Learn to see, learn to draw.
A 12 week online drawing course
following the internationally esteemed book,
"Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"
by Betty Edwards
6th January 2020
Feeling limited by the "I can't draw" narrative? Frustrated that your drawings never look quite how you want them to look? If you're ready to take your drawing to the next level by finally learning drawing techniques such as perspective, proportion, negative space and portraiture - join the next Ready to Draw cohort and learn to draw in just 12 weeks. It's time to unlock your hidden artistic talent.
"Ready to Draw" is a 12 week on line drawing course. We'll use the international, best selling book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards as our course manual. Using specific drawing exercises we'll learn how to tune into the creative, visual side of our brains – the right side. We’ll learn how to see differently - focusing on shape, colour and form to enable us to draw with increasing accuracy and confidence. We'll cover portraits, landscapes and still life scenes. You’ll be amazed how in just a few weeks, you’ll start to be able to see more clearly and intuitively, and finally begin to gain the pleasure and satisfaction of being able to draw.
If you’ve been in the “I can’t draw” camp for a while now, you probably won’t believe it when people like me say “but everyone can draw”. The truth is: we can all draw - if we are taught.
"Drawing used to be a civilised thing to do, like reading and writing.
It was taught in elementary schools. It was democratic.
It was a boon to happiness." (Michael Kimmelman)
Up until the age of 7 or 8 drawing is something that comes naturally to children like talking or walking. Children don’t hesitate before picking up a felt tip pen or hover over the page nervously, they just get on and draw. Yes, their drawings are imaginative - they're not observational or photorealistic but they draw unselfconsciously and take pleasure in communicating and expressing themselves in this form. Around the age of 7 or 8 children start to claim that they “can’t draw” because they think their drawings look “childish” - anything that doesn’t look like a “proper house” or a “proper person” is suddenly dismissed. And many children give up on this form of communication and self-expression sometimes for the rest of their lives. They put drawing in a box labelled “things I cannot do, talents I do not possess, attributes I was not born with”.
The wider benefits of being able to draw:
Being able to draw is not a gift that is randomly handed out to the lucky few - anyone can learn to draw at any age. If we are taught how to see and taught how to draw the impact of being able to say “yes, I can draw” goes far beyond the page.
When people draw, it is proven that their stress levels reduce, and their concentration and levels of focus and productivity increase. Those who can draw express that drawing creates a feeling of wellbeing, peace and inner confidence.
Drawing is a form of communication, it’s a form of human expression that is innate to all of us – we only have to look at the cave paintings to remember that we, as a race, have always had an innate need to communicate and express ourselves visually. Drawing helps people to communicate beyond the limiting realm of words.
Ever since I taught myself how to draw over 20 years ago, using the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", drawing has become my most faithful companion in life, it comes everywhere with me and has travelled the world with me.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and need to find that “still point in the turning world” (TS Elliot), I draw. When I’m bored or have some time to kill, I draw. It helps me to connect with myself daily, as a form of meditation and is a tangible way of connecting deeply with the world around me.
Being able to draw opens so many avenues for creative self-expression – it is the bedrock of the artistic process. I guarantee that most visual images you see today will have started with a drawing of some sort.
Imagine having that skill, that companion, that best friend, a shared language beyond words, being able to express your unique self on the page, in the dirt, on the screen. If you learn to draw no matter where you are in the world drawing will always be there bringing joy, creativity, peace and connection to your life.
Who is this course for?
This course is for people who are willing and ready to overcome their limiting self-beliefs, to challenge that inner critic, to quieten the "I can't draw" narrative and finally learn how to see and how to draw. It's also for those, like me, who learnt to draw decades ago and need a refresher. We can all benefit from the process of drawing, relearning how to see and being a beginner again.
So what's my drawing story?
In August 1998, I’d finished my A-levels and decided to take a gap year before going to University. One of my intentions in this year was to finally learn some of the things I’d always wanted to learn but was never been taught in school, namely - how to draw. With a long summer holiday in rural Wales stretching before me, I set about following the exercises in the book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards, and taught myself how to draw. Later that year I went to Nepal for 3 months and found that my newly acquired skill of being able to draw became my most valued travel companion. On return to the UK, it was the drawings, sketches and paintings that brought back the most vivid memories from that experience – not the photos I’d taken. And still, over 20 years later, when I look at those sketchbooks, the moments, the people, the places, the smells from those drawings come flooding back. So, over the years drawing has become more than just a skill to me, it’s become a language, a faithful friend, a refuge. When life reminds of its impermanent nature, drawing remains. It’s my daily meditation and it’s become an avenue through which I now earn my living. In its most literal sense – drawing is my life line.
Why learn with me?
With over 20 years drawing experience, 15 years of teaching experience a qualified coach with nearly 200 hours of group and individual coaching experience and having planned and delivered 6 successful online courses in the past 18 months - you'll be in safe hands. Drawing is my passion, my vocation. When people ask me what is the best thing about being an artist and tutor, when I question my "why?" in my work, my deeper sense of purpose - it's always when one of my students is able to access the joy that comes from unlocking their innate creativity. Creativity brings joy and there is no greater sense of purpose for me than unlocking joy in people's lives.
What other's say:
What was the best thing about taking part in the 30 day drawing challenge?
