Hello and welcome to the June issue of Drawing Matters Apologies for the absence of a newsletter in May but life has a habit of getting in the way of best-laid intentions and it was just not to be! In this month's newsletter you will find:

  • The next Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain course, devised by Betty Edwards, will be held in London in August 09 and is now full. If you'd like to hear as soon as new course dates are announced please contact me to be added to the mailing list.

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

  • Tip of the Month What you leave out in a drawing...

  • Book of the Month: Drawn to Life Vol 1 Walt Stanchfield's classic lectures on drawing are not just of value to animators ...

  • Exhibition News: The BP Portrait Award 2009 Exhibition has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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 2009

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! Course dates for the remainder of this year are:



If you are interested in 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

"Excellent course that I will certainly recommend to friends. Learnt a lot over the week and really feel that I have made some huge improvements."

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)


in a drawing can often be as significant or more so than the drawn line. Beginning students can sometimes overdraw by outlining every feature.
  • A solid line around the edge of drawing can make it look more two-dimensional.
  • Varying the weight of line and letting it fade away at key points can create a sense of distance in a drawing - thereby making it more three-dimensional.
  • When you break a line think about where you want it to start again, making it a considered rather than a random decision.
  • When drawing faces in particular a suggestion of a feature through light and shadow is often more interesting to the viewer as their role becomes more participatory as they unconsciously work out the pattern of light/shade to reveal a form.
  • Close one eye and squint at your drawing and at the point you 'see' the feature - STOP!
When drawing really look at your subject and imagine you are an ant crawling over the surface, feeling the troughs and hills, and letting your pencil walk what your eye sees...


Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes Vol 1
by Walt Stanchfield, Edited by Don Hahn
Regardless of whether you are interested in animation or not, this two-volume collection of the legendary lectures from one Disney's most well-known animators is not to be missed. Presented as accessible chunks of wisdom and accompanied by drawings by Walt and others, this book will help you capture gesture and emotion when drawing from life. Practical art books often talk about 'gesture drawing' but few really teach you how to do it. In this book you'll get an excellent grounding.

"Stanchfield beautifully communicates the essence and joy of expressing ideas through the graphic line and accumulating a visual vocabulary...A treasure trove of cogent, valuable information for students, teachers and anyone who loves to draw."
John Canemaker
(NYU professor and Academy Award-winning animation filmaker

If you are interested in animation then this book is a must. If you are interested in drawing I would highly recommend it.


BP Portrait Award 2009

18th June - 20th September at London's National Portrait Gallery.

In the 5-day Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workshop we focus on drawing portraits because students often feel faces are the most difficult to draw. By learning to draw a portrait of themself and others they realise that all drawing is the same once you have learned the basic skills that make up the global skill of drawing and their confidence is boosted. Portrait drawing can be an intimate connection between artist and sitter.

The BP Portrait Award is a prestigious world competition and yet several of the artists featured have had no formal training. A range of styles are included from hyper realistic 'photo realism' to a more naive approach. Regardless of whether you like a particular style personally there is still much to learn from seeing how others tackle this genre.

If you can't make it to London don't worry - you can view all the exhibitors online here (a new window will open)

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

Contact Anna here