Figure Drawing with Non-Dominant Hand

February 5, 2010 in Figure Drawing by joanvienot

Drawn with Left-Hand

A few weeks ago at our weekly figure drawing session at Studio b, our exercise was to draw with our non-dominant hand.  I stayed with the exercise for the entire 2½-hour session.

Although I had attended many figure drawing classes for my undergraduate area of emphasis, I had never before drawn with my left hand.  It was grueling.  I had no hand-eye coordination.  My right hand will usually draw the approximate angle for the intended distance while I am just looking at the model, but when I was drawing with my left hand, I had to watch my hand to see what on earth it was doing.

Having no fine-motor control, I found myself gripping the daylights out of the crayon.  In fact I broke every implement I used, by holding it so tightly.  But interestingly, even though my line-quality on each finished drawing was jerky, the proportions and masses were basically correct, perhaps even better than when drawing with my dominant hand.  No doubt I was forced to a greater degree of observation.

And I found myself reaching for crayons and colors that I rarely use, free to experiment, since I had low expectations.

I was surprised to find a different appeal to the pieces I produced.