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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mind's eye
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...
Published on March 29 2012 by L. Power

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a re-hash of other, equally disparate instruction
The novelty of the title is appropriate to the NEW AGE genre in style and language. Were one to purchase a title such as "Drawing On My Left Elbow" one would have an equally diffuse sense of the obscure methodology of this "new" way of drawing.
I mean, really, forget Michaelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt et al of the Rennaissance. Now it is...
Published on May 20 2004 by Bruce Bain


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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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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introductory book, Dec 11 2013
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This book has taught me to observe carefully more than anything else. It has honestly caused me to observe everything around me with more detail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!, Jan. 20 2013
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This is a fantastic step-by-step drawing guide. Anyone without drawing experience could learn and improve by following the simple exercises.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the reference!, July 28 2012
All you need to know about drawing is in here. If you want to buy one book about drawing, buy this one!
It is brilliant, simple and addictive. If you think you do not know how to draw, you will at the end of this book. This is guaranteed!
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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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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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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal instructional book used by many professionals!, June 27 2009
This a book is used my many professionals and is one of the best instructional tools in learning the art of drawing.
I myself was taught to draw using this book 25 years ago and have been a professional artist for my entire career. I am now using this book to teach others! Easy to follow with very useful exercises! If you follow it you WILL know how to draw by the time you are finished with the book!
I highly recommend and endorse this book!
Laura Fernandez
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a re-hash of other, equally disparate instruction, May 20 2004
By 
Bruce Bain "Romans 9:33/Remember Jackie Robinson" (Englewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The novelty of the title is appropriate to the NEW AGE genre in style and language. Were one to purchase a title such as "Drawing On My Left Elbow" one would have an equally diffuse sense of the obscure methodology of this "new" way of drawing.
I mean, really, forget Michaelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt et al of the Rennaissance. Now it is fashionable to approach art with the all the "NEW & IMPROVED" Madison Avenue advertising hype of a laundry soap commercial, where one is convinced that one actually draws with a half of a brain, and falsely suggests that former methods employed only the LEFT SIDE of the brain, titled in the fashion of naming of 1960's rock bands.
There is virtually no intermediate drawing process in Betty Edwards book. One sees completed drawings, inferring that if the student merely sees the pictures, it will result in equally completed drawings, with not even so much as an errant smudge on the neat white paper. The text suggests that the student practice of course, but the author will not be accompanying the student during the journey, and none of the illustrations contained in Edward's book indicate the intermediate drawings, the practice, the failures and disappointments at representing form that every new student feels. This is where the student is quite literally abandoned to the wolves of personal insecurity, frustration, disappointment, and the resultant low self-estimation. After all, Edwards can actually draw...and you can't. That, in my view, is a complete failure in art instruction.

Edward's book is also a perpetuation of a common myth regarding TEACHING of any kind; that, if one can DO something well, one can also TEACH it. That just isn't so. Oddly, one would never think of teaching woodworking by showing completed cabinetry; but somehow it seems fashionable to infer that there is a shortcut to training eye and hand. There are no shortcuts. It was true 700 years ago. It is true today.
There is good drawing instruction by Will Pogany, Cortina Famous Artists School, Walt Reed, and absolutely, Robert Beverly Hale, and any serious drawing student would be well-advised to examine such books, in my opinion.
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