Drawing: Still Life

When teaching drawing, I ‘draw’ (how punny) heavily from Betty Edwards’ book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” To warm up for drawing a stil life, students completed some exercises from the book and some modified and adapted exercises from my own experience learning to draw.

One of the warm up exercises was a contour drawing – students are to look at the object they are drawing 60% of the time and the paper only 40% of the time. Another was a blind contour drawing – look at the object 100% of the time and the paper 0% of the time. With these exercises, there is no pressure to make the drawing look like ‘something.’ It is the process that matters.

Another warm up exercise was to work with a partner and draw a design from an index card from the partner’s instructions only – no looking allowed. Students found this activity fun – one even called it ‘relaxing.’ I attributed this to our culture’s prevalence of verbal and linguistic stimulus. For some, it is easier to  draw from verbal instructions than draw from sight. This primarily uses the left side of the brain as opposed to the right. Finally, students used a view finder (a black frame cut out of cardboard) to ‘frame’ their composition and prep for drawing it.

I was very impressed with the results!


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