Sunday, November 11, 2012

Drawing from Life

5 minute pose,
drawn entirely with my left hand.
I took a workshop years ago where my instructor insisted that we draw with our non-dominant hand. At the time I was somewhat less than enthusiastic... I had trouble enough getting the drawing down without a lack of control over what kind of marks I was making. The results were interesting though... everything looked different. As someone whose drawings all looked similar, I was intrigued. So I kept at it, and over the years whenever I went to a life drawing session I made sure to do at least one left handed drawing.

Lately I've been having some trouble with my hands. My doctor tells me it's carpal tunnel, caused by excessive time on the computer. What can you do when that's how you pay the bills? I put on a brace, and kept going. Unfortunately this kind of thing just gets worse over time. Now I'm glad I kept up with that left handed drawing... I've got much more control than when I started. And now that I have a bit more time to get back to the life drawing, it's going to come in handy.

Enter that sketchbook project that I've been putting off. So many themes.... how to decide? I've narrowed it down to "Strangers" or "Memoir". I thought I'd let it stew for a week before I decide. I need to gesso the pages anyway, and if you don't let them dry between spreads they stick together and make a mess when you pull them apart. In the meantime I went off to a life drawing class and found a stranger to draw. I think I'm going to do the whole book as a lefty. It's different and experimental, and I think that's the whole point of the project.

30 minute pose, drawn with both hands alternating. I think the artist parked beside me thought I was a little nuts.
Final 30 minute pose, also drawn with both hands. After 3 hours I was feeling much more comfortable.


  1. I love it when other artists think you're nuts. It means you are on the right track. ;-) Great work.

  2. I can't believe you did these with your non-dominant hand. They're way better than the drawing I do with my dominant hand. They have a really interesting energy.

    1. It's many years of practice... and I disagree, I think your drawings are lovely. Not that I've seen many (hint, hint). :)