Does Drawing Upside Down Help?

Does Drawing Upside Down Help?

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How would you define drawing? Would it be something similar to marks on paper all working together for the one purpose to produce an image as imagined by the one holding the pencil? 

Drawing is the ability to put a picture on paper with lines and shapes. It is something that is often practiced from an early age. 

Looking at an object you can copy it down to look exactly the way you see it. It takes some time to learn how to draw really well but anyone can do it. 

One unusual tip for better drawings is to try drawing upside down.

Drawing upside down helps your brain develop the ability to recognize shapes and lines of a picture. It may sound strange but by drawing upside down, you can actually improve your drawing skills. 

And I am not talking about physically, but rather turning your reference picture and copying each line this way. Your finished drawing will be upside down when it’s completed but turn your paper over to reveal each perfectly drawn detail. 

It will take some getting used to at first but drawing upside down can help your artistic skills.

By turning a photo upside down your brain is forced to work harder to see it. Instead of seeing what the picture will look like once it is completed you only see the basics that work together to make the image. 

You have a hard time seeing the picture as a whole and instead your brain focuses more on the lines, shapes and spaces of the object. This is helpful when drawing since you can focus more on each line instead of getting distracted by the entire picture.

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What Is The Purpose Of Drawing Upside Down? 

Is there a purpose to drawing upside down? And if there is, why should it be done? 

A woman by the name of Betty Edwards wrote a book entitled “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. In her book she explains how drawing upside down uses the right side of the brain and is an excellent exercise for beginning artists.

Drawing something upside down will train your brain to focus more on every aspect of the photo instead of the picture as a whole.

By turning your reference sheet upside down and copying down the lines onto your own paper, you are using the right side of your brain. This way, you will pay more attention to every line instead of getting distracted by the finished product. 

Good drawing requires you to include details and when looking at a picture right side up you may end up skipping over some of them. When you draw a picture upside down your brain is forced to draw each line at a time because the picture as a whole becomes unrecognizable.

When we draw we tend to draw what we know or what we perceive about that certain subject. This is using the left side of our brains. 

When you flip the reference photo upside down the right side of our brains are put to work drawing only what we see for a better result. The ultimate aim for an artist is to be able to see only lines and shapes in relation to each other and upside down drawing makes this possible.

Is It Easier To Paint Upside Down? 

For some, drawing or painting is hard enough not to mention flipping over your cheat sheet and copying it that way. However, it is a proven fact that this technique is very useful in art. 

As an artist you have to find what works for you. Whether you prefer to draw right side up or upside down, one method is not necessarily easier than the other.

Painting or drawing upside down is not necessarily easier but you will be able to spot errors more easily. You will also be able to draw or paint better most of the time. 

When looking at a painting or drawing right side up you tend to get caught up in the picture as a whole. You see what it will look like after it is completed which can throw off your focus on the little details. 

Turning that reference photo upside down and continuing to draw it like that, you find that you are better able to focus your attention on each line, shape, and space for better paintings. 

Even if you don’t paint or draw upside down the entire time you’re working on the piece, if you flip it over every once in a while you will be able to spot errors more easily. Turning the painting upside down disrupts and irritates our view so we can see what proportions need to be changed and so on. 

By practicing this technique of painting upside down you can train your brain to draw better.

What Artist Painted Upside Down? 

One of the amazing things about art is that you can choose to display your thoughts and perceptions however you want. You hold the tools needed to create something spectacular. 

Whether you hold the paintbrush or pencil, you are in control of how the piece will turn out. 

Artists have their own unique way of creating art. This can definitely be said of one artist who chose to paint upside down.

Artist Gerog Baselitz painted and displayed his pieces upside down.

German painter, printmaker and sculptor, Gerog Baselitz is known for his upside down artwork. His pieces are a kind of abstract while still keeping its figuration.

After years of painting, he wanted to slow down his process and the viewer’s comprehension of the art. Baselitz believes that the one looking at the picture pays closer attention when their view is disturbed.

As mentioned earlier, our brains tend to pay more attention to little details this way. By turning a painting upside down we trick our brains into processing the actual details rather than what we think it should look like. 

Baselitz knew this when he decided to radically paint all his pieces upside down which became his distinct style.

Final Thoughts

Drawing upside down can help develop your brain to look for details as you focus on one line at a time without getting distracted by the whole picture. It isn’t necessarily easier to do but is a good technique to try in order to enhance your drawing skills. 

Next time you are drawing, try flipping the reference paper over and drawing it upside down. You may just stumble upon a new technique that works well for you.

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