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The brain is comprised of two hemispheres, the analytical and logical left brain and the more intuitive and holistic right brain. While Westerners tend to use their left brains far more, drawing is largely a function of the right brain.

Learning to draw is about learning to see things in a new way. Let's start by taking apart your brain. Well, not literally. For now, we'll just separate it in two.

Scientists now accept that the brain has two hemispheres. You have a rational, logical, verbal, analytical, and sequential way of thinking or processing information, which is on the left side of your brain, and an intuitive, visual, perceptive, simultaneous, and holistic way, which is on the right side of your brain. Your left brain processes parts of things and words, tries to identify and organize, and works to make sense of things. Your right brain processes the whole, in pictures and relationships between things.

Drawing is a skill that uses right-brain perceptions, which many people—especially those in the western world—have difficulty accessing. But there are ways of encouraging the right side of the brain to take over the more dominant left side. These exercises can actually change the way you see. You can move from being largely verbal and analytical to being visual and intuitive. And, learning to use your right brain is the first step in learning to draw.

In the logic-centered western world, you spend most of your life working on the left side of your brain—a banker, for example. You're taught to think cognitively, rationally, and logically. This is fine for many tasks, but for the more creative and, we think, more rewarding pursuits in life, you need to cultivate the right side.

The Left Brain

The Right Brain processing is:

rational verbal analytical sequential looks at:

the parts processing is:

intuitive visual perceptive simultaneous looks at:

the whole

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