Right Brain Vision-Left Brain Knowledge

Bearded Iris, silverpoint on prepared paper

Artists regularly utilizing drawing in their work know it sharpens visual skills and heightens awareness of the focused subject.  Science is coming around to that awareness, as well, thanks to innovative researchers like Edmond Alkaslassy and Terry O’Day in an article published in Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, (2002).  Art Plantae has been following this subject for years and keeping up with the latest research.  Left- brain scientists are embracing right -brain art.

The two researchers, Alkaslassy and O’Day, set out to show the benefits of training the eye to see through a drawing class. Their point was to teach the importance of good observation skills in the science of biology. In other words. the right brain is teaching the left brain to improve its ability to see details.

Having taught botanical-style drawing for several years, I have seen this point played out over and over. A student who has been planting pansies for years but never painted them will suddenly notice the tiny red dot deep within the center of the bloom. Once I began to draw more flora and fauna, I developed enhanced awareness of growth, color, shape and more.  My guess is that many other visual artists would say the same. 

The evidence is increasingly showing what artists have always known: right -brain or left -brain, we really need both!

Hummingbird, ink on paper

Citation: Alkaslassy, Edmond and Terry O’Day. 2002. Linking art and science with a drawing class. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching 28(2): 7-14. Web. 
25 April 2011