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  1. #1
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    Unleash YOUR Dormant Creativity

    How? it's simple. start training the hand you don't currently draw with. (especially if you are right handed)

    I started training my left ( non dominant) hand by doing still lifes and self portraits with it, which was initially very hard. my right hand resented just holding the sketchbook and literally tried to steal the pencil back involuntarily. but i quickly realized that my brain was sending the information differently.

    true we do use both sides of our brain for many tasks, but i've learned to not underestimate the power of hard wiring. your right hand is hard wired to your left brain and your left hand is hard wired to your right brain. so when i draw with my left hand i find that i can tap into subconscious differences in what i draw, they way i consider composition. much research has been done on the benefits of using the right brain to quickly develop as an artist. consider the great book, drawing on the right side of the brain.

    once you've gotten beyond the initial shakiness, you will have an extra reservoir of creativity. you can do sketches with one hand then switch hands and do some more sketches. Once you get more ambidextrous in drawing you might be amazed at how differently the results will be when trying to draw the exact same thing.

    give it a try, you might just find that you like drawing with the other hand better! i did. and this is after i went through art school with my dominant right hand.
    Last edited by Crawley; October 22nd, 2009 at 02:03 PM.


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  3. #2
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    I've been wondering if this really works. I've hit something of a creativity slump lately, and was considering trying this just knowing the way the brains and hands are wired together as you said.
    Sepulverture's Sketchbook Page 1 Page 19
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  4. #3
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    Interesting, i have tried to draw with my left hand before, but i would get so frustrated that i would just switch hands, could never overcome drawing badly if you can draw ok with your regular hand

    although i have learned to use the mouse left handed which i guess it's a start. I might give this a shot again, thanks!

  5. #4
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    I've tried that before, it's kind of fun. I can only make abstracty shapes well with lefty though.

  6. #5
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    yes, it is very frustrating at first. there was construction in my neighbor hood when i first started trying, there was a big earth mover behind our house, so i went back there and started sketching it with my left hand. my right hand was relegated to holding the sketchbook. and the lines i drew were hard to control, but i noticed that the over all proportions were good. by the time i finished i had a drawing that i liked, very shaky lines, but hey shaky gives character right. i just kind of pretended that i was a very old artist loosing motor function, but still making art that was good because of that shaky quality. i also did several self portraits in a mirror. one of the first i did in a ball point pen,
    Attachment 810352
    i really like it still. i had fun with the switch, gave me a whole new way to draw. now it's really cool being ambidextrous with my art. i can switch back and forth depending on the feel of the project.
    Last edited by Crawley; October 23rd, 2009 at 12:59 PM. Reason: add pic

  7. #6
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    My grandmother was a commercial artist and after retirement continued in art as a hobby. In her older years she had a stroke that paralyzed her right arm and left leg. She had to learn to write and function more with just her left. He hand writing was always shaky but her painting was quite amazing considering the circumstances. Her progress was pretty quick too.

  8. #7
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    "Drawing on the right side of the brain", it is a great book, thanks for reminding me to actually put some of the things to use, there is a part where the artist draws the object upside down also.
    I love the drawing you did!!
    It forces you loosen you up so the paintings and drawings aren't so tight, over thought and you learn to flow from a pure creative space.
    I'm doing this later today I think, thanks for the thread!! I need it.

  9. #8
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    When I switched hands it was like using a stranger - I finished in like half the time.
    Lake Hurwitz
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  11. #9
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    Lake: way to pluck the low hanging fruit.

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    I use Lakes method to come up with some very awesome silhouette splotches
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    You're an artist, not a meat camera. -Elwell

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  14. #11
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    eye roll, could we skip the whole masturbation angle of switching hands... i mean, you can start a tread for that if you want " what your missing, double your pleasure!" or something like that. thanks.

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    Sounds like fun, I'll give it a shot sometime.

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawley View Post
    How? it's simple. start training the hand you don't currently draw with. (especially if you are right handed)
    .....
    It's a great experiment, but you do cut some corners in your statements.
    In 'drawing on the right side of the brain' it states that it is not hardcoded infact, but that some people actually have it the other way around. right controls right and lef -> left. Although this is much more uncommon. It can also happen that people have an ambidexterity brain. Left and right both control left and right.
    It is often thought that left handed people (there are probably a million topics about this), are often found more 'creative'. Which COULD be very well true (very difficult to measure), since in general the right brain hemisphere does do the non-linear way of processing information. But as the book also states, switching hands does not make you as a person more creative.
    The main thing that tends to happen is that you change your way of working. And because of that you have a different focus and are more attracted to use your perception in stead of your 'iconic representations' (humans see and realize thing mostly in iconic representations, which are generally stored in the left brain hemisphere. People have icons for eyes, ears, mouth etc. Thats why when you ask someone, who is not an artist, to draw a head they will draw the head in general shape representations: icons.).
    Because you use such an under developed motoric system for something that requires such high developed motorics your brain tends to have troubles, and thats where the switch from your dominant logical (left) hemisphere to your sub dominant (right) hemisphere comes in. That is what you experience. The same would happen if you would start drawing for example with your foot.

    I tested it too, and it is truly a great experiment to see what happens. But at a certain point, the 'creative benefit' you get is lost, or diminished, because you get used to doing that and your brain can use logic again to solve it.
    So yes, developing your 'right' brain hemisphere is essential for an artist, but no, drawing with your left hand does not necessarily result quicker development. There are loads of ways to train your right hemisphere, or switch from dominant left to your sub dominant right. But thats a different discussion .

    But reading 'drawing with the right side of the brain' I could definitely recommend.

  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossmirage View Post
    I've tried that before, it's kind of fun. I can only make abstracty shapes well with lefty though.
    &*^$%& dammit! What's wrong with abstract? ::very disgusted face smiley::

  18. #15
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    DavidSmit: for me the changes have been lasting, not like switching to drawing with my foot. if i just need that kind of loosening up i usually change the way i hold the pencil.(which could be a whole nother topic).

    the benefits that i've noticed lately is that i make different subconscious decisions depending on which hand i draw with. i started drawing with my left about 3 years ago now. i was doing some design sketches a few days ago with my right hand, then for kicks switched to the left and did more sketches.the two groups of drawings had different qualities that i liked. i ended up going with the left handed sketch and tightening it up left handed. though sometimes i sketch left handed and clean it up right handed.

    I've just found it handy to have both arms available for art. that also could be it's own topic, (drawing with your whole arm instead of just your hand and wrist) I admit i do rest and drag my hand across the page when doing detail work.

    drawing with my foot though... i don't think i've tried that. sounds frustratingly interesting.

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