Drawing was one thing I resolved to do more of in 2011 to help my writing (you can see my list of 7 Tips for a Writer's Year here). I'm a mediocre artist. I'm not being modest, I only push myself up to 'mediocre' because I've taken many sketching, watercolour, charcoal and other art classes (in 'life drawing' they sit you in a room with a naked stranger - did you know that, or was I the only one trying to pretend that I was totally comfortable and often hang out with naked people?).
I've finally begun the course book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. This book is aimed at beginner drawers, people who don't usually get artistic or writers trying to free up their imagination.
So far, I've completed the first three pre-instruction drawing tasks, one of a self-potrait using a mirror, another of a person's face from memory and the last of my hand. All turned out a bit okay, but nothing to brag about or hang on the wall. There is a lot of information about how the brain works and how it relates to drawing, but if you'd prefer to just do the exercises, there is also the workbook:
I enjoyed the exercises and will continue some more drawing today. I may be able to use this in the classroom too (I'll be teaching Art and Spanish this year and have a LOT to learn). Of course, I had a little help with my sketching...