Matisse's "La Pompadour" | "Learn to Draw" Lesson
from the Learn to Draw Index

Yet another weird upside-down drawing. What do you think this drawing is supposed to be?

Take a careful look. What do you see?


If you can't figure it out, try standing on your head again.

It's a drawing of a woman's head. More specifically, it's Henri Matisse's La Pompadour (1951). "La Pompadour" is french for "The Pompadour" which basically means fancy hair-do formed by sweeping the hair up from the forehead into a turned-back roll.

The whole purpose of this drawing lesson and the lessons that preceeded it is to confuse your brain and not give it what it really wants - a picture it can understand and give a name to. One part of your brain is a little bit bossy (the left side) and always wants to take over. It's the other part of your brain (the right side) that we want for drawing - the side that's "right" for drawing.

You may want to name the parts of the face as you draw them. This is the bossy left brain trying to take over. Think about how the lines curve and fit together, rather than that the fact that you are drawing a face. Try not to turn your drawing over until you are finished with it. Begin drawing.

After Drawing
Turn your drawing over. Encourage yourself. "Hey, that looks great!" or "The mouth is below the nose. Whoopie for me!"

Let's try another lesson: Lesson 6: Soda Pop Straws

For Teachers
The logical left brain wants to take over. It wants to name the parts of the woman's face and draw them as the left brain remembers them. The goal of this lesson is to ease the left brain out of the task and allow the right brain to take over. It's really the best side for drawing. The left brain may not be happy at first though in the end it will admire a job well done.

Lessons in this "Learn to Draw" series are based on ideas from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.






 Art Books
 Art Supplies