Saturday, May 5, 2012


When I saw Illustration Friday's prompt this week the first thing that came into my mind was the expression "a hitch in his giddy-up." (Maybe I've been listening to too many episodes of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars? No, one can never have too much Thrilling Adventure Hour.)

That phrase together with last post's musings on balance & symmetry & the brain got me thinking about non-dominant-hand drawing again. Have you ever tried this? I'm thoroughly right-handed, but now & then I like to give Lefty a turn. And Lefty is mighty wobbly! Originally I was just doing this for fun & planned to proceed to my usual Photoshop rendering, but I changed my mind & decided to post the left-handed sketch instead. Look at all those shaky lines! I found I had to put down at least 3 marks for my usual one to get to the line I was after. There is definitely a hitch in Lefty's giddy-up!

But I know it is possible to improve non-dominant co-ordination. One of my many obsessions is hoop dance, & it has taught me a lot about side-dominance in all sorts of movements. Most people naturally hoop in a certain direction, for instance, & find going the opposite way far more challenging. And once you get into the tricky stuff using multiple hoops, you really have to work to get your non-dominant hand up to speed. In my case I thought Lefty would never catch up, but with enough practice I've become nearly hoopidextrous. Or would that be ambihoopstrous? Anyway, I'm a fervent believer in training both body & brain via play, so maybe I'll try sketching left-handed for a while & see where that gets me. (Not into the loony bin, I hope.)

Actually, some scientists propose that working with the non-dominant hand stimulates & protects the brain from future dementia. See? Acting a little off-kilter could be good for you! (If so, I'm in luck!)

Scanners, however, should be thoroughly, even boringly, balanced. I'm distressed to see how asymmetrical the color is on this scan. Anyone know how to remedy that problem?

Pencil on paper, non-dominant handed, ~2"x4"


  1. So you drew this with your non-dominant hand? What else can that hand do? My goodness!

    When my dominant hand is tired of drawing, mainly squiggling, I do it with my left. I actually write with my left hand just to pretend I am somebody else. Hehehe.

    Hoopidextrous! Congratulations! YAY!!!

  2. Hahaha! Hoopidextrous or ambihoopstrous? I love it. I don't even know what hoop dancing is. Ooh! I went and watched a clip. Reminds me of rhythmic gymnastics. Neat!

    I think you did a stellar job with your off hand. And I'm intrigued by this strengthening the mind business. Perhaps I shall have to do some lefty scribbles.

  3. It's awesome that you can do this with your non-dominant hand! I like the wobbly style actually. And I want to try it out too. I am wondering if it's possible to draw using both hands at the same time?

  4. Cool experiment. I think he came out rather cute!

  5. So interesting! I'm a lefty, but despite using my right hand to operate a mouse, I can't draw very well with it! I'm feeling like maybe I should practice, because yours is great!!

    And I know for a fact I am NOT hoopidextrous! My company manufactures weighted fitness hoops, & I am the hooping queen there, but only in one direction!!! I CAN use arm hoops simultaneously in opposite directions, but I don't think that makes me hoopidextrous - more like a circus act!! ;)

  6. See, it doesn't matter which hand you use, they are always interesting, cute, and clever. I like using the non-dominate hand to brush my teeth, eat a meal, comb my hair, etc., I consider it an exercise for the brain as well as the hand.