Left-handed drawing

I know it seems a weird thing to do, but every now and then, I try drawing with my non-dominant hand (in my case, my left). The idea was used as one of the exercises on the Surface Pattern Design course I completed earlier this year. You get a different kind of line, and a different kind of style to your usual way of drawing.

I was surprised by the degree of control I actually had. And I liked the scribbly lines. More importantly, I think using the non-dominant hand reduces the weight of expectation, slows you down, and forces you to focus on the shapes rather than what the drawing “ought to” look like. I think it helps to switch out of language mode (as in, I’m drawing an ink bottle, I’m drawing a glass jar) and into a purely visual mode where you just concentrate on where the next mark needs to be in relation to the others you make on the page. (Betty Edwards is a keen advocate of this approach to drawing in her book, Drawing on the right side of the brain.) I even wrote a page of text, and it was fairly legible, although the loop of the letter ‘g’ caused a bit of confusion as to which way it should face.

If you give it a go, let me know what you think.



6 thoughts on “Left-handed drawing

  1. What a brilliant example of non dominant hand drawing! I also love blind /contour and non dominant hand drawing, often they are better than my normal hand drawing.

  2. The non-dominant hand trick is a good one… I tried it when I was painting a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised at how much control I had too. It actually felt very natural and yes, it did seem to slow me down and improve my concentration. I must do it more often : )

  3. Thanks for the post and for sharing your experience. I like what you say about reducing the weight of expectation and slowing down. About drawing with the other side of the brain, it’s a bit like blind contouring, without being blind.

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