Draw using both sides of the brain

“Learn how to draw by using both sides of the brain” – JF Koh

This was the first talk I went to, and possibly the one which got me rushing down early.

I’ve always took interest in art and sketching since i was a kid. My mum would always cane me when I did my doodles. Why? Because she sees no future with such talent.

Any the case, I manage to start again a few years back. I’ve been obsessed with the idea that we all have an inner artist within us. And I’ve constantly tried to simplify my ideas.

Here’s what I got out from the talk. Pretty neat stuff!

1) Association – The basic idea behind the left and right brain theory is this. One governs logic while the other is where creativity comes about. Since young, we were taught to associate certain words and pictures. For example an “Eye” is an oval with a black circle inside. The “Sun” is a yellow circle with lines pointing outwards. Eventually we get so good at association, we don’t look into the details.

Try this (Don’t imagine. Just take a pencil and try it) :

First draw a sun, den an island, followed by a coconut tree and a person beside it. Oh yes, draw a ship on the sea too. Do it in one min.

It should turn out to look like crap. That’s because we were using the logic side of our brain to draw those pictures.

2) Double Vision – So how then do you draw with both sides of your brain?

We have probably seen pictures that has two images within one illusion. Here’s one obvious example.


You should be able to see a man playing the saxophone and a face of a lady.

Here’s the thing. When you’re concentrating on one, subconsciously focusing on the other, you’re using both side of the brains. Try copying the image. And you realise that you’d probably be copying the man while subconsciously shaping the lady.

3) Give me PRACTICAL TIPS! – One practical way to draw using both side of the brain is to do contour drawing. To explain this point a little more, place your hands on the table, and observe the spaces outside of your fingers. While focusing on the spaces, make a sketch.

Good artists have a good sense of space and shapes. Contour outlining can very easily help you to gain a better grasp of the concept.


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