Gestural Drawing

Last week we had an exciting art class, where I taught young artist how to make ‘Gestural Drawing’. I pasted on the wall a drawing of a famous personality. But it was pasted in such a way they could not make out who that person was. They simply had to record with their eyes, every detail, and copy them on their drawing pad. With no language to describe, and no Left Brain activity, they  simply had to register every possible detail and use only their Right Brain. In 15 minutes time, we had some interesting record of what exactly they saw.

The concept of right brain and left brain thinking developed from the research in the late 1960s of an American psycho-biologist Roger W Sperry. He discovered that the human brain has two very different ways of thinking. One (the right brain) is visual and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The other (the left brain) is verbal and processes information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole. Sperry was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1981.

When you start a drawing, you need to  visualize the final art in your mind (right brain, working from the whole), then develop the drawing, choosing the elements, putting in the right tones and values, placing in the shadows and highlights (right brain, working on various things simultaneously).


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