Book Review: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

The first edition of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain was published in 1979. Since then the book went through several revisions being the most recent from 2012. It is called The Definitive, 4th Edition and it is the one I'm reviewing here.

The premise of the book is that our left part of the brain, the analytical part, hinders our capacity of really observing what’s in front of us by imposing prior knowledge and interpretations of what we’re seeing. Because of that we often draw what we think we see instead of drawing what we actually see. The book presents techniques to “bore" the left part of the brain so that it quits the task at hand, i.e. drawing, and lets the right side of the brain, the intuitive part, take over.

One of the main criticisms of the book is that all this right vs left theory is based on pseudo-science lacking a proper basis. If you see the left vs right side as something symbolic and don’t mind with the lack of scientific references (which you wouldn't probably check anyway), the book is worth the time since most people admit the techniques really work.

Overall it's an interesting book, mainly if you ignore the last two chapters (Using Your New Perceptual Skills for Creative Problem Solving and Drawing on the Artist in You), and I recommend it to beginners who want something a little more advanced than the typical step-by-step books.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is available from Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES