I draw with my right hand, and usually work from left to right when using coloured pencils. This method is probably as much to do with a physical reaction as with a visual response. It’s easier for me to move my right arm to the left and draw because I can see ‘where I’ve been’.

But there’s another reason and that’s to do with keeping one’s work clean. Smudging never looks nice on one’s work unless it is deliberate. Even when applied carefully, smudged areas can make a drawing look untidy.

When I have sufficient detail on my pastel board I find that by placing a clean sheet of paper under my right arm, I avoid smudging my work. I use cartridge paper because its ‘tooth’ grips the pastel board and it won’t easily move.

I don’t always work this way. Sometimes I turn the pastel board around and usually end up working from al four sides.

I never work on a flat surface because it’s not good for my back and it’s very easy to smudge one’s work because you’re leaning over it all the time. I use a drafting table as it allows me to face my drawing.

As you can see, my latest drawing has grown since it first appeared last Friday and it’s obvious which side I’ve concentrated on.

How do left-handed artists work? I’d like to know what strategies they employ.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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12 Responses to RIGHT OR LEFT HANDED?

  1. Jacquie says:

    These are great tips, thank you. I can’t imagine working on such a large piece with CP. This one looks really good.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks for commenting Jacquie and I’m glad you liked the post. I don’t consider this a big drawing as my ‘big’ drawings are 4 times the size of the one featured, which is my standard size for cp drawing.

  2. very cool to see your arm in there and get an idea of the size! Awesome! Enjoying following your blog Mr K while you are away.

  3. Jacquie says:

    I’m left handed and I work from right to left. I keep a paper under my hand at all times to keep from smudging. I start top right corner down the side and then onwards in the same manner. I also turn the board around too.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks Jacquie, great to hear from a left-handed artist. Your technique sounds excellent and it would give you the control you need when drawing.

  4. Gillian says:

    Hi Richard – it’s interesting to note that you follow the same method as i do – it seems to be instinctive for right-handers. Makes sense too.
    As Chelsea says – we get a good sense of the scale of your artwork from that shot of your arm!

  5. your drawing of course!! always felt a connection with your “rocks”…. alot of my paintings from Uni are organic shapes like rocks… “tropical” ahhhh….. chilly and cold here although the sun is shining…so Im happy!

  6. Jacquie says:

    I was just curious to know what grit board you are using? I have not tried pastel board yet and I might give it a go. Thanks jacquie

    • artkleko says:

      I only use Canson pastel board, Jacquie, which has the same ‘tooth’ as Canson pastel paper. I don’t like working on smooth supports because it robs my work of the ‘painterly look’ I get with a textured surface.
      Regards, Richard

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