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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny how many people can't draw in art classes...
I started my art experience with this book, and to it I give much credit. For me, it was like a "light switch" had been turned on. One day I could not draw, the next day I could. I did take the lessons seriously, and completed the book. If you are new, this book delivers on it's promises. It doesn't matter if the right/left part is correct or not, the fact is...
Published on June 18 2004

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the 1989 edition of "Drawing..."
I'm in a drawing course at a community college where the instructor has used the 1989 edition for a number of years with good results. Needing the book, I purchased the new edition (by mistake) through Amazon and must return it. However, having now reviewed both books, I believe that the new edition suffers by comparison.
There are too many mechanical aids...
Published on Sept. 16 1999 by bhamby_99@yahoo.com


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny how many people can't draw in art classes..., June 18 2004
By A Customer
I started my art experience with this book, and to it I give much credit. For me, it was like a "light switch" had been turned on. One day I could not draw, the next day I could. I did take the lessons seriously, and completed the book. If you are new, this book delivers on it's promises. It doesn't matter if the right/left part is correct or not, the fact is - the methods work. There are many other things to master, but the ability to draw correctly is what separates real artists from the fake ones, of which there are many. Drawing is the foundation. If you want to learn how to draw, this book will take you where you want to go faster than any other. Later, when you are in that expensive oil painting class, and 11 out of the 15 students are stuck because they can't draw, you will be thankful that you started off with this book. You will be one of those who can at the very least render your subject correctly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars indescribable, July 8 2004
By A Customer
Anyone who has anything bad to say about this book is
lost in space. There is no person on earth who cannot improve
after doing the projects in this book. Just one thing I would like to note: Try to take this class with a teacher so you don't give up in the middle. Once you get over the muscle pain in your right brain you'll thank yourself a million times over that you did it. You will see things you have never
noticed before and when you show people your drawings their jaws
will drop on the floor. One more thing: Never have a coffee (with caffeine) before doing the projects. You have to be very
calm and get into the drawing like a musician has to get into
the music.
I am thrilled that I am almost finished with the course, and
now I can draw almost ANY object I see.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Resource Book for Artists and Non-Artists Alike!, Dec 14 2003
By A Customer
This updated edition of the classic book by Betty Edwards is a must-read - not only for artists but for those wanting to unleash their creativity.
Learning to draw is like learning to write - there are very basic skills that we should all know. It doesn't mean that everyone who learns to draw must become a professional artist, just like the fact that everyone learns to write, but doesn't not become a professional writer. These are both ways to access our thoughts and creativity - visually AND in words. There is no secret to drawing, held only by those special few "artists." Drawing is a skill everyone can have, and we are better for it.
(And to the reviewer who churlishly recommended Nicolaides' book instead of Edwards': Yes, is important, too, but Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" is very complementary to it, and carries his work many steps further...)
Buy this book and open your mind!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is recommended for other reasons besides drawing.., Sept. 6 2003
By A Customer
I would have to agree with many artists when they say this book doesn't make you Vincent Van Gogh just in five days. Basically this is only for improving your skills or maybe brushing up on them a bit (like I am). No, it isn't for skilled artists, who already know how to see things when they draw. Like many had previously said before me "The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study" is the only book I would recommend for "serious" artists who take Art (with a capital A, as Dr. Edwards has said) as something they want to excel in and maybe make a career of.
As much as I have to admit that Dr. Edwards is a little full of it, her way of instructing one to shift to the right hemisphere of the brain for full creativity is a great one. It's not only for drawing, it's for expanding your way of thinking. Part of the reason why I got this book wasn't only to improve my skills, but to find a way somehow to improve on academic standards. And not just my education, but the way of seeing a different way.
I don't agree with her stating that one would be a wonderful drawer after studying exercises and the literature she provides, but I do believe this whole entire book is the first step. After reading it, you have a choice of continuing on to more serious books like "The Natural Way to Draw" and taking art courses or you can just take what you learn to sketch when you are stressed and need a way to escape from reality for just a while.
My final analysis: I think a lot of people have already said this but I will say it again: Don't expect to be a intermediate artist and learn to draw like a professional. If you have your revelations about this book, here's a clue: GO TO YOUR LIBRARY AND CHECK IT OUT FIRST. That's exactly what I did before I even considered buying it; that way you won't waste money on a book then whine about it later because it wasn't what you expected. You always try on clothes before you buy them and you go to. the electronic store to play around with the devices. Do the same thing before buying any book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Anxious to Thrilled, Sept. 26 2002
This review is from: The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The 1999, 3rd Edition (Hardcover)
As an individual who never thought I had any potential to draw, this book completely thrilled me. Edwards explained that drawing has more to do with seeing than the actual mechanics of drawing (which supposedly, we're all pretty good at). She takes you through steps and examples that help you pick up on these basics of seeing as an artist sees. The book is full of drawing "tasks" that lets the eager beginner get started right away. These tasks are designed to teach you new things while producing surprisingly good drawings. Of course this book won't make you an amazing artist overnight- but I did see that overnight I went from drawing at a child's level to producing things I never thought I could. It seems like there are two groups of people. Those who have had some sort of art training don't find this simple, easy to read book as amazing as the author tends to make it sound. However, those, like myself, who draw stick figures and smiley faces- calling it art, see this book as some sort of miraculous cure for the cheesy drawings we dislike so much. I recommend this book to anyone who feels anxious or hopeless when it comes to drawing. Anyone who has surpassed that level would probably be best off getting the opinion of someone closer to the artistic level they are currently at.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the 1989 edition of "Drawing...", Sept. 16 1999
I'm in a drawing course at a community college where the instructor has used the 1989 edition for a number of years with good results. Needing the book, I purchased the new edition (by mistake) through Amazon and must return it. However, having now reviewed both books, I believe that the new edition suffers by comparison.
There are too many mechanical aids required in the new edition, and the mechanics of their application is poorly and vaguely explained, which will discourage some people. My general feeling is also that the author is stretching to revitalize the work and, in the process, has weakened its impact.
Though I find her work valuable and helpful, I'm distracted by the lengthly and repetitious discussions about the need to silence the left brain and to allow the right brain to function. A great deal of verbiage could have been saved if most of this was edited out and replaced by a short phrase to simply remind the reader of this necessity.
However, having said these things, let me also say that I have found the book to be valuable and helpful in my own efforts to gain solid drawing skills that should allow me to render better value sketches before I start my watercolors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eeeeek., Aug. 24 2001
By A Customer
Just take a look at the drawing on the cover. That should tell you something. As someone below said, this book might be okay for someone who REALLY doesn't know how to draw (as opposed to the beginning student). There are some people who really are visually challenged, but guess what, they belong in a class where the instructor can push every visualization technique in the book at them. The funny thing about this book is how many of the "before" drawings, as inept as they are, are better than the slick easy cheesy "after" drawings. At least some of the befores have some charm. This book is a true disaster for a creative artist. We all know that real work leads to great drawing and the ability to see. The left brain-right brain is a lot of hooey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mind's eye, March 29 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
I bought the original book years ago, and it really improved 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 gives you 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.

