Friday, April 28, 2023

My Right Hand Captures the Essence


4/1/23 Art Stix

My right-handed portrait practice continues sporadically (often late in the evening when I’m low on energy, so I have nothing to lose: My drawing skills couldn’t be much worse anyway). Resemblance is hit-and-miss as usual. I could blame proportional mistakes on my right hand, but I know that’s really the brain’s fault, and the hand is just following orders. I would have made the same mistakes with either hand.

What’s more interesting, though, is that I often find that my right hand can capture the essence of a face better than my left hand can, even if resemblance is not spot on. Maybe it’s like making blind contours when my expectations are lower. Or maybe the brain is not as familiar with controlling the right hand, so there’s a bit of a lag, and the right hand is freer to interpret the face without as much “control” from the brain. It’s hard to say why, but all of these feel successful as quick captures of the models’ essence (all portraits from Earthsworld reference photos).

4/1/23 Le Pen Flex

4/2/23 Museum Aquarelle

The sketch of the woman (below, right) was a hard lesson to learn – literally. I knew that Stabilo Original colored pencils were very hard – possibly harder than most colored pencils I own – yet I felt like using them anyway because I had just received them as a gift. They require pressure to use even with my full-strength left hand, but with my weak right, it was nearly impossible to eke out enough color for this sketch. The more frustrated I became, the more scribbly I got, but ironically, I like the very messy crosshatching that resulted. France Van Stone’s “dirty crosshatching” had a good influence on me.

4/14/23 Stabilo Original colored pencils

4/23/23 Le Pen Flex, Neocolor I


  1. You do really well with your non-dominant hand.

    1. Thanks! It's mainly slower and weaker than the left, but otherwise, not too bad!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...