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Thread: Learning to draw with my off-hand

  1. #1
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    Question Learning to draw with my off-hand

    I was at a party the other night and somehow managed to break my left thumb. Seeing as I draw left-handedly, it really sucks not to be able to draw for three weeks.
    So now I have an ambitious plan; I shall learn to draw with my right hand! The reason I call it ambitious is that just can't draw or write for shit with that hand. Looks like a five-year-old did it.
    So what I'm basically asking for is suggestions for how I should go about all this. I guess I should perhaps start by gaining basic control by drawing circles and stuff?
    Anyone got any interesting stories about people who have learned to draw with their off-hand?

    All help is appreciated.
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  3. #2
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    Old adagio:
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    I find that I can draw with my off hand - it actually tends to be looser, as I'm not expecting greatness from the other paw. Fine details don't work, but I draw bigger, looser, faster - and like some of it better!
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    A few years ago I spent a half hour everyday writing with my left hand for a year. After all that time I could write legibly but it was still awkward and never really felt natural, I tried drawing too but couldn't control at all. I think it takes quite awhile for the muscles needed for that precise control to develop. But then again I've read online that others had totally switched their writing hands and became ambidextrous in even less time. So I guess it depends. But yeah, I would do circles and shapes and basically it was just exercise for my finger muscles. Good luck, I have a feeling your hand will heal before you are able to draw as well as your dominant hand.
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    Using your opposite is like trying to learn things all over again.
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    Hey its fun, and there are professionals whom have used their off hands to draw due to RTS and other injuries.

    I was using my left hand for about 6 weeks to draw too... came out crap, but what the hell, being ambidextrous would be a cool thing.
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    I was thinking the other day whether you would draw the same with both hands after you switched and had used your other hand long enough. Because everyone has their own style and a distinct way they make lines and stuff, I think it's from the way you trained your fingers through the years of practice. Like everybody has different swings in baseball and different strides when walking, everyone has different ways of mark making. So if you use your other hand would it come out different. Like you'd have two distinct styles. Anyone ambidextrous??
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    Concentrate on holding your pencil, resting the hand on the paper, and having the orientation of the paper exactly as you would with your left hand. This requires a lot more awareness than you initially might think.

    Until you get control down, go slow and concentrate. Try to draw subjects that incorporate more organic than geometric lines.
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    Thanks for all your suggestions.

    Did a few test runs a few hours ago. Looked like crap, although I really see how learning to draw has paid off. I still know where to put lines and whatnot, the problem comes when trying to actually control exactly where the pencil is going.

    When I draw with my left hand I hold it almost upside-down. I think this is normal for most lefties, at least those that I've met. However, that just doesn't seem right when using my right hand. Perhaps it's because I do everything 'cept drawing right-handedly?

    Oh well. The experimentation continues. Perhaps I'll post some examples to show how much I suck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iambanana View Post
    ...now I have an ambitious plan; I shall learn to draw with my right hand!

    I've been working on this same plan for 30+ years and still don't have it figured out yet. If you can do it in three weeks then hat's off to ya'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CosmoChimp View Post
    Using your opposite is like trying to learn things all over again.
    Incorrect.

    What you've learned about drawing is already in your brain.
    It's a matter of mustering the motor skills.

    I know Lukias broke his drawing hand once and learned to draw with his other hand. He said some of his best works were produced with that hand.

    That's gotta suck though, I'm paranoid about breaking my drawing hand/arm.
    Good luck!
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    just be careful, this could happen

    Learning to draw with my off-hand
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    I almost think there would be an advantage switching to your off-hand when you have a good amount of drawing experience with your main.

    Here's a theory, but I might just be talking out my ass. Wouldn't it be better training your mind with motor functions/hand muscles simotaneously, for DRAWING? Personally I learned to hold the pencil a certain way in my right hand to write. Then when I started drawing, I held it the same way - But I wasn't writing. Thus my drawings often lack fluidity and looseness, much like my handwriting. (perhaps also because I hold the pencil between ring and middle finger lol. Is that a bad habit?)

    Just tried off-hand drawing, and though lines are a little wobbly, everything comes out much looser and more fluid. Almost makes me want to give up on my right hand now.
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