copying" I became discouraged and became to find fault with the book. I don't disregard it because I have seen myself draw a few things that I never thought I could manage. However, when I'm not doing the specific exercises my drawing is no where near the quality of what the book claimed I should see. I suppose though...more
Laura Potts
I am glad I read the book and would recommend it to anyone like me. I started pencil drawing about three months ago and have never had any drawing instruction previously. After spending about three weeks with this book, practicing for about 2-3 hours a day, I am now at a skill level where I feel comfortable (dare I say proud) to show my drawings to my friends. I am no longer afraid (out of embarrassment) to sign up for classes with the Art Students' League!
Mie
Love this book which gave me back the joy of drawing!
I joined 3 art classes where our teacher used this book. I stopped drawing when I was 12 because I wasn't good at all. Now 40 years later after the first few classes and a lot of practice everyone including myself are very pleased with what I draw.
I is so wonderful and it's giving you peace of mind only focused on one thing: the drawing infront of you.
Kirstin Crossland
this book can bring out the artist in anyone! I thought I couldn't draw a straight line and started the exercises in this book and was amazed at myself. my confidence grew as my drawing improved. this will never be more than a hobby for me but now it is a more rewarding hobby!
Jonathan
Frankly, this book's method has all the hallmarks of pseudoscientific snake oil: breathless testimonials on the back, anecdotes in the first chapter, and its own made-up lingo (it's easy to draw when you're in R-mode!). I picked it up because I'd heard lots of good things about it, because I could stand to be a lot more creative, and because I couldn't draw to save my life.

It's true that the author is prone to wax poetic about the drawing process; at one point, for instance, she suggests you dra...more
Jessica at Book Sake
Regardless if you want to be an artist or not, this book is kind of an interesting read. It delves into the mysteries of the mind. It explores all the roadblocks that the pesky left brain builds to keep us from being the next Leonardo da Vinci.

This is actually the book form of a live, instructional course taught by the writer. So there are mental exercises that are used to strengthen the right brain and force the left brain into the background. This is both a positive and negative. It’s positive...more
Bombus-pascuorum
This book's title and content would lead one to believe that it attempts to ride the "right-brain-left-brain" car that a lot of pop science publications have been driving for a long time, searching for some fundamental division of human faculties linked to the actual division between the hemispheres of a cerebrum.

One's beliefs would be justified, as the book follows the left-right-brain story intently. It's not really the crux of the book, however.

From my perception of the book, it is easy and s...more
Margaret
As we start our homeschooling journey I am often looking to the future for possible choices for curriculum and resources. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is definitely a resource I plan to keep around. Art is something that has always escaped me. I remember in elementary school there was a teacher who walked around to different classrooms with a cart teaching art, but that is all I remember. I do not remember any of our classes or really learning anything in that situation. I remember doi...more
Nagy Enikő
I had been very skeptic about this book's content and the topic of the functions of right and left side brain. I am still for the matter.

What I want to say about the book that is completely amazing, how the technics in it are helping to achieve me to be a better drawer and thinker. (I am still reading at the moment.)

I am always occupied how we can change our thinking habits and make it more usable. I am not the kind who thinks in the law that we are "made at birth". That isn't the why we aren't...more
Maiken
1) This book is based on a completely outdated view on neuroscience, the left brain-right brain terminology is nonsensical, 2) This is not a book for people interested in learning how to draw in a classical sense, I recommend lessons in classical drawing by Juliette Aristides for instance, she knows the craft, and knows what she's talking about, 3) The exercises do not teach you how to draw, instead they are meant to teach you how to tap into a creative flow whatever that may be (if Betty Edward...more
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saaalam 1 8 Aug 16, 2013 07:50AM  
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“Over the last forty years, many educators, decision-makers, and even some parents have come to regard the arts as peripheral, and let’s face it, frivolous—especially the visual arts, with their connotation of ”the starving artist” and the mistaken concept of necessary talent” 3 likes
“Paper: Some inexpensive plain bond paper A pad of Strathmore Drawing Paper, 80 lb., 11" × 14" Pencils: A #2 ordinary yellow writing pencil with an eraser at the top A #4 drawing pencil—Faber-Castell, Prismacolor Turquoise, or other brand Marking pens: Sharpie (or other brand) fine point non-permanent black A second marker, fine point permanent black Graphite stick: #4 General’s is a good brand, or other brand Pencil sharpener: A small handheld sharpener is fine Erasers: A Pink Pearl eraser A Staedtler Mars white plastic eraser A kneaded eraser—Lyra, Design, or other brand Masking tape: 3M Scotch Low Tack Artist Tape Clips: Two 1-inch-wide black clips Drawing board: A firm surface large enough to hold your 11" × 14" drawing paper—about 15" × 18" is a good size. This can be improvised from a kitchen cutting board, a piece of foam board, a piece of Masonite, or thick cardboard. Picture plane: This too can be improvised using an 8" × 10" piece of glass (you will need to tape the edges), or an 8" × 10" piece of clear plastic, about 1⁄16" thick. Viewfinders: You will make these from black paper—“construction” paper is a good thickness, or you could use thin black cardboard. You will find instructions for making the viewfinders here A small mirror: About 5" × 7" that can be taped to a wall, or any available wall mirror.” 0 likes
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