When I entered the classroom for Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, taught by Shahin Shikhaliyev, the students were already deep in a discussion on the principal of two point perspective. Shahin was teaching his students visual psychology, and how objects in space appear somewhat differently than how we perceive. The concept is quite complex, and the students were taught how to measure the ratios and relationships of objects and space with their pencil. They were given the tools to begin developing an eye for measuring angles and proportions, a difficult skill. As the students were instructed to make a representational image of a stack of boxes, a deceptively simple assignment, Shahin walked around and focused on each student, individually correcting their errors and giving them additional advice.
As an art student, of course I had to join in on the fun and try my hand at getting all the angles and measurements correct. Deceptively simple for sure! Not only did we discuss the concept of perspective, but Shahin reminded the class to pay attention to composition. He taught us the rules for creating a traditional still life composition; dynamic, yet organized, and emphasized the importance of arranging the positive and negative space in a pleasing way.
The discipline of representational drawing is a commitment, and students must remember that you don’t always produce a perfect reproduction on the first try, it takes a lot of practice. For anyone who has mastered visual expression and desires the knowledge to create realistic representations, this course is exactly what you need. For more information on the course, visit http://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=227479. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain will be offered again January 2014.