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Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain [Paperback]

by Betty Edwards
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition 4.7 out of 5 stars (290)
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Book Description

May 1, 1989 0874775132 978-0874775136 Revised
Edwards uses the latest in brain research to explain how anyone can learn to draw more accurately and creatively. This edition contains a new illustrated section in color, several fully revised chapters, new sample drawings, and a new section on handwriting.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Betty Edwards is professor emeritus of art at California State University in Long Beach, California. She is the author of The New Drawing on the Right Side of the, the world's most widely used drawing instructional, which has been translated into thirteen foreign languages with U.S. sales of almost three million copies. She speaks regularly at universities, art schools, and companies, including the Walt Disney Corporation and the Apple Corporation.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Revised edition (May 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874775132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874775136
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
160 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlocking your creative abilities. February 10, 2005
I bought this book years ago, and it taught me how to dramatically improve my drawing skills.

I believe people who are blocked from drawing well will get the most from this book. More accomplished artists may benefit as well by understanding better how the process works.

It shows you how to look at things differently, and uses different techniques to enable you to bypass your left (logical) brain, and access your right brain, (your subconscious mind), hence the title.

Instead of using left brain- right brain theory to describe this, in my view the more correct description would be to learn to access your subconscious mind which functions at a deeper level, while reducing the way in which your conscious mind interferes with the creative process.

Your brain has four levels of consciousness, beta which is normal waking state, alpha which is a relaxed meditative state such as when you are about to go to sleep, theta which is a deeper state associated with creativity and light sleep, and delta which is deep sleep.

Normally, your brain shows shows some activity at all these levels. Artists and other creative people are able to access the creative mental state more easily.

Here is an example of how the process works.

If you try to draw a chair you may have a definite idea in your logical mind of how a chair should be, so when you draw you are thinking 4 legs, a seat and a back. You know all the legs are the same length, and therefore you may draw that way.

This can interfere with you doing a good drawing, because each leg from an artistic viewpoint is longer or shorter depending on the distance from your eye, so you have to learn how to use your vision to see it differently.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! July 27, 2004
By Cori
I have always considered myself to be an artist who couldn't draw. I work as a graphic and multimedia designer and I am an avid watercolourist - but to pick up a pencil and sketch would terrify me. This book sat on my shelf for years before I summoned the courage to crack it open and start to learn to draw. My motivation was to be able to draw the scenes I would experience on my summer vacation to the Maritimes....I merely wanted to be able to draw realistic buildings and figured that the human form was beyond me...well, let me tell you --I never thought it could be so simple! Now I am drawing realistic hands and objects, full of depth and realism. I feel like an artist who can draw (and draw well) and it took me only a bit over a week (in the evenings) and some practice. I love how easy Edwards makes it seem and I am so glad to have had the chance to read this book and apply its principles. I highly recommend it to anyone who is too scared to pick up a drawing pencil and bring some life to a plain sheet of paper!
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will improve your drawing immensely! June 15, 2004
I read this book, and later took a course based on this book. In fact, the book was really all I needed. For anyone who thinks drawing is a talent you have to be born with-check out the drawings by Van Gogh included in this book. It seems Vincent was in despair and was going to give up art, until he read a book on drawing (but not this one!). The author gives a before and after example of Van Gogh drawings. The difference was amazing, and clearly shows that drawing is a skill you can learn, no matter how inept your drawing is at first. Do the tasks in this book, and while you may not draw as well as Vincent (or you may), you will be pleased with the improvement you make.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new way to SEE around and to SEE yourself ! July 28, 1997
By A Customer
"Drawing? No, no, I can't draw. That's the job of artists." Isn't this what most of us say when someone talks about drawing or art? What we don't say is that we also have a secret wish that we can draw like an artist. If you are one of these people, grab this book and you will be amazed by what you can draw by following the author's assignments. She really teaches us how to SEE what's in front of us, rather than by our preconceptions. You learn not only how to draw but a new way of seeing your inner self: being creative and artistic -- something you always are but you didn't believe that you were before reading this book and doing all those drawing exercises
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100 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lo, how the mighty have fallen May 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have had at least two previous editions of this book. They were printed on good stock. The hardback version of the current edition has paper that is thin enough to see the illustration on the next page. That's annoying. The reproductions of the drawings in earlier editions were of good quality and large enough to easily appreciate the differences pre and post-instruction. The reproductions in this edition are muddy-looking compared those in earlier editions. In the earlier versions, there were many examples of pre and post-instruction drawings, especially by kids. Those are all gone. Perhaps someone thought the date of their composition was too old to include them in this "newer" edition. That was a BIG mistake. The pre and post-instruction portraits in this edition are confined to tiny examples on two pages and are badly reproduced. It also looks as though the talent of her students has markedly decreased over the years since the previous editions. This is a big disappointment. I'm sorry I ordered this rather than the earlier one for my young friend. Now I'll have to send him the earlier version and an apology as well. Anyway, Betty Edwards, sue your publisher. Defenestrate your editor, too, if that editor was responsible for removing those great pre and post-instruction drawings contained in the earlier versions. I regret having spent the money on this edition, having talked it up on Facebook, and having waited so eagerly to receive it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It works
Because of this book I learned to draw. This skill has changed the way I see the world literally and I am grateful this resource exists. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Dominic Stanley
5.0 out of 5 stars If I can learn to draw, You can learn to draw
I've tried a lot of"how to draw" books but my stick-figure drawings still looked as though my dog had had an unfortunate accident on a piece of drawing paper. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Crash
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
I had this book in my library many years ago and lost it in a move. I recently purchased it again, and it's just as good as I remember. Highly recommend for new students
Published 19 days ago by New Boarder
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative and precise but use in class environment
This book is very helpful and informative. It does seem to be redundant in this beginning but
wade on through and the instructions are precise. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Jean W
4.0 out of 5 stars Four stars
A used book could be in any condition, on this one the pages are starting to let go. Price is acceptable. Thanks. EJ
Published 24 days ago by Eejay
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic
Arrived as described, but took a little longer than expected. Updated version of the book I learned to draw with and now use for teaching future generations.
Published 1 month ago by Catherine Coulter
5.0 out of 5 stars The right kind of presentation
Look, I'm no book reviewer. But I know what works for me.

I'm a programmer and IT guy. I use the "logical part of my brain", a lot. Read more
Published 1 month ago by KingsRook
1.0 out of 5 stars drawing on the right side of the brain didn't help my understanding of...
I was not helped a great deal by the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" - for practical help in my everyday life.
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn Doyle
1.0 out of 5 stars Unhappy with Condition of Book
I purchased this used copy because it said it was like new. It was filled with highlighter marking and pen markings.
Published 1 month ago by Tanya Coffman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun
I love this book. The exercises are fun. The explanations of left and right brain are very informative. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sandra S. Plulmb
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Topic From this Discussion
Welcome to the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain forum
Can somebody please post the materials list that this book requires? thanks in advance.
Sep 24, 2009 by James Hyden |  See all 5 posts
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