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The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain [Paperback]

Betty Edwards
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)


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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 (323)
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Book Description

August 30, 1999 0874774241 978-0874774245 2nd Revised & enlarged

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.

Over the last decade, Dr. Edwards has refined her material through teaching hundreds of workshops and seminars. Truly The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, this edition includes:

  • the very latest developments in brain research
  • new material on using drawing techniques in the corporate world and in education
  • instruction on self-expression through drawing
  • an updated section on using color
  • detailed information on using the five basic skills of drawing for problem solving


Translated into thirteen languages, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used drawing-instruction guide. People from just about every walk of life—artists, students, corporate executives, architects, real estate agents, designers, engineers—have applied its revolutionary approach to problem solving. The Los Angeles Times said it best: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is "not only a book about drawing, it is a book about living. This brilliant approach to the teaching of drawing . . . should not be dismissed as a mere text. It emancipates."



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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 2nd Revised & enlarged edition (August 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874774241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874774245
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Betty Edwards is professor emeritus of art at California State University. She is the author of The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, the world's most widely used drawing instructional.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
237 of 248 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the 1989 edition of "Drawing..." September 16, 1999
Format:Paperback
I'm in a drawing course at a community college where the instructor has used the 1989 edition for a number of years with good results. Needing the book, I purchased the new edition (by mistake) through Amazon and must return it. However, having now reviewed both books, I believe that the new edition suffers by comparison.
There are too many mechanical aids required in the new edition, and the mechanics of their application is poorly and vaguely explained, which will discourage some people. My general feeling is also that the author is stretching to revitalize the work and, in the process, has weakened its impact.
Though I find her work valuable and helpful, I'm distracted by the lengthly and repetitious discussions about the need to silence the left brain and to allow the right brain to function. A great deal of verbiage could have been saved if most of this was edited out and replaced by a short phrase to simply remind the reader of this necessity.
However, having said these things, let me also say that I have found the book to be valuable and helpful in my own efforts to gain solid drawing skills that should allow me to render better value sketches before I start my watercolors.
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248 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It took me from stick men to portraits in three days. December 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I can't emphatize how good this book is. I used to consider myself absolutely useless at drawing. I barely managed to pass exams at art classes at school. Now I am drawing fairly decent portraits from almost everyone I know. The book focueses on seeing the things' real shapes and it is just this non rational, non mathematically based approach that makes it work. I used to have big problems with proportions and perspective, and Betty Edwards made me realise it's all a matter of looking at things with loving attention (and not attaching a name to the bit you are drawing). This book has made me realise I've lost many years of my life blocking myself as an artist. Drawing is a skill that everyone can learn. Do it with this book!
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beginner's Drawing Book January 22, 2002
Format:Paperback
Seems to be a lot of reviews here that hate Edwards and a lot that love her. I think this is a great book, but only for getting your drawing skills up to a certain level of competency. I am glad I read the book and would recommend it to anyone like me.
I took up the pencil about two months ago and have never had any drawing instruction previously. After spending about three weeks with her book, practicing 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.
That is what Edwards' book will do for you. It will not make you an artist; it will teach you a skill, quickly. I don't want to get dragged into who is and who is not an artist, but consider this book more like how to ride a bike, not on how to be a cyclist.
Regarding the two mind theory, I say skim through all of the bits about the brain, but don't skip it. Whether or not it is proven is unimportant. The concept of two brains is proven as an effective model for teaching drawing, and that is all that is important.
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104 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is absolutely the best book on drawing in print January 7, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have a degree in commercial art and learned more about drawing from this book than I did in four years of undergraduate instruction. If you practice everyday what Ms. Edwards teaches you will be drawing as good as any professional artist in six months. This really is the best book on drawing ever published!
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96 of 105 people found the following review helpful
By Jim
Format:Paperback
I taught myself how to draw passably well when I was a kid and have been drawing sporadically ever since. Recently, however, I wanted to really learn to draw - to really understand form and how to represent it on paper. I practiced constantly, but I wasn't really improving on my own, so I started reading art instruction books to expose myself to new ideas that might help me improve my drawing. The first book I read was "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", which I chose because I had heard so much about how great it was. I was expecting it to be profound in some way. I read it very carefully to the end and completed all of the exercises, but about halfway through I realized it wasn't giving me any new ideas at all.
The book is written for ABSOLUTE beginners in drawing - if you have been drawing for any length of time there are other books that will be much more helpful to you. If you are just starting out in drawing, if you haven't drawn since you were a kid, this book should be extremely useful. It explains drawing on a much more basic level than any other book I have ever read, but that is exactly what absolute beginners need. It would be difficult to try to write a sentence before learning the alphabet, and this book teaches the "alphabet" of drawing. But if you can already write, even at a basic level, reviewing the alphabet would be a waste of time.
I really dislike the actual style the book is written in; Edwards is egotistical and she spends too much time on subjects that are not directly related to learning to draw, for example, several pages are spent defending the "right brain/left brain" theory and too much space is spent throughout the book giving examples of "evidence" for her theory.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Isn't much different than her first book
Published 2 days ago by Sharon Thornal
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
I found this book that make me live better I love this writer It is so clear and deep in his teaching thanks amazon for the opportunity to have it
Published 18 days ago by ClaudiaElizabeth Yepes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great drawing basics
This book is an excellent place for artists both casual and professionals-to-be. It gives you a fantastic starting place for you to learn the fundamentals of art in easy to read... Read more
Published 3 months ago by onupa
3.0 out of 5 stars I need to tell you more when I finish the book..
See my discussion on the workbook… I am learning how to really look at things, and how to analyze them visually, rather than cognitively. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anne Reads
5.0 out of 5 stars Those who want to learn to draw from nothing this is the book you are...
For those who were not blessed with a chance to take a formal drawing class this is the book that will teach you how to draw if all you can do is stick figures. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J.Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars For serious students and amatures alike
Just beginning and want to do well in drawing and building your confidence, this is the book or resource for you. Simply great and thorough. Read more
Published 4 months ago by bubbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
If you want to understand process - this is a valuable book because it explains how the creative side works.
Published 5 months ago by suzanne s. fischer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
I love this book. It contains all sorts of drawing exercises to help students increase their drawing skills. The ideas can be adapted for students of all ages.
Published 6 months ago by Nancy L. Long
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic book for drawing instruction.
I need more self discipline to keep drawing at home, this book gives me inspiration and direction. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to improve their drawing skills.
Published 6 months ago by Silvia
5.0 out of 5 stars Standby must have book for art teachers and artists
This is THE go to book which I use to teach adults and older children beginning drawing (I modify some of the ideas for the children) I swear by this book, my high school art... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Angela Ranzoni
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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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