Self-Portrait using Non-Dominant Hand

What a difference from one week to the next – last week was an art time famine and this week I have managed to squeeze in three different doses of art time.  This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt to use colours outside your comfort zone.  Since I had enjoyed the abstract lesson from Life Book so much this week and had found it so quick and easy, I decided to take a similar approach with my art journal page.  I again chose to use my non-dominant hand and used a wooden skewer dipped in ink.  I could tell just by glancing at my set of watercolours which colours I used least because they had barely been touched: green and orange.  I decided to throw in some yellow for a third colour and to connect the green and orange.  Not wanting to create another abstract and not knowing what else to draw, I settled on a self-portrait.  I really enjoyed working in this way.  It was quick, easy, and relaxing.  I will be squirreling away this approach so I can use it again in future.

18 Non-Dominant Hand Self-Portrait

31 thoughts on “Self-Portrait using Non-Dominant Hand

    • Thank you! I had to draw slowly because of the whole dipping the skewer into ink thing. That helped. What is interesting to me is that the left hand side of the drawing is much better than the right side. The lines get wibblier and less certain the further my non-dominant hand had to stretch across the page – or so it seems.

    • Thank you. I am flattered you even think it is possible for me to be ambidextrous. I am not. I wish I was. My Grandad was and I always thought it was cool. I have, however, given myself regular practice at drawing with my left hand (the non-dominant one) and, in this piece, the method I was using to draw meant I was going much more slowly than usual which no doubt improved my accuracy.

  1. Aside from your non-dominant usage, I can’t begin to think of the idea in your head and then how it translates. If I thought, “Okay, I’m going to color my philtrum and nostrils green, and then color some slices of my cheeks and make one ear two colors,” my voice of reason would say, “That’s going to turn out looking like a hot mess.” And yet you made it look cool.

    • Ha ha! I love that I provide you with opportunities to use the word philtrum. Once I had drawn with the black ink, I treated the shapes that had formed as if they were just that: abstract shapes. I, therefore, added colour to them without thinking of their relationship to each other. I made the irises the same colour but otherwise I did not put much thought into where to add colour and where to leave the white paper. I am glad you don’t think the outcome is a “hot mess”.

  2. Laura, I am floored by the impact this makes on me. You are clearly heading in a great direction. Just. Wow. !!! Your description of your process reminds me of results I get when I draw with out looking at the paper. Reality is recognizable but freer, more open. That’s what I see here. Just great.

    • Thank you so much! I love blind contour drawing too. I taught my kids how to do it last summer which reminded me of how much I enjoyed it. I may try some blind contour drawing in my art journal soon and maybe apply this same method of dropping colour into enclosed spaces.

  3. You mean you made this using your non-dominant hand?! That’s so amazing. I can’t do anything with my left hand. Nothing at all, not even sign my name in capitals.

  4. How cool! I love how you’ve coloured this portrait… And like everyone else, I’m amazed at how you’ve achieved this result with your non-dominant hand! My left hand is pretty much just there for symmetry 😆

    • Thank you. My Granddad was genuinely ambidextrous and I wish I’d inherited the skill too. I do actually use my left hand a lot, just not for writing and drawing. Maybe that helps the muscles a bit.

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