Can anyone learn to draw?
Unequivocally, I give a resounding yes!
You have undoubtedly heard this before: “I can’t even draw a stick figure”; “I would love to be able to draw but I don’t have the talent”;“my daughter is talented in art, I guess she gets it from her grandmother”.
Most people believe all students can learn to read, write and do arithmetic. We would never consider that a person has to have inherited the ability to learn these skills, but for some reason we maintain that belief when it comes to art.
Our society has erroneously held the notion that a person needs to be “born” talented in order to be able to draw. In fact, it is unfortunate that most art teachers in our public schools don’t know how to teach students how to draw. I know many teachers who fall into the “I only have a few students who are talented” mode as an explanation for why only a few are successful.
So, anyone with a desire, can learn to draw, and draw well.
So, what is drawing anyway?
Drawing is the ability to see shape and relationships between shapes. That’s it.
And the skill to do that comes from something you already have-the right side of your brain.
The right side of the brain is spatial, imaginary, holistic, and intuitive. It has no concept of words, letters, speech, numbers or time. The wonderful news, is that you can learn to access this part of your brain.
Our society and our educational system have always promoted the left side of the brain: linear, sequential, logical, verbal, reality-based.
That is interesting, but how do you learn to draw with your brain?
Betty Edwards was a genius when she figured out how people draw. In her books she presents exercises that cause a shift from the left side of the brain to using the right side of the brain. That is one reason why it is important not to skip around in her book, but to do everything in order.