In the book is a picture of something such as a chair or a person's face, and you may draw it as it is. You can also use a picture from a newspaper or magazine. This shows your current skill level.

Now, turn the picture upside down and draw the picture upside down. As you do this drawing, you may notice that you are producing a more accurate copy of the picture. See for yourself. I was amazed at the results.

There are other examples and illustrations to show you how to see pictures differently, and use space, light and shade, optical illusions and so forth.

As you become more experienced you will learn how to use your new skills automatically. I particularly enjoyed using pictures of movie stars, turning them upside down, copying them, and then doing it again right side up.

I have referred several people who would love to draw well to this book. If you are not as artistic as you would like to be, and were to follow the exercises in this book there is no reason your skill level should not improve dramatically. If it worked for me, it can work for you. This is pretty easy.

Most people have the skill, they just have not learned how to release it yet. This book will teach you how. Can you imagine drawing anything you want to draw completely accurately, and with incredible detail, subtlety and nuance. This potential is just a few clicks away. If it worked for me, it can work for you, because my drawing skills were not good.

If you have further interest in developing your creative potential, I suggest you consider buying some entrainment CD's such as Awakened Mind System by Jeffrey Thompson, and Chakra Suite by Steven Halpern. I have reviewed these separately.

I hope you find this review helpful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If You Draw Like a Grade Schooler...You Need This, May 13 2004
By A Customer
If you are a numbers oriented person, it is likely you are a left brain thinker, meaning you probably have a hard time drawing and doing creative things. Your left side of your brain is the dominant side and stifles the creative side. This book teaches you how to exercise the right side of the brain-the creative side. It tricks the numbers side of your brain to bow out of the task, leaving the creative right side free to work. Although proper training and practice are necessary, this book teaches techniques for those who have not yet learned to "see as an artist sees" which yield immediate results. On first try, I was able to draw with a 3 dimensional look and nearly replicate intricate drawings whereas, before the book my drawings looked almost like they did in 3rd grade.
This book goes into a lot of detail why we draw as we do and how to remedy that. I have seen a lot of art books, but this one is THE best for a remedial are student like me. Drawing has become a relaxing activity instead another failure session.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for absolute beginners, not for intermediate students, March 24 2004
By 
Jim (California) - See all my reviews
I taught myself how to draw passably well when I was a kid and have been drawing sporadically ever since. Recently, however, I wanted to really learn to draw - to really understand form and how to represent it on paper. I practiced constantly, but I wasn't really improving on my own, so I started reading art instruction books to expose myself to new ideas that might help me improve my drawing. The first book I read was "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", which I chose because I had heard so much about how great it was. I was expecting it to be profound in some way. I read it very carefully to the end and completed all of the exercises, but about halfway through I realized it wasn't giving me any new ideas at all.
The book is written for ABSOLUTE beginners in drawing - if you have been drawing for any length of time there are other books that will be much more helpful to you. If you are just starting out in drawing, if you haven't drawn since you were a kid, this book should be extremely useful. It explains drawing on a much more basic level than any other book I have ever read, but that is exactly what absolute beginners need. It would be difficult to try to write a sentence before learning the alphabet, and this book teaches the "alphabet" of drawing. But if you can already write, even at a basic level, reviewing the alphabet would be a waste of time.
I really dislike the actual style the book is written in; Edwards is egotistical and she spends too much time on subjects that are not directly related to learning to draw, for example, several pages are spent defending the "right brain/left brain" theory and too much space is spent throughout the book giving examples of "evidence" for her theory. The book could be about half the length it is and still offer the same amount of useful information.
So far "The Natural Way to Draw" and "The Practice and Science of Drawing" have been much more useful to me. I would recommend them over Edward's book to intermediate students like myself who are trying to learn advanced concepts.
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