Welcome to the April issue of Drawing Matters, particularly to those of you who are new subscribers.

The Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain course being held in June is now full and the 5-day course in August is filling up fast so get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested. Other courses held in the USA can be found at the link at the bottom of the page.

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This month's newsletter contains the following:

  • the latest course dates for the 5-day Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workshop in the UK in 2008

  • The course below is a non-residential workshop in London. In the future I am planning to run residential courses in locations around the UK.

  • the new Book of the Month: Art & Fear

  • Virtual Visit This month's visit is dedicated to the life and work of Rembrandt van Rijn.

  • What the Papers Say Features a recent article in the New York Times about the importance of right brain drawing in today's information-led world.

  • What's New gives you an update on latest additions to the website

  • If your computer only allows you to view a text only version of this newsletter you can see the colour version with images here

    I hope you will find Drawing Matters interesting and I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions from you. Please feel free to forward it to anyone who you think might be interested. There is a link at the bottom of the page where they can subscribe.
    You can contact me here

    Anna Black

    Course Dates

    If you've always wanted to learn to draw, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a proven technique for teaching drawing - particularly to those people who swear they could never be taught to draw!

    If you want to learn the five basic skills needed for realistic drawing you can do it a five-day intensive course. The course in June 2008 is now full. Registration is open for the August course but places are filling up fast - it's first come first served so don't leave it too late or you'll be disappointed.


    WHEN? Monday 18th August - Friday 22nd August 2008
    9.30am to 5.30pm

    WHERE? Maria Assumpta Centre, 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HN Nearest tube: High Street Kensington (District Line)

    HOW MUCH? £475

    Special price of £425 if you book and pay in full before 1st June 2008

    Course fee includes:

    • 35 Hours of teaching
    • The Drawing Portfolio (RRP £50).
      All the materials you will need for the course, including drawing tools unique to Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The Portfolio and its contents are yours to take home and keep.

      See full list of contents here

      If you are still sceptical that you will really learn the basic skills of drawing in just five days, here are some drawings by three different participants. None of them had any previous drawing experience or teaching of any significance.

      All participants do a pre-instruction drawing, the self-portrait (below) was done on Day 1, before instruction by the participant, who on Day 2, completed this challenging foreshortened view of a hand (below right) as well as the drawing of a chair (below left) also on Day 2.

      The sighting drawing, below left, was done on the 3rd day of instruction. This participant's pre-instruction drawing is shown below right.

      On Day 3, participants do profile drawings of each other.

      Here is a "before" and "after": on Day 1, participants do a pre-instruction self-portrait drawing.... Then on Day 5, participants do a self-portrait, bringing together all the skills they have learned.

      To find out more about how the course is structured and what you will learn, click here

      For further information and a booking form, click here

      Find out what other people have thought of the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain drawing course devised by Betty Edwards - Read more here


      Whether it's for a birthday, anniversary or just so someone can show you they are supporting you... contributing to the cost of a drawing course is a great way for family and friends to help you with your drawing - as well as learn a skill for life.

      Gift vouchers are available in amounts of £25, £50 and £100 and can be redeemed in full or as part payment on Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain courses offered by Anna Black only.

      To purchase a gift voucher contact me here


      Fear stops us doing many things but often we don't acknowledge its existence. Instead we dismiss our resistance as procrastination or evidence of a lack of talent (because if we were talented we'd just do it, right?). Fear can shrink our world as we stop doing things because they cause us anxiety or we don't try new things in case we are no good at them. But fear can be our ally - fear is showing us that we are moving out of our comfort zone. Fear is evidence that we are growing, learning a new skill, changing. It's okay to be feel afraid.

      ART & FEAR
      An Artist's Survival Guide
      by David Bayles and Ted Orland

      "Art & Fear explores the way art gets made, the reason it often doesn't get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. This is a book about what it feels like to sit in your studio or classroom, at your wheel or keyboard, easel or camera, trying to do the work you need to do. It is about committing your future to your own hands, placing Free Will above predestination, choice above chance. It is about finding your own work."

      You may not consider yourself as an 'artist' and therefore think this book can't offer you anything. I think the labels we impose on ourselves (or don't) are often unhelpful and limit us. This books considers the myth of 'talent' and emphasizes that artmaking involves skills that can be learned. Perseverence and hard work often come out ahead of someone with so-called 'talent'.

      It encourages you to "learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. It points out that "what separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test."

      It's important to accept that you will do lots of drawings that you don't like - you don't have to like everything you do. You will be disatisfied with your drawings often . It is this desire to improve, learn and get better that drives us forward.

      We can wait for the 'perfect time' to do something... "when I retire I'll have more time..." "when the kids are a bit older I'll..." "when I have more space I'll..." Well - I hate to break the bubble but there never is going to be a perfect time. The only time to change is now. Ansel Adams said "the perfect is the enemy of the good", ie. if he waited for everything in the scene to be exactly right he'd probably never make a photograph.

      So my invitation to you this month is to consider what it is that is stopping you from doing what you want to do? What is stopping you from picking up a pencil or biro and just drawing - drawing now on the back of an envelope, on a scrap piece of paper. Just draw what you seen in front of you.


      The New York Times featured an article this month on the importance of developing the right brain in today's information-overloaded world.

      Let Computers Compute: It's the Age of Right Brain by Janet Rae Dupree discusses how no one can afford to ignore the artist within and how it's time to let the right brain take centre stage.

      Brian Bomeisler, director of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Inc. talks of his work teaching drawing in the corporate world:

      “In teaching them how to draw, I’m teaching them an entirely new way to see. They unbox their minds and absorb what’s really there, with all of the complexity and beauty. One of the common phrases that students use afterward is that the world appears to be so much richer."

      Read the full article here


      This month's featured artist is Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)

      Rembrandt was a superlative draughtsman - often working in pen and ink, capturing the landscape and the people around him.

      On this site you can read about his life, view enlarged images of his drawings and sketches as well as browse other categories such as paintings and self portraits (he completed over 90 in his lifetime!). In the latter it is interesting to see how his work - and his perception of himself - changed over the 40-year period illustrated.
      Visit the Rembrandt site here (a new window will open).


      Drawing Tips has been extended with new articles added. This will be an ongoing process so check in when you can to see what's new.

      Visit Drawing Tips here

      Books This section was added last month but new books are being added all the time. It features books on art and drawing, practical how-to books, plus inspirational books and even fiction. View detailed contents pages and give books a star rating.

      If you have a book on art or drawing that you'd like to recommend you can do that through the Books page too.

      Visit Books here

      Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain USA

      To find out about Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain courses run by Brian Bomeisler in the USA visit www.drawright.com

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      Anna Black

      Contact Anna here