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246 of 259 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It took me from stick men to portraits in three days.
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...
Published on December 22, 1999

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235 of 245 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the 1989 edition of "Drawing..."
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...
Published on September 16, 1999 by bhamby_99@yahoo.com


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235 of 245 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the 1989 edition of "Drawing...", September 16, 1999
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (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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246 of 259 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
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (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 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Beginner's Drawing Book, January 22, 2002
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This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (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 113 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
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (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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94 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for absolute beginners, not for intermediate students, March 24, 2004
By 
Jim (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (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. The book could be about half the length it is and still offer the same amount of useful information.
So far "The Natural Way to Draw" and "The Practice and Science of Drawing" have been much more useful to me. I would recommend them over Edward's book to intermediate students like myself who are trying to learn advanced concepts.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can Make An Artist Out Of Anyone!, May 26, 2000
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Paperback)
I made abstract art for two decades but it took this book, and a matching course I took at my local Ursuline College, to convince me that I could also learn realism. Today, I continue to improve in drawing recognizable people, a feat which used to be totally beyond me. This book shows you ways of tricking your brain into shifting sides so that you can "see" people and objects in the three dimensional world the way only a few "artistic" people otherwise seemed capable of seeing and then depicting.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for those with no confidence, January 22, 2003
By 
c. p. (Canberra, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Paperback)
I can understand why some previous reviewers who already have developed skills in drawing would see this book as overrated but I think that it is heavily aimed at those who believe that they can't draw and who are radically unsure of how to begin. My own experience was that this book debunked some of my core beliefs about drawing: I can't draw because I don't have the manual skill; people who can draw are dismissive of those who are not as able as them; there is no use in trying if I can't become a brilliant artist; etc, etc.
This book made me realise for the first time, despite attending art classes for many years at school, that drawing well is not about the dexterity of your hand but about how you see things, the approach you take to looking at an object and how you translate that to the page. Not having a scientific background, I am not able to judge the accuracy of Edwards's use of right/left brain theory but in some ways the 'truth' of it is irrelevant. What is important is that you recieve the confidence to give it a go and to persist, and not be intimidated by those more advanced than you. Subjectively, I have found that time spent drawing is a very different experience to my usual language based pursuits, and I do feel that I'm stretching hitherto unused faculties, whatever side of the brain they are on.
I would strongly recommend this book to any beginners interested in improving their ability to draw what they see. Practising this is no less of an artistic endeavour than any other - the element of originality and self-expression exists in everyone's unique way of seeing and interpreting things around them, This book simply helps you to pay more attention.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty years later, the journey begins again, September 4, 1999
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Paperback)
As in the first two editions of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", Dr. Betty Edwards once more presents the beginning student of drawing with that same seemingly impossible task: copy a Picasso sketch. . .upside down!

And thus begins the journey into that part of the brain that most of us didn't know exists, where we meet the artistic genius within us all. True to her scientific approach to teaching the basics of drawing, Dr. Edwards updates her twice-before best-seller with over 50% new material based on recent research into the workings of the human brain. Some lessons are moved around and to her list of the 5 basic skills that make up realistic drawing (perception of edges; negative space; relationships; light and shadow; and of the whole) Dr. Edwards adds 2 more: memory and imagination.

Perhaps most telling are the "before and after" illustrations showing how much one can learn in just a few days of instruction and diligent practice. The obviously painful, labored scrawls of adults discouraged from drawing since childhood sit next to drawings that exude confidence and ease. The reader is amazed when he or she can look upon a similar pair of images produced in the first few days of reading the book.

Amazingly, the paperback cover price of this most recent edition is a single dollar more than the 1989 cover price. Consider it a bargain.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From doodles to masterpieces, October 16, 2000
By 
S. L. Dickinson (Johannesburg, South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Paperback)
I have the First Edition, but if the rave reviews are anything to go by, the updated edition is even better. If you want to learn to paint in watercolour, the first step is to learn to see. "But I CAN see!" you exclaim. Read on ... Betty Edwards could teach ANYONE to draw. She gives simple, practical drawing exercises, systematically breaking down our preconceived ideas of what we THINK things look like. This brilliant book literally teaches us how to see. She also includes "before" and "after" drawings to show us the amazing results of following her methods. EVERY artist should own this book. And anyone who claims they cannot draw should definitely own this book.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Anxious to Thrilled, September 26, 2002
As an individual who never thought I had any potential to draw, this book completely thrilled me. Edwards explained that drawing has more to do with seeing than the actual mechanics of drawing (which supposedly, we're all pretty good at). She takes you through steps and examples that help you pick up on these basics of seeing as an artist sees. The book is full of drawing "tasks" that lets the eager beginner get started right away. These tasks are designed to teach you new things while producing surprisingly good drawings. Of course this book won't make you an amazing artist overnight- but I did see that overnight I went from drawing at a child's level to producing things I never thought I could. It seems like there are two groups of people. Those who have had some sort of art training don't find this simple, easy to read book as amazing as the author tends to make it sound. However, those, like myself, who draw stick figures and smiley faces- calling it art, see this book as some sort of miraculous cure for the cheesy drawings we dislike so much. I recommend this book to anyone who feels anxious or hopeless when it comes to drawing. Anyone who has surpassed that level would probably be best off getting the opinion of someone closer to the artistic level they are currently at.
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The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (Paperback - August 30, 1999)
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