All posts by Quan Masiello


Blind Contour – meditation for your brain

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition recommended to do blind contour to train your brain to really see what is in front of you, and not to worry about what your drawings really turned out to be. Once you get the hand of it, it was quite a special experience. Before each drawing section, starting with blind contour will be like the medication for the brain. It could calm your busy mind down and make you concentrate better for the following drawing section.

A few of my blind contours.







Discovered the difference between the left side brain and the right side brain

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition started with detail explanation of the difference between the left side brain and the right side brain which was eye-opening to me. It also gave this magical exercise to let me experienced the physical impact of both sides brains conflicting with each other.

By shutting off my left side brain, I was able to achieve the following drawings even they were well above my drawing skills at the time.





Finally, I found the holy grail book for true beginners

After reading lots and lots reviews online, I took another chance to purchase my third instruction book – Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive, 4th Edition. With a very skeptical attitude, I have found the holy grail instruction book. This is the book every beginner should read. It teaches you to overcome the symbolism shortcoming of every adult has, and teaches you to really “see” the world in the artist way. I have been able to make dramatic progress by following the instructions and doing every assignments. If you only have money for one book, this is the book to get!

Before I started my training, I have done the following drawings to record my skill level at the time:

I will record all my learning processes in my future posts. And then comparing the end results with this post to see if I truly improved my drawing skills. More to come.

Pinterest – a great tool to find drawing tips

Before reading the book Sketch The Non-artist Guide to Inspiration Technique and Drawing Daily Life, I had no idea what “cross hatching” was. I then googled it and the site which gave most of the information was In fact, not only the information about “cross hatching”, it has a lot of other drawing techniques and tips as well. It is like a drawing techniques Wikipedia. I have been using it everyday after I discovered it. Thanks to all the strangers who are sharing their knowledge for free.

Here are my quick studies of “Hatching”:

The second book that I purchased

Keys to drawing is the second book that I purchased.It is a better one in my opinions.

It taught in a more natural way, not like the first one which felt like reading a textbook. This one came from the artist’s personal experiences, and it is more fun to read too. It has a lot of good assignments and all the chapters are arranged in logical orders. I had pretty good results after the first chapter. Here are my drawings from the assignments:

However, I did not go through this book as well due to the disappointment of the pomegranate drawing below. Don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent book, but seems a bit advanced to an absolute beginner like me. I will definitely read it again after I had more beginners’ training.


Attending Classes or Learning from Books

Signing up a local art class or buying a few books to learn by myself. I picked the later option because I have a full-time job as a development programmer and I am a full time mom. Going to a class after work will be a stretch. I would like to learn this in my own pace as I can’t promise myself to practice everyday.

So the first book I purchased was Drawing for the Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Drawing (Art for the Absolute Beginner). It was a descent book for beginners. Especially the one points, two points perspectives explanation was excellent. However, it was a bit dry and not enough exercises.


My drawings by following the instructions of the book. This was as far as I could go with this book. I switched to another book after that.


My inspiration

Always want to learn to draw, but seems never have time to learn it. From my childhood to my teens, COLLEGE seems like the only thing that my family supported and concerned. My adulthood filled with works, moved to another country cross half of the global, family stuff, taking care of my young child, such and such … but the truth is, it was not that I don’t have time to learn, it was that I was unwilling to discover that I might not have the talent to draw.

A month or so ago I discovered the book Sketch The Non-artist Guide to Inspiration Technique and Drawing Daily Life which have convinced me to get pass my self-conscious and just loose up and learn. The whole purpose of this is to make myself happy and satisfied my childhood cravings for drawing. That is all that matters.

Helpless [无奈]

(October 15, 2013)


明明知道不会有答案,我还是一直在不停的问自己“为什么?” 。
就永远的活在我的心里吧,和我一起一直的活下去 。。。
One late autumn night, the disciple awoke crying. So the master asked the disciple, “Did you have a nightmare?” “No.” “Did you have a sad dream?” “No,” said the disciple. “I had a sweet dream.” “Then why are you crying so sadly?” The disciple wiped his tears away and quietly answered, “Because the dream I had can’t come true.”
一个秋天的夜晚,小和尚哭着醒来。师傅问他,“你做了一个噩梦,所以才哭泣吗?” 小和尚答道,“不是的。” 师傅又问道,“那么,你做了一个悲伤的梦吗?” 小和尚又答道, “不是的,我做了一个甜蜜的梦。” 师傅问道,“那么,你为什么哭得这么伤心呢?” 小和尚一边擦着他的眼泪,一边悲伤地答道,“因为我知道这个甜蜜的梦永远都不会实现。” 
A disciple asked his master, “Do the leaves flow or is it the wind?” His master replied, “No, it is the heart and the mind.” 
一个小和尚问他的师傅,“是叶子在动,还是风在动?” 师傅说,“不是叶子也不是风,而是你的心动了。” 
Sleepless Nights  – Eddie Vedder

Through the sleepless nights I cry for you
And wonder who, is kissing you
Oh these sleepless nights will break my heart in two

Somehow through the days I don’t give in
I hide the tears that wait within
Oh but then through sleepless nights I cry again

Why did you go? Why did you go?
Don’t you know, don’t you know
I need you?

I keep hoping you’ll come back to me
Oh let it be, please let it be
Oh my love, please end these sleepless nights for me  
 Goodbye – Eddie Vedder
I’ve got our love to remember 

That will never change 

I have you in my head 

And no, I’ll never hold you 

And I’m still asking why 

I guess that this is goodbye 

My dreams suddenly seem so empty 

I could go on my own, but I feel like playin’ dead 

And for what feels like the first time 

I don’t know where you are tonight 

I guess that this is goodbye 

We lived half our lives together 

A Cloud full of tears,it’s a lot of weight to bear 

And the sun, it may be shining 

There’s an ocean in my eyes 

Cause I know that this is goodbye 

Cause I know that this… is goodbye