Can anyone draw?
In the right environment, anyone can learn to draw. The reason some people may find it hard to draw or think they can’t, is perhaps because they did not enjoy art lessons at school, or they think too much about the process or they chat whilst drawing.
In order to draw, you have to be able to switch off and use your right side of the brain rather than the left. You cannot really learn by following instructions, you have to learn to look, perceive and draw what you see rather than use any preconceptions. I teach people to draw by delivering several visual exercises in the first few weeks of my courses that engage the right brain and confuse the left side.
My favourite is drawing upside down. I use it as a technique quite often myself. It is much easier to see the shapes and tones when you brain is not perceiving what they are.
I can thoroughly recommend the book Drawing On The Right Side of The Brain by Betty Edwards . It inspired me to deliver drawing lessons rather than general art lessons. As part of the Cultural programme for the London Borough of Sutton, I run classes called Drawing in Your Lunchtimes on Tuesdays, 1-2p.m. The aim is to give an enjoyable hour of concentrated contemplation in a busy world.
At my drawing lessons at Sutton library, I have met a wonderful lady called Jackie Farrell. She has Essential Tremor (ET) a neurological movement disorder, but is still able to draw. At first, the objects have a wavy line (the characteristic sign associated with ET). However, over time the lines get smoothed out with various techniques that Jackie uses. It is quite amazing!
We both hope to inspire others that think they cannot draw to give it a go. Picking up a pencil and paper and starting to draw can really improve your outlook and can be a great interest to have. More information on Essential Tremor can be found here.
Jo Sharpe is passionate about art and believes that anyone can draw. She runs regular art classes for children as well as art classes and workshops for adults. She also runs art parties. Click here to find out more/to book these art classes.