Category: News

More Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

I’ve been stalled a bit with my drawing exercises for Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I’m supposed to be drawing the portrait of a real model, and I’ve started to sketch my daughter Carle twice now, but we always run out of time. Today I decided to move on to light and shadows, even though I need a lot more practice drawing portraits. This is actually the main reason I wanted to do this curriculum– to get to the light and shadows part. I want to move my drawings out of two dimensions into three.

I actually enjoyed making this drawing (copy) more than any exercise so far I think. Betty Edwards is always talking about getting lost in right brain mode and losing track of time, but I find the exercises feel very slow and difficult. Playing with shadows and light, however, I found that time really did pass by quickly.

The assignment was to copy a self-portrait by Gustave Courbet. I mistakenly copied a copy of the drawing that is also in the book. Here are the three drawings: the original, a copy by a drawing instructor, and my copy of the drawing instructor’s copy.

Self-Portrait by Gustave Courbet, 1897
Copy of Courbet Self-Portrait by drawing instructor Brian Bomeisler
My (mistaken) copy of Brian Bomeisler's drawing

Ha! I don’t know if Courbet would appreciate this progression. I’ve given him a pretty strange mouth. I did that part last and was running out of patience.

After I did the exercise I made a journal drawing to let off some steam. It’s a mountain goat on top of a mountain:)

Apprendre le Français

Dear Readers,

What better day than this rainy Monday to begin learning French? While, as you well know,  I’m not a fan of the French, I do like their language, and I really like their food.

Here I have put together a guide of practical French words you can begin to memorize, along with illustrations made by the weasels. Guess what? I am not allowed to call them weasels anymore. And, I must admit, they are no longer weasels– they are turning into young women and their greatest offense now is to constantly refer to me as “she” or “her.” Do I look like a girl to you?!

Here they are all grown up.  Somewhat tart-ish, if you ask me. Surely that’s Bernice’s influence.

Well, with that, I will leave you, cherished readers, to your French studies.

Until the next,
I remain,
your loyal dog and blogger,


Hello dear readers!

It is I, your good friend Harriet the rabbit, speaking from beyond the grave. You knew it would happen, didn’t you? I know Mickey knew I wouldn’t be able to stay out of it. I write because I have met a very distinguished gentleman here, who authored a book entitled, Don’t.

It is filled with badly needed etiquette advice for our readers. Perhaps from time to time I can pass on a quote or two from the book.

Let us start with a selection from In Speech:

Don’t use slang. There is some slang that, according to Thackeray, is gentlemanly slang, and other slang that is vulgar. If one does not know the difference, let him [or her] avoid slang altogether, and then he will be safe.

Don’t use profane language. Don’t multiply epithets and adjectives; don’t be too fond of superlatives. Moderate your transports.

Don’t use meaningless exclamations, such as “Oh my!” “Oh, crackey!” etc.

May I say something?

I am trying to learn to paint. One of my favorite artists, Yoshitomo Nara, makes these delicious backgrounds that have so many colors in them, but it’s very subtle. I have been trying to figure out his technique, which seems to involve layering lots of colors:

I’ve been making a lot of drawings in my journal this year. Many are posted on my Instagram account. I just start drawing and see what happens. But now I’m wanting to stop being such a wimp and start making bigger pieces. I’ve made a few big works, but I’m so scared of screwing up on a large scale that I play it safe. Recently I’ve played it so safe I haven’t painted anything big.

So I thought I’d start small going larger, and I made a drawing on a 9″ x 12″ sheet of 140 lb., hot press watercolor paper. Here it is:

May I say something?

It actually looks better digitally than it does in person. The white crayon I used over the background to try to tone it down looks much cruder. Plus the paper’s all curled up. That’s a bit of an issue with paper…