How to draw when you think you can’t

How to draw when you think you can’t

Everyone can draw, given the right set of directions and understanding how to utilise the right side of the brain. Julia Wakefield’s drawing course, ‘Drawing for the Terrified’, aims to do exactly that, with exercises to boost the emotional, intuitive and creative side of the brain.

Creativity is one of the main features associated with the cognitive skills enabled through the right side of the brain. According to Psychology Today, “Right-brain dominant people are characterised as artistic, innovative and often random.”1. So, what better way to encourage your creative side and bring out your drawing ability than to engage the right side of the brain?

But, how do we do that?

Most people are not one or the other, left or right-brain dominant–we utilise both hemispheres of the brain and it is possible to enhance and stimulate the abilities of a particular side. This can be done through various exercises that tap into the creative, emotional, spontaneous and intuitive side of the brain, such as guided visualisation, meditation, music and art. The right brain is better stimulated and opened to creative endeavours when you are relaxed–and each of these promotes relaxation, thereby opening the way to right brain abilities.

In the case of art, the act of visually focusing on an artistic activity, such as drawing, painting, sculpting and so on, stimulates right brain activity.

“Take an art class. Even if you don’t think you have any artistic ability, sketching or even tracing a picture can encourage your right brain to become more active.”2

The process of creating something and thinking through the conceptual process with the aim of a beautiful end product, inspires the imagination and kick-starts the conceptual and creative side of the brain.

Another exercise is to draw with the non-dominant hand as this is believed to encourage the right hemisphere of the brain, so if you are right handed, try drawing with the left hand to give your creative side a boost.

These exercises and artistic endeavours will encourage you to unlock the right side of the brain. Julia Wakefield’s course, ‘Drawing for the Terrified’, will give you the skills to do just that. In so doing, you will build confidence in your creative ability. Julia will focus on the rules of drawing and will look at the reasons behind mistakes, thereby revealing the walls you may have unwittingly built which inhibit and prevent creativity.

She will take you through relaxing and enjoyable exercises to demonstrate how our brains fool ourselves into drawing what we know, rather than what we actually see.

The link to Julia Wakefield’s course, ‘Drawing for the Terrified’, five sessions from May 31 to June 28, is as follows:

By Tracey Vale


1. Are you left or right brain dominant? E.E. Smith Cited online 10.5.2018

2. How to improve your right brain, Ashley Miller Cited online 10.5.18

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