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Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition Paperback – April 26, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 632 customer reviews

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  • Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

2013 Nautilus Books for a Better World Silver winner as Best Creative Process Book

About the Author

Betty Edwards speaks regularly at universities, art schools, and companies. Now retired from her position as professor emeritus of art at California State University in Long Beach, Edwards received her doctorate from UCLA in art, education, and the psychology of perception. Dr. Edwards has been profiled on the Today show and in Time, among other magazines and newspapers. She lives in California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 4 edition (April 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585429201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585429202
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (632 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The '89 edition is far superior to the 4th. In the 4th, the paper is thin enough to see through. Many of the drawing instructions are reproduced far too light and hard to see, much less to study. The chapter on color is GONE. Most of the interesting and informative margin notes are gone (though the space is still there), and the few that are there are in print so tiny it's not easy to read. In chapter 6, the student is advised to lift lights to create shadows, but this is not really taught until chapter 10 on lights and shadows. Why is this thrust on the student in chapter 6 when they haven't been taught it yet and may end up doing it in an incorrect way? And last, the index is incomplete, and I had to go through many pages in order to find things, since all the pages for a subject were not listed. The '89 edition is excellent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because I could not find my copy of the Revised Edition, a book that is worth reading and studying over and over. I thought so much of the book and its lessons that I decided to order the newest edition. The day before the new edition arrived I found my dog-eared, page-stained copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and revisited a couple of my favorite pages.

Today the newest edition arrived. It might be a masterpiece in it's genre, but I'll never know. The type face is so small I, literally, cannot read the side bars, and reading the body text is not much better. The amount of ink used for the impressions is minimal and adds to the difficulties. A book does no good if half of it cannot be read and the other half is difficult to read due to typeface or any other physical limits. A direct comparison of font size between the two books makes it very apparent it isn't just a grumpy whiny old man's grump of the day.

Publisher should be ashamed. If I can read the last edition with no problems I think I should be permitted to read the latest edition just as easily.
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Format: Paperback
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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By Cori on July 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
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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