Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Self Portrait

[Just wanted to note that the Preview function of Blogger is essentially useless when it comes to seeing an accurate depiction of what a page with art on it will look like. I mean, it is ludicrously inaccurate.]

Been reading the book A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink, which talks about developing one's right brain aptitudes, which Pink groups as follows:
  • Design
  • Story
  • Symphony
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning
It's a good book and quite engrossing. At the end of each chapter addressing an aptitude, Pink includes a portfolio of activities and reference material that could be used to develop the associated aptitude.

At the end of the section on Symphony, Pink encourages people to practice their drawing skills. He specifically references Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, a book that I happen to own but haven't used.

The first exercise in the Edwards drawing program is to take an hour and draw a self-portrait. Turns out that my son's second grade class had an assignment of trying to draw people more realistically. So I thought I'd sit down next to him trying to draw my wife and draw myself, as a way of getting started on the program and providing my son with some moral support.

Well, he hated the drawing process and complained throughout. But I decided to stick with it and produced the quite mediocre sketch above. Both my wife and daughter agree that it doesn't particularly look like me--apparently I look less scary and friendlier. Specifically something about the eyes doesn't capture my innate charm. :-)

By my standards of bad drawing, however, it's decent and I'm reasonably proud of my effort. Hopefully I will find some time to fit in some of the further drawing exercises in the program and develop some modicum of talent. I'd love to be able to create a sketch book of ideas for my various settings and stories.


Aaron DaMommio said...

Dude, this is a great start. It's distinctly non-horrible. It looks more like you than a random person.

Ethan actually did some clay with me the other day. Usually he shies away from it. I'm not quite sure why. But he made a neat little robot. I assume people's concerns about doing art arise from fears of judgement. But why why why? Why didn't Will enjoy himself? It's just a little art. It ain't no big thing.

Doug said...

Thanks! I appreciate it.

The little guy draws stick figures with very simple, no-nose happy faces and frowns and such.

I am starting to wonder if he genuinely just doesn't see faces the way that the majority of us do.

He was looking right at Lisa and didn't even get her hair the right length until we prompted him (several times) to notice that it was longer than he had drawn.

He seems to recognize people in person and in photos, but I'm starting to wonder if he's basing that as much on overall body type, context, and voices as on their faces. He was fascinated and a little confused when I tried growing my goatee a couple years ago, and that's not even very long.

Or it could be that he really hates to look at people's faces in the first place, so studying one of them is hard for him.

Whatever the case, he knows his drawings are very simple compared to those of the other kids and he feels bad.