Welcome to Drawing Matters, June saw the first of the London courses this year - and as one of the participants was staying on a houseboat on the nearby canal we had an impromptu lunch on board (see below) which made a nice break from drawing (thank you Cheryl for the warm welcome!). All the courses for next year are now full but if you want to go on a waiting list in case someone drops out please contact me below. Those on my email mailing list are always the first to hear about new course dates so if you are disappointed please contact me below and I will make sure you are on that list for next time. 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 2011 Details of courses for this year

  • A Change is as Good as a Rest Experimenting with different media

  • 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 2011

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.

All places are now taken but please contact me if you'd like to be added to a waiting list.

LONDON: 15th - 19th August 2011 This course is full

WHERE? Amadeus Centre, Shirland Road, Little Venice, London W9 HOW MUCH? £475 plus accommodation and full board

Special Course Fee price of £425 if you book and pay in full before 1st April 2011

Course fee includes:
  • 35 Hours of teaching
  • The Drawing Portfolio (RRP Over £70)*see note below.

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

    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.

    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 be among the first 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

    "Really excellent. It was a hard learning curve, having to learn lots in a short period of time... thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I will definitely continue with drawing in the future.

    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)


    ‘A change is as good as a rest’ – so the old adage goes but there is a truth in that which applies to drawing. Changing the tools we draw with can shake us up a bit, takes us out of our comfort zone and thus give us an opportunity to grow and learn. Using alternative tools often means we have to re-think how we usually do things and that can be really positive. So what alternatives are there?
    • Ink Pen Drawing in ink can be scary. We can’t erase our mistakes and therefore our mistakes become part of the process and of the drawing itself. While there is nothing wrong with erasing mistakes sometimes loosening up around having to ‘getting it right’ can be really helpful. Giving yourself permission to just 'play' with pen and ink and not worry about the final result can be really helpful. The type of pen you choose will influence the mark it makes – you may quickly discover a preference. You can draw with biro, fine line pens from the stationery store, dip pens (bamboo, quill, metal nib) or cartridge pens… and then of course there are a multitude of colours! Pen and ink is perfect for line drawings and you can create shadows with cross hatching. I find my pen drawings are often smaller than those done in pencil so they are perfect for sketchbooks. Carry a small sketchbook and pen of your choice in your bag and you’ll have no excuse for not drawing wherever you are!
    • Charcoal Using charcoal presents its own challenges. It tends to have a life of its own but it is great for lovely sweeping marks and the smudgeability of it means it has great potential for moving around with fingers and erasing out lights. Charcoal comes in different forms – vine charcoal which is quite soft, compressed charcoal which is harder and of course charcoal pencils (and you can get these in white too). Drawing in charcoal is often much more about mass and volume rather than line so the result can be very sculptural. The only downside is that charcoal can be messy so be prepared.
    • Watercolour pencils If you are interested in using colour and watercolour then watercolour pencils can be a good bridge between the two. You can use them as coloured pencils – shading and cross-hatching as usual, you can then use a wet brush to create washes and effects between the two. Mixing colours is possible too.
    • Different Grades of Pencil I find I have a favourite pencil and I stick to it but it is worth remembering that pencils come in a range of grades (10B (very soft) through to 10H (very hard). The softer pencils are more smudgy and can be very dark and the harder pencils are paler in tone and give a hard line which is great for building up layers of shading with cross-hatching. So if you always use a 2B or a 4B why not experiment and venture into the depths of 8B or go the other way and try some Hs.
    • Erasers Erasers come in a multitude of types – plastic, pencil, putty rubbers (my favourite). Your eraser can be as important a drawing tool as a pencil or pen. Try laying a ground – it could be charcoal or graphite – and then erasing out. When we focus on erasing out we are concentrating on big shapes of light and we are just looking and erasing out patterns and the drawing emerges out of that.
    So the challenge for the coming month is to try doing something different. Experiment with a different medium – you may end up going back to what you usually use but I would be very surprised if the process didn’t teach you something new and improve your drawing skills overall.

    Visit Learn to Draw Right on Facebook

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    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