"It was a wonderful experience that taught me many things: about drawing, about community, and about me. I’m deeply grateful to you, Marigold, for making this happen, and to you all for sharing so freely and openheartedly."
"It was so fun! Thanks to everyone for sharing their talents- Facebook has never been so interesting! Looking forward to keeping drawing."
"What an enjoyable challenge. Thank you everyone for sharing your work. My Facebook page has never been so enjoyable to scroll through."
"It was so much fun, and so incredibly uplifting and motivating."
Features and benefits:
Learn to draw in just 12 weeks Following a clearly structured program written by an internationally renowned drawing expert, Betty Davis, you'll move from "I can't draw" to "oh I'm quite pleased with that drawing" in just 12 weeks.
Learn online learn from the comfort of your own home. No trekking across town to get to an evening class, no cold rooms or uncomfortable chairs, no fluorescent strip lighting or tea in polystyrene cups so often found in adult education centres. Learn to draw surrounded by all your home comforts, in your favourite chair with an endless supply of tea, just how you like it.
Be part of a group - Be part of a group of committed learners. Learning as part of a group really helps to ensure that you finish what you started out to do – learn to draw. It removes that option of shelving your learning or putting it aside for another day, week, month, year. Embark on this learning journey as part of a group of like-minded people all wanting to learn to draw at different stages in their lives. Cheer each other on through the ups and the downs of the learning process making sure you don’t get left behind.
Learn from an actual book! Yes, we’ll actually be learning from an old-fashioned book! There’ll be that real learning from a manual based on decades of scientific research about how to access the creative, visual side of the brain. So you can take the book with you to work and read it in your lunch hour or on your commute. Ah the pleasure of actually reading an actual book.
Be part of a thriving online community Be part of a thriving, friendly and supportive community of people all in the same boat experiencing the same ups and downs along the way. Remove the isolation of online learning and connect with a group of like-minded people. You never know - you might end up arranging a real-life meet-up and gain a new friend for life!
Get the accountability you need We all know that the act of buying an online course doesn’t mean we’ll ever actually do the online course, if you’re anything like me I rarely get past the first lesson. We’ve all got those unfinished, or even un started online courses festering in our inbox. The difference with this online learning experience is that you’ll have the accountability you need to get you past the first lesson, to move you through that dip in motivation once the initial excitement has worn off. Accountability from me and accountability from being part of a group will make sure you go from purchase point to finish line and actually learn the skills you intended to learn.
Expert tuition As a former headteacher, with an depth knowledge of drawing, learning and the creative process, you’ll be in safe hands, I’ll make sure you stay on track and achieve the outcome you want.
Live sessions Online learning can feel a bit remote and disconnected but with the biweekly live group sessions you’ll get the chance to meet the people in the group not just in the private Facebook group but “face to face” in the live Zoom calls. There’s nothing like being among fellow students for getting that sense of camaraderie and human connection that we all need and crave from the learning experience.
Weekly email check-ins Stay on track with the weekly accountability emails and check ins – each week you’ll know exactly what needs to be done and receive tips and check-ins to help you stay on track throughout the course. Receive weekly clear steering and guidance through this 12 week learning experience, always knowing where you should be, what needs to be done and by when.
Homework and submission deadlines Ooh there’s nothing like a deadline to make sure you finish that chapter and do those exercises. Each week there’ll be a homework submission deadline in the Facebook Group – you‘ll be asked to submit your efforts from the weekly chapters in the group as another much needed accountability method.
What if I really, really can't draw? Like what if I haven't drawn for decades, since I left school...!
Then you're in exactly the right place - this course is for people who need support and encouragement to pick up that pencil again and learn to draw. There is no judgement on your ability to draw, only support and encouragement.
Do I have to share my drawings with the group?
Absolutely not, if you feel this will inhibit your learning or confidence you can just submit your exercises to me via email. But I recommend sharing with the group because those who do do end up feeling the benefits from the encouragement from others.
Starts: 6th January 2020
Limited course spaces available - book now!
Payment plans available
What if I can't make the live sessions?
Don't worry they'll be recorded and you'll have life-time access to replay. Click here for course calendar.
What if I'm not on Facebook?
You'll still get the benefit of learning as part of the group in the biweekly live sessions on Zoom.
What is Zoom?
It's a free, online communication platform - a bit like Skype. It's free to join and easy to use. Click here for more info.
What if I already have the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"?
That's great - you're one step ahead. Just dust it off your shelf and let's get ready to draw!
Does the cost include a copy of the book?
No, I decided not to include this option because some people may already have a copy of the book. Copies of the book can easily be found online for as little as £3.50 on Amazon or Ebay. You don't need to have the most recent edition - any edition will do.
What's to stop me just buying the book and learning by myself?
Absolutely nothing, in fact I would encourage that as it's exactly how I learnt to draw and the more people that learn to draw the better. This course is for people who know that they benefit from learning as part of a group and need the motivation, accountability, tuition and feedback to complete the course. Click here for a full course overview of what is covered each week.
What if I've already read the book and done the course a while ago?
You might benefit from a refresher - I know I would. I did the course over 20 years ago and am still benefitting from revisiting the course as if for the first time.
If you have any other questions, do get in touch via email.
"I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing"
- Vincent Van Gogh