Welcome to this month's newsletter. I am in the throes of preparations for next week's 5-day workshop in North Wales and looking forward to visiting Trigonos again (though my waistline may regret it!). This course is full and is my last one for this year but if you want to be added to my mailing list so you hear about new dates as soon as they are announced. In this month's newsletter you will find:

  • Information about the content 5-day Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain course, devised by Dr. Betty Edwards. This includes links for viewing a slideshow of participants' work and reading course feedback.

  • UK Course Dates for 2010 Contact me to go on my mailing so you hear about new dates as soon as they are announced.

  • Drawing Hair: Some tips and advice on depicting hair in a portrait

  • Drawing in Nature Visit this international blog for inspiration and tips on drawing in nature.

  • We're on Facebook Learn to Draw Right now has a page on Facebook

  • Drawing Matters Facebook Group has now been created so why not join it and keep in touch with fellow artists around the world...

If your computer only allows you to view a text only version of this newsletter you can see the colour version with colour 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
Certified Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain instructor, operating under license from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (www.drawright.com)

Course Dates 2010

If you've always wanted to learn to draw, Dr. Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain 5-day intensive course is a proven technique for teaching drawing - particularly to those people who swear they could never be taught to draw! This course is taught in the UK by Anna Black, certified and licensed by Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Inc.

This North Wales course is my last year but do get in contact if you want to be added to my mailing list so you hear about new course dates as soon as they are announced.

NORTH WALES: Saturday 31st July - Thursday 5th August 2010 This course is residential

WHERE? Trigonos, Nantlle, North Wales (nearest train station is Bangor) HOW MUCH? £475 plus accommodation and full board

Special Course Fee price of £425 if you book and pay in full before 1st March 2010

Course fee includes:
  • 35 Hours of teaching
  • The Drawing Portfolio (RRP Over £70).
    The contents of the Drawing Portfolio were designed by Dr Betty Edwards and Brian Bomeisler. It includes all the materials you will need for the course, including drawing tools unique to Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. These unique tools were developed by Brian Bomeisler based on those used by the Old Masters. The Portfolio and its contents are yours to take home and keep.
  • The Course Fee does not include accommodation or full board. There is an additional cost for this which varies depending on the room.

This course is now full. Please contact me if you'd like to go on a waiting list in case a place becomes available

Find out more and how to book here

If you are interested in purchasing the portfolio separately or for courses in the United States with Brian Bomeisler, follow the link at the bottom of the page.

If you would like to hear about new course dates in the UK as soon as they are announced please contact me to be added to the mailing list.

View a slideshow of student drawings and class photos
If you are interested in booking for next year but you are still sceptical that you will really learn the basic skills of drawing in just five days, why don't you view a slideshow showing some drawings done by participants on the course here (a new window will open)

Read participants' feedback on the course devised by Dr Edwards and taught by Anna Black

"The course was very useful. It covered basic princilples and there was lots (enough) time to practice...I really felt I was given a lot of accurate attention which made a huge difference. I do feel confident to go on and continue with art now."

You can also read some participant feedback and a more indepth account of one participant's experience here (a new window will open)

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

Read what the media and other people have thought of Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain course here ( a new window will open)


Beginning students often struggle with depicting hair – it appears overwhelming and as a result students often panic and revert back to drawing symbolic strands of hair that bear little relation to what is actually observed. To get a sense of hair in a drawing you need to see it as a whole rather than made up of individual strands.

  • You should already have the outline of the head (including hair) laid down – observing each change of angle carefully rather than just drawing an egghead
  • Close one eye
  • Forgetting about colour - just look for tonal changes ie. darkest areas and lightest areas
  • Block in these tonal shapes by darkening or erasing depending on the tone. You can darken by laying down some graphite and softening it by rubbing it down with tissue
  • Work all around the head at the same time - don't get fixated on one area of detail
  • Work into the lights and darks - keep both of them moving forward at the same time. Darkening a bit... lightening a bit...
  • Consider the direction the hair is going - spiking up, curling around - and follow that direction with your mark (this could be your pencil, a graphite stick, your finger, a tissue, a stump...). It is as if you are combing the hair with your pencil.
  • Remember if you want to make something ‘pop out’ in terms of light you can always darken the area around it – you don’t want to always erase out.
  • The only time you really want to draw individual hairs is perhaps around the edges of the face but keep it to a minimum and only draw what you see is there - not what you think you should be seeing
  • If hair is very fair or the light is making it so you can always darken the background which will make the hair stand out more. If you want to do this darken the background sooner rather than later so you are working on top of the edges otherwise you could end up spoiling work you have just done. You can, of course darken the background if the hair is dark – it’s an aesthetic choice for you to make, thinking about light direction and the mood you want to create
  • If you want to render hair successfully you need to spend time on it – you might spend as much time on the hair as on the features!
  • Look at some drawings of hair done by the Old Masters and see how they treated hair.

Hair is simply a question of light and dark. You must ignore colour – particularly if the subject’s hair is highlighted! This can easily confuse you.


While the weather is good (supposedly) it's the perfect time to get outside and draw nature and the countryside. Seeing how others tackle this subject can be really inspiring so why not take a look at Sketching in Nature An international group of artists learning from the best teacher there is - nature!
Visit the site here

Visit Learn to Draw Right on Facebook

Visit Learn to Draw Right on Facebook here
You can keep in touch by just becoming a Fan by clicking on the relevant button.

Also, there is now a DRAWING MATTERS FACEBOOK GROUP page you can join. This is interactive and like any group is only as good as its contributors so this is the place you can ask questions, answer other people's questions, share tips etc etc. here

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain USA

To find out about Betty Edwards' 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
London, UK

Contact Anna here