Why Draw Upside Down?!

Sometimes art teachers ask you to draw something upside down or to look at your art upside down.  Is this a crazy idea? No, it is valuable drawing experience. Why? It is a way to ‘see’ more clearly because it banishes preconceived ideas about an object.

It works best with more complicated items, I like to use chairs and stalls for this activity.  I like to ask my learners to draw an object the ‘right way up’ and then upside down and compare the two studies.  The upside down study is usually more accurate as the brain ‘forgets’ the object and concentrates on the abstract shapes.

This exercise is excellent for looking at negative space – see my post What is Negative and Positive Space? if you are unsure what negative space is.

If you feel too daunted by this exercise first try something really simple like an apple and then move up to more complicated items like chairs and stalls.

Upside down apple
Try drawing upside down!

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