Welcome to the March 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, however, I'm delighted to be able to offer another 5-day course in London in August - details below. 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

  • Drawing Coach Suggestions to help with your drawing

  • Virtual Visit This month's visit is to a site dedicated to the works and letters of Vincent Van Gogh

  • 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

    New Course Dates Announced

    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 but registration has just opened for the August course


    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.

      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


      This month's book is a resource you can use to practise your drawing. A self-portrait is the first and last drawing participants do on the five-day course. Drawing your own portrait is an intimate affair and it's different every time you do it as you capture yourself in varying moods.

      Great Self-Portraits (Dover Art Library)
      (Dover Books)
      In Great Self-Portraits forty-five works by some of the greatest artists give us an insight into this particular genre. Using pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, as well as engravings and etchings, we are treated to a lesson in the use of different media and how media can be used to affect the tone of the self-portrait, as well as gaining an insight into how these artists saw themselves.
      Includes works from 15th-century artists as Gentile Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albrecht Durer to a range of 19th-century masters: James Whistler, Auguste Rodin, Vincent van Gogh, Berthe Morisot, Aubrey Beardsley, and others. See works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Francisco de Goya, William Blake, and Camille Pissarro.
      Dover Art Library books are not great works of production - they have been designed to bring art to as wide an audience as possible by keeping the retail price low. This isn't a book of high-quality reproductions but it is a useful book for learning more about the art of self-portraiture just be seeing how others have done it throughout history. With plates of a reasonable size it's also a good resource for copying works by the old masters and practising your drawing skills.


    • Make a date specifically for drawing. Ideally by yourself or else with others who are going to be drawing too.
    • Choose a location where you'll be comfortable drawing but first decide what you are interested in drawing.
    • If it's people - perhaps hang out in a coffee shop at a railway station or in a park. But remember that people won't be standing still for long so you'll have to work quickly capturing their 'gesture' - great practice.
    • A museum is great if the weather is cold or wet. They often have gallery stools available for you to borrow and you can draw objects or the people visiting or even the architecture.
    • Make sure you have what you'll need in terms of supplies (and food and drink too!) but don't overload yourself either. Keep it simple.
    • Whenever you are drawing in a public place people are going to watch you. Chances are they are going to hang round for a bit too. I find I can ignore them quite easily but if you find it off-putting perhaps stop drawing for a minute or two and they'll soon get bored and wander off. Most people are fascinated to watch others draw.
    • Let go of preconceptions. Sketching on location isn't about producing a really worked-up piece of art - it's about practising your observation and drawing skills and giving yourself the space to practise being an artist. Do more than one drawing - you'll need to warm up and get into it so let go of the critical self-judging lodger on your shoulder and just get stuck in.
    • Take a camera with you and you can capture your subject in case you want to work on it some more when you are back home. You might want to add colour which might be easier to do at home. Having a reference photograph can be really helpful.


    It can be hard finding the time to get to an art gallery or museum and too often, when we do, we don’t get to see what we want. Drawings in particular are often not on permanent view. However, many collections allow online which is a chance to see close up how artists before you have handled different genres and different media.

    This month's website is not run by a museum, however, it is endorsed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

    The Vincent Van Gogh Gallery is the fruit of over 12 years of labour - a labour of love - and here you can see all of Van Gogh's works. It's not the easiest site to navigate but it's packed with information and you can search for specific works.

    There is also reference information including a calendar of exhibitions around the world, quotes from Van Gogh's letters and much more. The letters are particularly interesting at really experiencing first hand Vincent's thoughts, his highs and his lows.
    Visit the Van Gogh Gallery here (a new window will open).


    Check out the new books section on the website which 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.

    You can even recommend an art or drawing book of your own that you have enjoyed and would like to share with others.

    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