The Ears Have It

Pen and pencil sketches of human ears.
7.5” x 7.5”, drawn in a Moleskine Sketchpad
with 1.0mm and 1.6mm BIC ballpoint pens and a Blackwing Pearl graphite pencil.
Ear #1
Ear #2
Ear #3

This is exercise number nine in the France Van Stone (@wagonized) course I’m taking. The sketching of three ears. I think its important to realize that the intent of this course is to show up at the page of your sketchbook every day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes or so. With so many people leading very busy lives, its difficult to find the time for ”art”. France recognized this and created a 25-video series to prove that one can actually learn to sketch quickly and benefit from doing so every day. I get nothing for telling you this, I just think she’s a wonderful teacher and well worth the $22.50 for the course. It’s all online and easy to access anytime. Go have a look and join myself and many others in sharing your work on Instagram. Kindly also realize, I’m taking the course because I wanted to master the technique she teaches, crosshatching. And I am far from mastering it, particularly with a ballpoint pen.😉

So, ears. She’s absolutely right, they look like something alien. I’ve never taken the time to study anyone’s ears before, but in doing so, I discovered they are the perfect subject for teaching yourself to tap into your right brain and actually see as an artist sees. By that I mean to see everything as a combination of shapes, both negative shapes and positive shapes. For instance, the dark areas are each shapes and the light areas are each shapes. You can see shapes combined as well. Such as a light shape contained within a dark shape and vice versa. That is how every artist draws, sketches and paints well. By choosing which shapes and combinations of shapes they want to put on the paper, plus how they relate to one another in value and position. The looser the sketch or painting, the more the artist applies artistic license to these choices. Do you get it? I hope so. Showing up at the page each day is how you train your brain to get it.

By the way, this kind of seeing is all done with your brain’s right hemisphere. It is responsible for interpreting the world in the abstract. Shapes, colors, relationships between them, dark, light. Emotions too. All right brain. The left brain is responsible for logic, measuring, analysis of numbers, words, actions and such. No emotions applied. Sometimes they work together, as when one is crying and also thinking: ”I should not be crying, everyone will think I’m nuts.”. The critical thought being your left brain. The left brain is a hard-ass simply put. But, humans have survived millennia because of its assertiveness. If we had been a species of right brain dominance, we would have long been extinct most likely.

“The hungry lion does not care if you sit and cry Grasshopper. The salty tears improve the taste.” ”I see, wise one. I will not sit and cry. I will run like my ass is on fire!” ”Probably not good in this case Grasshopper for you are no Usain Bolt. Better to avoid hungry lion.”

See how the left brain has helped us survive and the right brain has fed the hungry lions? Now you get it.👍

The trick to enjoying life more is to switch to the right brain at least once a day. How? The best way is by creating something and the simplest way to do that is to sketch or draw. Doesn’t matter if you’re good at it. Most are not because they never, ever used their right brain their entire life! They weren’t required to. Nobody is required to. We are required to use our left brain by our educational systems and by life itself; to survive. The right brain? Eh…we could go a lifetime without realizing how powerful it is. Sadly, many do.

So start training the right brain people! Sketch or draw every day. That automatically puts your focus in “right brain mode”. You will reap great benefits from honing this half of your brain. Trust me on that! In later posts, I will delve further into those benefits.😉