Learning to Draw, Day 3: Copying Upside Down


Yesterday I had about 30 pages of information about the brain and how it works and a short symmetrical vase (an optical illusion made out of two face profiles) drawing exercise to do. That took up the whole hour I set aside with only a few squiggly lines on a piece of paper to show, so I didn’t think it was worth a post.

Today’s exercise was 99% drawing: Copying Picasso’s portrait of Igor Stravinsky upside down to force my brain to see lines and shapes instead of a face, hands, etc. To shift your brain into a different way of seeing. I had to fight myself a few times when I was working on the hands and face, but I ultimately slowed down and focused in on the individual lines and shapes that composed them.

This exercise took me well over an hour and was very difficult. I almost gave up once when I spent 15 minutes drawing a detailed section, only to realize I had miscalculated and it was far away from where it needed to be. I’ve never had so much mental anguish over using an eraser.

Here is the upside down comparison:

And here is the rightside up comparison:

I know the proportions and spacing are pretty off in places, but I was surprised at how it turned out. It was much better than I expected. I’m glad I didn’t give up. (I really was close. I swore, pulled my shirt up over my eyes, and shouted about how difficult it is. Not my best moment today.)

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