Give Upside Down Drawing a Try

My grandson Will, upside down

Practice drawing upside down.

I love to draw.  My last two articles were about contour drawing.  Today I want to talk to you about upside down drawing.

So how do you draw upside down? Okay, you lie down on the floor and place your legs ……. No!  Just kidding!  You are not upside down doing a drawing.  The subject you are drawing is upside down.

Here are the simple steps to doing an upside down drawing:

1. Take a photograph of the subject you want to draw.

2. Place the photograph upside down next to your drawing paper.

3. Study the photograph and begin drawing.

4.  As you draw, think about the shapes and lines you see in the photograph.

5. Do not name objects.

6.  When finished, turn drawing right side up.

7.  Enjoy your finished drawing.

The main reason to draw upside down is to help you switch from left brain thinking to right brain thinking. If you can confuse the left brain and get it to switch to the right brain, you will usually get a better drawing.  Looking at a photograph upside down confuses the left brain.

I use upside down drawing in the classroom to teach my students how to switch from left brain to right brain thinking.  I personally use upside down drawing in my own work when I am having a problem getting a subject drawn correctly.  Turning the photograph upside down helps me see the shapes, lines, and contours better.  When you can see shapes and lines instead of leaves, hands, fingers, or eyes, you will get a more accurate result.

Most importantly, do not name the objects as you draw.  For example, let’s say you are drawing a portrait of a family member upside down like the photograph above of my grandson Will.  Everything looks great in your sketch until you get to the eyes. You begin to think “eye” as you draw.  As soon as you think “eye” you switch to the left brain.  The left brain doesn’t need to look at the eye in the photograph because it has a symbol for an eye already in your memory.  So the left brain ends up helping you draw an eye that looks like something you used to draw when you were in Pre-school.

Drawing upside down is a great way to improve your drawing skills. If you want to give it a try you will need a pencil, piece of paper and a photograph.  That’s it.  I hope some of you will spend some time this week doing a few upside down drawings.  Let me know how you like it.

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2 Responses to Give Upside Down Drawing a Try

  1. Mary Arkin says:

    Upside-Down Art, Photography and some Upside-Dwon thinking in general have been persued and advocated for centuries going back to ancient cultures.

    20th century artists such as world Renown Georg Baselitz, and early 20th Century Artist Gustave Verbeek as well as Amercian Aritst L. R. Emerson II staring in 1984, have all contributed significantly to Upside-Down design and multi-directional composition.

    Recently Baselitz, whose own art has fetched for $4,2 million at auction has recently commented he found L. R. Emerson’s art “…inspring.”

    See the unusual, inventive art by Emerson at – “The Wrold’s Largest Solo Artist Site” TM

    Mary Arkin
    e4 Fine Art

  2. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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